The House and Senate leadership in the Indiana General Assembly has canceled Monday’s scheduled session day to address employee exemptions to the vaccine mandates.

The reason, sources tell Indy Politics, is that there were not enough votes to move forward procedurally.  

In order to vote on the measure, Indiana lawmakers would have needed at least a two-thirds vote to suspend the rules to vote, however, there were a handful of Senate Republicans who intended to vote “no” on going forward which made it unclear as to whether the leadership had the votes to move forward.

“Due to the urgency of these matters, a plan was in place to reconvene the legislature Monday, Nov. 29 to address these issues in a single day if consensus on action items existed, said Senate President Pro Tempore ROd Bray. “ The ongoing complexities of the issues raised and the potential unintended consequences, the logistics of moving legislation to the floor during a time when the General Assembly is not typically in session, and the need for the public and members of the General Assembly to fully vet the legislation have led to the conclusion that the efforts to gather input and better solutions should continue until the legislature reconvenes in January. These matters will be taken up in earnest at the outset of the coming legislative session.”

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

Lawmakers were also scheduled to address the Governor’s request in order to end the state of emergency.  Governor Holcomb now says he plans to extend it.  

“Last week I made clear what would be necessary to responsibly allow the state public health emergency to expire. However, following the announcement that the General Assembly will not return on Monday,  Nov. 29, I plan to extend the state public health emergency and the executive order next week for another 30 days to preserve the necessary provisions, Holcomb noted.  “I will continue to work closely with Speaker Huston and Senator Bray as we move into next legislative session.”

Indiana House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) said common sense had ruled the day.    

“Countless hours of testimony proved that Republicans’ politically-motivated eagerness to pass sweeping policy outside of normal processes and procedures was premature,” GiaQuinta said. “The Rules Committee was warned from business leaders, doctors and members of the workforce that the proposal would not only risk countless lives, but hinder the freedoms of our state’s businesses, health care institutions and schools to make personalized health and safety decisions.   “This delay was the right thing to do and it is a good day when common sense prevails. Legislators and other Hoosier stakeholders deserved more time to deliberate such impactful measures. I applaud Governor Holcomb’s decision to extend the public health emergency and look forward to more productive and sensible conversations with my colleagues across the aisle.”