Indiana lawmakers override governor’s emergency powers veto

Politics

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana legislators set up a possible court fight with the governor when they voted Thursday to override his veto and give themselves more authority to intervene during emergencies declared by the state’s chief executive.

The Republican-dominated House and Senate easily achieved the simple majorities in each body that they needed to turn aside GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb’s objections and enact the provisions into law immediately.

The measure establishes a new process under which legislative leaders can call the General Assembly into an emergency session outside of its annual legislative session. The legality of that process, however, has been questioned by Holcomb and some legal experts since the state constitution gives the governor — not the Legislature — the authority for calling a special session.

Holcomb’s fellow Republicans pushed the bill after months of criticism from some conservatives over the statewide mask mandate and other COVID-19 restrictions that he imposed by executive order during the statewide public health emergency over the past year.

Holcomb has not said whether his office would file a lawsuit on the issue if the General Assembly overrode his veto.

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