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Majority Of Hoosiers Want To Limit Governor's Emergency Powers In New Survey

Gov. Eric Holcomb

Gov. Eric Holcomb has used his emergency powers extensively in 2020 throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

A majority of Hoosiers say the governor’s emergency powers should be more limited according to the latest edition of the Ball State Hoosier survey, a poll of 600 Indiana residents.

Sixty percent of Hoosiers in the survey support changing Indiana law to require the General Assembly approve any extension of a governor’s emergency order beyond 30 days. That includes 56 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Republicans.

Gov. Eric Holcomb has used emergency powers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to, among other things, temporarily shut down some businesses during the "Stay-At-Home" order and require – without enforcement – mask-wearing while in public.

The results come ahead of a likely debate in the 2021 session over many Republican lawmakers’ desire to curtail the governor’s emergency powers.

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on COVID-19 and other statewide issues.

Ball State political scientist and Bowen Center for Public Affairs managing director Charles Taylor said it will be a test of Holcomb’s leadership and sway with the GOP-controlled General Assembly.

“To try and talk them down from any proposals that would severely limit future governors or limit him in his second term,” Taylor said.

Legislative leaders have already said they intend to at least debate the issue.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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