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Holcomb To Veto Bill Allowing Lawmakers To Call Special Session During Emergency

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FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks
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IPB News

Gov. Eric Holcomb will veto legislation that allows lawmakers to call themselves into special session during a public emergency.

Many lawmakers are angry over some of the executive orders issued by Holcomb during the pandemic. And while earlier versions of legislation this session would’ve severely restricted the governor’s emergency powers, the latest – HB 1123 – allows legislators to call a special session during an emergency. It gives themselves, lawmakers say, a voice in the process.

Holcomb – in an opinion supported by legal experts – said the Indiana Constitution only allows the governor to call a special session.

“I cannot skirt my duty and do something that I believe is unconstitutional," Holcomb said. "So, to be as clear as your question is with my answer, yes, I can answer that in four letters – and it’s V-E-T-O.”

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana's Legislative Session? Here's Your Guide To Demystify The Process

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Holcomb noted he repeatedly asked legislative leaders during the pandemic if they wanted a special session – and they said no.

Lawmakers could vote to send Holcomb the bill as early as Thursday.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.