INDIANAPOLIS—On Monday, Senate Republicans voted to override Governor Holcomb’s veto of Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 148, which legislates on the relationships between tenants and negligent landlords. SEA 148 preempts local ordinances surrounding tenant-landlord relationships.

This legislation dramatically undercuts local governments across the state as they contend with the historic levels of unemployment and face serious rental housing issues. Governor Holcomb vetoed SEA 148 last March due to the legislation’s broad language and the ongoing pandemic. Today the supermajority overruled the governor’s veto. State Senator Shelli Yoder (D-Bloomington) had the following response to the override of SEA 148:

“Hoosiers who rent deserve safe living conditions protected at every level of government. Today, Senate Republicans called SEA 148 from the 2020 legislative session to a vote to override the governor’s veto. Today’s effort to override the governor’s veto is another example of state government overreach negatively impacting those most vulnerable. I agree with Governor Holcomb that this legislation is too broad and has been presented at the wrong time for Hoosier families.

“Over 700,000 Hoosiers could be at risk of eviction after this override in what some experts worry could be “the most severe housing crisis in United States history.” The impact of an eviction on families and individuals is devastating. Following eviction, a person’s likelihood of experiencing homelessness increases, mental and physical health are diminished, and the probability of obtaining employment declines. Families who are evicted regularly lose their possessions, lose their jobs, and experience higher rates of depression. This puts families into a cycle of poverty hard to escape if they have to constantly come up with the resources for more furniture and more security deposits. If they are missing work to look for housing, to find new child care or because they lost access to transportation when they lost their home – evicted families lose even more access to financial stability. For children, the instability caused by eviction can result in worse outcomes in education, health and future earnings. Instability, like eviction, is particularly damaging to children, who suffer in ways that impact their educational development and well-being for years.”