Indiana News

Indiana lawmakers agree to boost power during emergencies; Holcomb signals veto

The Indiana Statehouse. (WISH Photo, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP/WISH) — Indiana legislators have voted to give themselves more authority to intervene during emergencies declared by the governor.

The votes on Monday in the House and Senate will send the bill to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who has questioned whether the proposal is allowed under the state constitution and said last week he would veto it.

Holcomb has faced criticism from some conservatives over coronavirus restrictions he’s imposed by executive order over the past year.

Republican legislative leaders praise the governor’s actions during the pandemic but say the bill is meant to allow the input of lawmakers during extended emergency situations.

The vote from lawmakers came a day before local officials, instead of state officials, will take control of any limits on the size of gatherings at various venues. Customers in restaurants, bars and nightclubs will no longer be required by the state to be seated, and social distancing and other spacing of seating will still be recommended between parties not from the same household.

Also, Holcomb will lift the state’s mask mandate on Tuesday.