May 10, 2021

Indiana Lawmakers Could Override Local Health Control Veto

The Indiana Statehouse. - WFIU/WTIU

The Indiana Statehouse.

WFIU/WTIU

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana legislators are returning to the Statehouse for a possible vote on overriding the governor’s veto of a bill giving local elected officials the power to block county or city public health orders issued during emergencies.

Lawmakers will have a one-day meeting Monday a little more than two weeks after wrapping up this year’s regular legislative session.

The Senate and House could take up the bill vetoed last week by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb that would require any local public health orders more stringent than those issued by the governor to go before elected county commissioners or city councils for approval. Holcomb said he didn’t want to jeopardize the flexibility of local health officials as work continues to vaccinate more people against COVID-19.

Indiana legislators can override Holcomb’s veto by a simple majority vote in each chamber. Legislative Republicans voted last month to override Holcomb’s veto of another bill giving themselves more authority to intervene during statewide emergencies declared by the governor.

Legislative officials say lawmakers won't take up another bill vetoed by Holcomb that would require additional labeling for Indiana gas pumps that distribute E15, a fuel blend that contains up to 15% ethanol in gasoline. That veto can be considered later before the end of next year's legislative session.

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