Gov. Holcomb vetoes bill related to zoning and housing matters

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks with reporters about the state's coronavirus response on Friday, March 13, 2020, at his Statehouse office in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Tom Davies)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Gov. Eric Holcomb vetoed a bill on Wednesday evening that would have blocked Indiana cities from regulating rental properties.

In a message from Gov. Holcomb, he says he does not believe this is the right time "for such language to become law."

Opponent to Senate Erolled Act No. 148 argue it threatened local protections for tenants and favored landlords.

"Since the Indiana General Assembly adjourned just two weeks ago, circumstances have changed dramatically and I have taken numerous steps to protect Hoosiers from the spread of COVID-19," Holcomb said. "As part of our response, I signed Executive Order 20-06 prohibiting eviction or foreclosure actions involving residential real estate or property to protect Hoosiers during this public health emergency."

The Senate voted 29-19 in favor of a House-Senate agreement on the bill, which the House later approved 64-32.

Following the announcement that Gov. Holcomb vetoed SEA 148, Mayor Joe Hogsett released this statement:

"I want to join voices from around the state in thanking Governor Eric Holcomb for his leadership in rejecting SEA 148. As we confront an unprecedented public health emergency that has cast a dark cloud of economic uncertainty over families across the state, now is not the time to uproot local protections for renters without understanding the consequences.

It is my hope that this action will allow local leaders and the General Assembly to give this topic the attention and time that such a complex, difficult question of public policy deserves. Indianapolis stands ready and willing to participate in these discussions so that we can make the kind of meaningful progress our constituents deserve and rightly demand."

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