Senator Donato headshotIn a news release on Friday, Senator Donato said, “This week, I voted in favor of a bill that would allow the General Assembly to play a more active role in decision-making during widespread emergencies.”

Under Senate Bill 407, which passed the Senate with bipartisan support, a state of emergency covering at least 10 counties could not last more than 60 days unless the General Assembly approves an extension. The bill would also create an advisory group of legislative leaders that would confer with and advise the governor during any state of emergency that applies to at least 10 counties.

The Senator said, “We have learned much from the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these lessons is that, when a state of emergency goes on for an extended period of time, it makes sense for Hoosiers to have all branches of their state government involved in making decisions that affect them. Prior to 2020, states of emergency had almost always been for short-term situations like flooding or a tornado. The pandemic has been a different experience, and we need to update our state laws to reflect our new reality.”

Donato continued, “I commend Governor Holcomb for navigating our state through this very difficult and unique challenge. This legislation is meant to adapt our laws to this new experience and is not a criticism of his actions.”

SB 407 now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.