IBLC urges General Assembly, Governor to collaborate following veto override
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC) denounced the General Assembly's decision today to override Governor Holcomb's veto of House Bill 1123 as stoking division within the Statehouse and delaying the state's responsiveness to emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.
By overriding the Governor's veto, the General Assembly has claimed the power to call themselves into a special session during a state of emergency and respond to the Governor's actions to address that emergency or disaster. The bill also creates a separate state fund to hold American Rescue Plan funds, which allows the General Assembly to allocate the money as they, not the Governor, see fit.
“In an emergency, you need to be able to react quickly and obviously one person is able to take action far more quickly than 150,” State Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis), Chair of the IBLC, said.
“It's one thing to want a seat at the table, but another thing entirely to strip the power of an elected official. This bill was born out of a desire for power, and that kind of behavior works against the interest of the people of Indiana.
“The IBLC has relied on collaboration and compromise to achieve our goals and improve the lives of Black and brown Hoosiers. While we certainly don't agree on everything, Governor Holcomb has taken the time to sit down with us and hear our concerns. Instead of creating more division and wasting taxpayer money on spiteful lawsuits, the General Assembly should be taking steps to create open lines of communication between branches and promoting unity within the Statehouse.
“We are here to serve the people of Indiana. The future holds many unknowns, but we will certainly be faced with challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic again. We owe it to Hoosiers to be prepared and united in order to provide them with the protection and support they need in a timely manner.”
Opponents of the bill, including Governor Holcomb himself, have expressed concerns about HB 1123's constitutionality, and it is expected that the law will be taken to court.