September 26, 2023


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Indiana pays nearly $520,000 to law firm for governor’s suit

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana governor’s business office racked up more than $500,000 in legal expenses for its successful court docket battle in opposition to an endeavor by condition legislators to give them selves far more electric power to intervene through public wellbeing emergencies.

The point out has compensated pretty much $520,000 to the Indianapolis regulation firm Lewis Wagner for its illustration of Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb in the lawsuit, according to data from the point out auditor’s business.

Holcomb employed the law agency as Republican condition Attorney General Todd Rokita, whose business commonly represents the condition in courtroom, sided with the GOP-dominated Legislature in the dispute. The law aimed to give legislative leaders authority to call the Basic Assembly into an “emergency session” immediately after the governor declared a statewide unexpected emergency.

The governor’s office referred Friday to previous opinions in which Holcomb said the lawsuit was vital mainly because actions taken by the Legislature less than the law could have been challenged as unlawful and led to “significant uncertainty” in the course of a time of emergency.

“From the beginning, this situation offered essential procedural, statutory and constitutional queries that only the courts could remedy,” Holcomb claimed.

The Indiana Supreme Court docket agreed with Holcomb, issuing a unanimous final decision in early June that the regulation violated the state structure.

The governor’s business office 1st signed a contract with the legislation firm in July 2021 for up to $195,000. That contract was amended in November and June to improve the highest sum to $525,000.

The legal professional general’s place of work, which represented the Legislature in the dispute, did not observe the time its personnel invested on the circumstance or employ any outside the house help, Rokita spokeswoman Molly Craft stated.

Inspite of the condition Supreme Court’s ruling that the law was unconstitutional, Rokita explained in a assertion that the governor’s lawful monthly bill “was a squander of Hoosier taxpayers’ hard-earned funds.”

“As we pointed out in this circumstance, Indiana taxpayers already pay back the workplace of the legal professional general to litigate these types of matters on their behalf,” Rokita said.

The point out Supreme Court’s selection settled the legal combat that lasted a lot more than a year more than the legislation that was a response to Holcomb’s attempts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Holcomb’s legal professionals contended that the state constitution allows only the governor to phone the Legislature into meetings for thing to consider of new legal guidelines outside the house of its once-a-year sessions that start in early January and adjourn by the close of April.


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