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Indiana Legislative Update – Ready or Not: Session Starts Monday      

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The 2024 legislative session won’t start until this coming Monday, January 8, but E-REP members kicked it off this morning at our annual Legislative Preview event. Big thanks to Senator Becker and Representatives Hostettler, McNamara, and O’Brien for taking time to join us and share the issues they’ll be working on this Session and their thoughts on some of the anticipated bills. 

At the event, E-REP also shared their updated Public Policy Priorities and Legislative Priorities for the year. Several of these issues have been featured in Indiana Capital Chronicle articles leading up to the Session, including: making childcare more accessible and affordable; increased public health funding; and health care costs and transparency

The “short session”, convened during non-budget years, must conclude by March 14. In recent weeks, legislative leaders have indicated they intend for the session to be fast-paced and brief with an early adjournment not out of the question.

A few committees have been scheduled for next week, even without bills to be heard having been released to the public. The compact legislative schedule will allow for only 3 committee meetings in the first half. Bills must pass out of committee by January 30 in the House and February 1 in the Senate.

Next week Governor Holcomb will deliver his last legislative agenda and final State of the State speech, but promises this will not be “just a year of ribbon cutting.” Sneak peeks of his upcoming speech include goals to move from the “land and launch” of programs to increasing “awareness and access” across the state. While the Governor has yet to share much of what his legislative agenda will be for 2024, stating, “We are feverishly working on dotting all our i’s and crossing all our t’s,” he emphatically confirmed his support for Republican lawmaker’s focus on education in 2024 and Senate Pro Tem Bray’s intention to “narrow some of the exceptions” that schools currently use to pass 3rd graders who fail to pass IREAD on to higher grades. “It compounds the later you go. It is, in my opinion, less compassionate to set someone up for failure later,” said Holcomb. 

The outgoing Governor has yet to weigh in with an endorsement in the upcoming gubernatorial primary, stating, “Let me first see your plans that have to do with Indiana and how you’re going to improve our field position, and then I’ll make a decision on whether or not I do endorse.”  

Approximately 250 Bills – of the 700+ that we anticipate – have been filed and released to the public. We have reviewed all of them and included any relevant to you on this first bill report. The remainder will be filed before the deadlines next week, so we anticipate most, if not all, will be available to the public by next Friday, January 12th. We will continue to keep you updated as things progress; rest assured your bill report will be much longer next week.

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