AG Hill says Gov. Holcomb doesn't have authority for mask mandate
Attorney General Curtis Hill issued an opinion Wednesday evening that says Governor Eric Holcomb doesn't have the authority to issue a mask mandate or penalties for violation of the mandate.
Gov. Holcomb announced Wednesday he would be signing an Executive Order requiring all Hoosiers to wear a mask when out in public in places where social distancing was not possible. He said violations of the order would be a Class B misdemeanor.
The Executive Order has not been posted to the state's website.
Hill issued the opinion that the governor lacked that authority in response to questions from five Indiana senators.
The opinion states that although the governor has additional powers under the Emergency Management and Disaster Law, it does not give him the authority to create new laws with criminal penalties.
He states the General Assembly cannot grant the governor the right to create laws, and even if they did, it would be unconstitutional.
Hill states if the governor wants the mask mandate to become law, he should call a special session of the General Assembly.