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STATEHOUSE — Indiana House Republicans appear to be on the fast track to pass a bill to overhaul the state’s rules on vaccine mandates and which would end the state’s COVID emergency order.

House Speaker Todd Huston said that if all goes well in committee discussions in the coming days, they expect to have House Bill 1001 on the floor of the Indiana House for a vote by sometime next week.

“I think there is a lot of concern from a lot of our members about dealing with both ending the public health emergency and dealing with giving protections to people and individuals regarding the vaccination,” Huston said of the rush to get the bill passed.

Those protections would be so that businesses have to acknowledge some exemptions for people who don’t want to get a vaccine at businesses that are requiring workers to get a shot. Employers would also have to give workers the option to submit to weekly testing.

Gov. Eric Holcomb, also a Republican, on Tuesday, repeated he’s skeptical of the bill.

“I remain un-persuaded,” he said. “I just think that businesses have a better sense for how they can conduct their business in a safe way.”

House Democrats are of the same un-persuasion.

“Are we sending a message that vaccines aren’t necessary? I mean, is that what we’re doing,” asked House minority leader Phil GiaQuinta. “You’re going to have outbreaks potentially and that’s going to potentially close a business.”