INDIANAPOLIS ─ Today the Senate voted to override Governor Holcomb’s veto of Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 5. SEA 5 says that if a local order addresses an aspect of a declared emergency that is not addressed by an executive order or if a local order addresses an aspect of a declared emergency more stringently than an executive order, the local order cannot be put into place unless it is approved by the local legislative body.

SEA 5 also allows businesses to ignore public health enforcement actions issued by their locally appointed public health officers and legislative bodies if they choose to challenge the action. Challengers would be free to disregard emergency enforcement actions until their challenge is heard by a local government body.

State Senator J.D. Ford (D─Indianapolis) had the following response on the override of the governor’s veto:

“Once again, we are called on to referee a food fight between Statehouse Republicans and the governor,” said Sen. Ford. “I’m disappointed that we were called back, barely two weeks since wrapping up our regularly scheduled session, to override the governor’s veto of SEA 5 under the guise of passing a technical corrections bill. We sure are starting to act like a full-time legislature.

“Undoing this veto means undoing the important work our public health officials have done to keep us safe this past year. Overriding this veto will have consequences, whether they be intended or unintended, and those consequences will have an immediate impact on the vitality of our communities.

“I support and value the work of experienced public health professionals and follow the science. The bottom line is this: my colleagues do not want to follow the public health orders put into place by responsible leaders. Wearing masks has saved more lives than we will never even know. I simply cannot jeopardize Hoosiers’ lives, and that’s why I voted to sustain Governor Holcomb’s veto.”