Indiana Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) responded to Governor Holcomb’s Wednesday press conference:

“I wholeheartedly agree with the governor’s new mandate for mask wearing across the state. Medical professionals have, for some time, called for mask mandates as cases rise across the state and country. Just as we must wear seat belts to protect ourselves while driving, we must now wear a face covering to ensure we can keep all Hoosiers safe.

“I do challenge the governor to make sure that the state is doing all it can to assist schools to open safely. Right now, based upon feedback I am getting from my constituents, I am still skeptical that schools have received enough guidance and resources to actually do what the governor is calling upon them to accomplish.

“The health and safety of our children, teachers and staff must be our top priorities. We must resist pressuring schools to reopen prematurely, and I hope that Governor Holcomb will publicly rebuke the president’s threats to strip funding away from schools who refuse to open. The governor’s pressure on schools to open should not supersede any concerns that our teachers and parents have expressed.

“The governor’s insistence for schools to open underlines my point from Democrats’ joint press conference yesterday. If we expect all schools to reopen safely, then there should be no reason to forbid elected officials to safely and smartly hold a special session to vote on important legislation that Hoosiers need now. It’s time to address police violence, extend no-excuse absentee voting and get COVID-19 resources to those who desperately need them. Let’s get to work to help Hoosier families.”