Republican Lawmakers Override Holcomb's Veto Of Emergency Powers Bill

Apr 15, 2021

From left to right, Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville), Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen) and Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) look on as House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) addresses reporters.
Credit 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 bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.