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House, Senate leaders abandon all COVID-19 precautions for 2022 session

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Brandon Smith
/
IPB News
House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers), left, and Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville), right, have not imposed any COVID-19 precautions for the legislature in 2022.

Indiana House and Senate leaders don’t appear to have many plans in place if there are significant COVID-19 outbreaks this session.

Last year, the House moved its entire chamber to a different government building, in order to spread out more. Many Senate committee hearings were changed to keep people testifying in separate rooms from lawmakers. Plexiglass dividers went up on both chamber floors.

This session – amid a worse surge of the virus than at any time in 2021 – none of those precautions are in place.

House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said it’s now about personal responsibility.

“People should take the precautions they need, that they feel are necessary for them,” Huston said.

If there is an outbreak of the virus among lawmakers or staff, Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said they’ll deal with it as it comes.

“I don’t know that we have a specific contingency plan that we’ll employ but we’ll try to address it as best as we can when it presents itself,” Bray said.

The session is set to end in March.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.