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Holcomb mulling whether to sign few remaining bills from 2024 session

Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed all but a few bills lawmakers sent to him in the 2024 session.

Two of the measures left in the balance include controversial provisions involving the state’s public access counselor and a Gary lawsuit against the gun industry.

The public access counselor language was dropped into HB 1338 near the very end of session, with no meaningful opportunity for public comment. It would confine their interpretations of the state’s public access laws to the plain text of the law when issuing advisory opinions.

It also makes them an at-will employee, subject solely to the whims of the governor, who appoints the position. Currently, the public access counselors serve four-year terms.

Holcomb said thousands of state employees are at-will and that he encourages “contrarianism” among his staff.

“You’re getting all perspectives represented,” Holcomb said. “So, I’m hopeful that whoever follows in my footsteps will value that as well.”

READ MORE: Lawmakers do more 'heavy lifting' than expected in 2024 session's short nine weeks

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On the legislation that would end the city of Gary’s 25-year-old lawsuit against gun makers and sellers, Holcomb said he’s reviewing arguments from both sides.

HB 1235 would only allow the attorney general’s office – and no other government entity in the state – to sue the gun industry, even if they do something illegal.

The governor has until March 19 to make a decision on those measures. He can sign the bills, let them become law without his signature or veto them.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.