House Democrats prioritize Hoosier safety over Republican infighting
INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana House Democrats today voted against the override of Governor Holcomb’s veto on Senate Enrolled Act 5, which seeks to undermine local health officials and could slow down important safety decisions during a public health emergency.
“House Democrats have listened as local health officials stated their cases against this bill; we’ve listened as our very own Rep. Rita Fleming, a retired doctor, spoke during session about why this bill was a bad idea, and we’ve listened as Governor Holcomb explained his reasoning for vetoing this dangerous legislation,” House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) said. “It’s simply irresponsible to continue to work against the opinions of those who know best how to navigate public health emergencies.
“The scariest part of this bill is the way it would slow down statewide orders and, in effect, slow down Indiana’s recovery from this deadly pandemic. We all want to get through this as quickly as possible, but freezing restrictions against the expert guidance of the Indiana State Department of Health and the governor isn’t the answer.”
The process of overturning the governor’s vetoes has been a popular move by Republicans this year; Senate Bill 5 being the third override this session. Senate Bill 148, for which veto the General Assembly overrode earlier this session, was the first veto overridden since Holcomb assumed office in 2017.
“It should be emphasized that these overrides are not common practice, and it’s a shame that so much time has been wasted on bills that will probably do Indiana more harm than good at the end of the day,” GiaQuinta added. “Our job as legislators is to listen to our constituents and adhere to the guidance of experts when we draft and pass legislation. We feel our colleagues have turned their backs on that and have forced through legislation that will risk the safety of Hoosiers across Indiana.”
Holcomb’s veto was overturned in the House with a vote of 59-30. The act will go into effect immediately.