Sign your name to protect local control
Our Stand: At-A-Glance
- We want to take a few moments to thank the county commissioners and council members who signed their name to testimony that was presented on Senate Bill 4 during the committee hearing Wednesday February 1st. We heard after the hearing that the testimony from you and your colleagues was the biggest factor in creating an appetite to clarify Senate Bill 4.
- Senate Bill 4 is the result of the Governor’s Public Health Commission and our concern is that it is watering down local control, attaching strings to local funding, mandating the sharing of sensitive health data from citizens in your county, and coercing you to opt-in to a public health program that has yet to be clearly defined.
- An enhancing factor of these concerns is that the origination of this public health commission is coming from the federal level. Maryland, Michigan, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Washington state all have similar bills up for consideration during this year’s legislative session, lending credibility to the concerns of the ultimate agenda being to water down local control. We saw “public health guidance” turn into “public health control” overnight in 2020. We do not want that to ever happen again!
- We are asking each county commissioner and council member, regardless of your stance on Sendate Bill 4 in its current form, to sign onto a Statement of Local Priorities for Senate Bill 4, detailing the importance of local control and the other priorities mentioned above. We will submit this statement to the Senate and the House as they continue deliberations on Senate Bill 4 so they know the priorities of local officials. We hope we can be a resource to you by giving your concerns a voice! We also encourage you to reach out to your contacts at the Indiana County Councils Association, the Indiana Association of Commissioners, the Association of Indiana Counties, and others to express your concerns with the bill and ask them to protect local control through clarifying amendments to the bill.
- Please read the Statement below and sign if you feel so compelled.
Statement of Local Priorities
As county officials, we have a duty to protect the local needs of our counties and of the citizens within our counties.
We believe in the importance of Home Rule and the need for a governance structure that protects local control.
We believe that funding from the state and federal government should not have strings attached.
We believe that local officials should retain control over whether or not to adopt state guidance and to what extent.
We believe in protecting the privacy of the residents of our community and reject the requirement to share sensitive data with the state or federal government.
For these reasons, we can only support Senate Bill 4 if the bill explicitly does the following.
Clearly states that:
- The county shall have the final vote on which specific programs are adopted and implemented within local health departments.
- The county retains the final authority as to whether it implements state or federal public health guidance, including as it relates to the public health opt-in program described in Senate Bill 4, and such authority cannot be abdicated through a state grant.
- Counties will not be penalized, financially or otherwise, for either of the above.
- County health departments shall not be required to share health data or metrics with the state. Any health data that is shared with the state must be de-identified and shared in aggregate batches, to protect the health privacy of our citizens.
All support for Senate Bill 4 by the undersigned is contingent upon clarifying language that guarantees the above priorities.
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