Indiana News

Indiana bill curbing governor’s emergency powers advances

INDIANAPOLIS (AP/WISH) — The Indiana Senate voted 39-10 Monday to approve a proposal that would curb the governor’s authority under the state emergency powers law following months of complaints from conservatives about Gov. Eric Holcomb’s coronavirus-related orders.

House Bill 1123 would establish a new process for the General Assembly to call itself into a 40-day emergency session to consider legislative action in response to a gubernatorial declaration of a statewide emergency.

That limits a governor’s authority to impose long-lasting emergency restrictions such as mask rules and business closures.

The proposal would additionally give lawmakers more control over federal economic stimulus funds Indiana receives, although the bill does not require legislator to appropriate any of the funds.

The bill passed out of the House 69-27 on Feb. 9. The bill was amended twice in the Senate before Monday’s vote.