INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers voted Monday to override the governor’s veto of a bill giving local elected officials power over county or city public health orders issued during emergencies.
The Republican-dominated House and Senate both easily approved the new law requiring elected county commissioners or city councils to approve any local health orders that are more stringent than statewide directives if the local measures are to take effect. That would include mask mandates now in place for cities including Indianapolis, South Bend, Elkhart and Bloomington since the statewide mask order expired in early April.
The action to override last week’s veto by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb makes the new law effective immediately. Holcomb said he didn’t want to jeopardize the flexibility of local health officials as work continues to vaccinate more people against COVID-19.
Republican legislators say the proposal is meant to provide a “check and balance” protecting the rights of business owners following complaints about COVID-19 orders closing or limiting businesses that have been imposed over the past year.