Questions arise around Governor’s authority of shutting down the state amid COVID-19 pandemic

Governor Eric Holcomb

INDIANAPOLIS — Some people are questioning whether or not the governor has the authority to essentially shut the entire state down.

On Tuesday, Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) issued a “stay at home” order for all Hoosiers. This means you should not be outside your home unless you are getting groceries, medicine, or for some other essential reason. This also means all “non-essential businesses”, as deemed by the state, must close up entirely.

State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) is not a fan of the order.

“As a small business owner I see all these big businesses allowed to stay open,” he told Hammer and Nigel on 93 WIBC. “I’ve asked the question and I’ve called the state wondering how we are supposed to be flattening the curve when all these big businesses are allowed to stay open but they’re shutting down small businesses.”

All grocery stores, pharmacies, laundromats, and other “essential” businesses can remain open regardless of their size during the shutdown. Fast food and dine-in restaurants can stay open as well but only for carryout and drive-thru services.

All other retail businesses, such as clothing and electronic stores and other “non-essential” businesses, must close down completely.

Lucas said we’re are allowed to not like the order, but he also said Holcomb has every right to issue it.

“I’m not happy with the governor’s orders, but he has full legislative authority to do what he did,” said Lucas. “Article 10, Section 14-3 gives him full authority to do it.”

Lucas said even though he doesn’t like the order he is willing to give Holcomb the “benefit of the doubt” since he said Holcomb knows a lot more about the situation that he does.