In a joint committee rules session, Indiana House and Senate lawmakers heard testimony as to why they should, or shouldn’t, provide exemptions for private employer vaccine mandates.

The hearing lasted nearly seven hours and 100 people testified.

Supporters said the proposed legislation was necessary to protect Hoosiers’ rights while opponents said lawmakers were treading on the rights of businesses and hospitals.

A final version of the legislation will be voted on Monday.

The joint meeting of the House and Senate Rules Committees was held to hear public testimony on legislative provisions that Gov. Eric Holcomb has requested in advance of ending the state’s emergency order, which has been in effect since the pandemic began in March 2020. Holcomb has requested provisions that would be needed for pandemic-related Medicaid funding to continue and for children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, draft legislation including those provisions, as presented in the meeting Tuesday, also includes limits on whether private employers can require their employees to be vaccinated, as some hospital systems and Eli Lilly and Co. have done. There was no final vote on the proposed legislation, and most of Tuesday’s hearing was spent on public testimony for and against employer mandates.

The Statehouse File contributed to this report.