The bill would allow the general assembly to convene in emergency session concerning a state of emergency by the governor.
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has vetoed House Bill 1123.
The legislation provides that the General Assembly may convene in an emergency session if the council adopts a resolution making certain findings concerning a state of emergency by the governor.
If lawmakers convened for a special session, they could terminate any emergency order enacted by the governor, such as a mask mandate or restrictions on businesses that were issued due to COVID-19.
In a letter to House Speaker Todd Huston, Gov. Holcomb issued the following statement:
“I am vetoing HEA 1123 because I firmly believe a central part of this bill is unconstitutional," said Holcomb. "The legislation impermissibly attempts to give the General Assembly the ability to call itself into a special session, thereby usurping a power given exclusively to the governor under Article 4, Sectional 9 of the Indiana Constitution. As such, it seeks to accomplish that which the Indiana Constitution clearly prohibits.”
Holcomb added that if HEA 1123 becomes law and can be used by the General Assembly, it will create significant uncertainty and solidify the controversy over its constitutionality.
“I do want to be clear that I support efforts to increase partnership and collaboration between the legislative and executive branches during states of emergency," said Holcomb. "I remain willing to work with the General Assembly to address their concerns to represent our shared constituents during declared states of emergency.”
Read the governor's full veto letter here.