No face mask rule for Indiana lawmakers despite virus spread

(photo supplied / Indiana Statehouse)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers won’t be compelled to wear face masks as they meet next week at the Statehouse for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic was first sweeping across the country in March.

The Legislature’s organizational meeting set for Tuesday will occur as the state’s rates for COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations have soared in recent weeks and a statewide mask mandate issued by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has been in effect since July.

The Republicans on a joint House-Senate committee on Thursday voted down a proposal from a Democratic lawmaker for rules enforcing a face mask policy.