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

Mar 31, 2021

Many lawmakers are angry over some of the executive orders issued by Gov. Eric Holcomb during the pandemic.
Credit FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks / 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.”

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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.