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Republican Lawmakers Override Holcomb's Veto Of Emergency Powers Bill

Brandon Smith
IPB News

Republican lawmakers set up a potential court fight Thursday when they overrode Gov. Eric Holcomb’s recent veto of emergency powers legislation.

The measure, HB 1123, allows the General Assembly to call itself into special session during a public emergency – which is potentially unconstitutional.

It’s a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic and many lawmakers’ frustration at feeling sidelined while Holcomb issued dozens of executive orders.

The governor insists the Indiana Constitution only gives him the authority to call a special session and vetoed the bill.

Republican lawmakers are undeterred. House Speaker Todd Huston stressed the positive relationship between legislative leadership and Holcomb and said the bill is about the future.

“Let’s hope it never happens again," Huston said. "But if it does happen again and there is concerns about the actions taken by the governor – a future governor – then the legislative body has an opportunity to come back and engage.”

In a statement, the Indiana Democratic Party criticized legislative Republicans as caring more about “unruly partisanship” than tackling issues that matter to Hoosiers.

Contact reporter Brandon at 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.
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