by Ryan McMaken
Last week, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb vetoed a bill that would limit gubernatorial authority in declaring emergencies. The bill would allow the General Assembly to call itself into an emergency session, with the idea that the legislature could then vote to end, or otherwise limit, a governor’s emergency powers. Although both the legislature and the governor’s office are controlled by Republicans, the legislature has apparently wearied of the governor’s repeated renewals of the state’s emergency status in the name of managing the effects of the covid-19 virus.
The legislature could still override the veto. In Indiana, an override requires only a majority vote.
If the legislature does so, it won’t be the first state to override a governor’s veto on this front. Last month, the Republican-led Ohio legislature voted to override Republican Mike DeWine’s veto of Senate Bill 22 which gives lawmakers the authority to cancel any gubernatorial health orders that last longer than 30 days. The bill also creates a legislative oversight panel.