Gov. Holcomb vetoes bill limiting local health orders

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks after being sworn in during an inaugural ceremony at the Indiana State Museum, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Eric Holcomb has vetoed a bill that would limit the authority of county or city health departments by allowing local elected officials to block public health orders issued during emergencies.

Holcomb said in a veto message Tuesday that the time wasn’t right to jeopardize the flexibility of local health officials as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and work continues to vaccinate more people.

Legislative Republican supporters said the step was meant to provide a “check and balance” following complaints about COVID-19 orders closing or limiting businesses. Indiana legislators can override Holcomb’s veto by a simple majority vote in each chamber.