Gov. Holcomb vetoes bill limiting local health department actions

Bozz District

Gov. Eric Holcomb vetoed a bill that could have made it more challenging for local health departments to implement COVID-19 business restrictions and require masks. Until this legislative session, Holcomb had only used his veto powers twice. Now he’s vetoed legislation three times this session alone, just the latest sign of […]

Gov. Eric Holcomb vetoed a bill that could have made it more challenging for local health departments to implement COVID-19 business restrictions and require masks.

Until this legislative session, Holcomb had only used his veto powers twice. Now he’s vetoed legislation three times this session alone, just the latest sign of discord between the Republican legislative supermajority and Holcomb, a fellow Republican.

Throughout the pandemic, Holcomb allowed cities and counties to enact more stringent restrictions than his own, a power that Indianapolis especially found necessary to use. 

Senate Bill 5, though, would have required restrictions from those local health departments to be approved by their local legislative bodies and, in the case of local cities, by the mayor. 

In Indianapolis, that means the city-county council and Mayor Joe Hogsett. Opponents to the bill worried that adding that extra level of bureaucracy would cause unnecessary delays in times of emergency. 

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