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Indiana Legislative Update

Shall the act become law, the Governor’s veto not withstanding? Indiana lawmakers said YES

Indiana lawmakers returned to the Statehouse Tuesday for their regularly scheduled post-session technical corrections day. A technical corrections bill is presented each year after session to address errors or conflicts that are non-substantive and technical in nature and scheduled to go into effect July 1st. On this day, motions to suspend rules in both the House and Senate are proposed in order that the technical corrections bill might be passed in a single day. Sen Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) questioned Tuesday’s departure from procedure, “I understand this is a parliamentary maneuver. I understand an amendment to the bill on second reading would have been out of order, but why are we here today? Why not do what my constituents say – give us relief at the pump? We cannot control how the price of gas is set. What we can control is the state tax on gas. We should consider the suspension of the Indiana gas tax if we really care about the people of the State of Indiana,” exclaimed Lanane. The technical corrections bill, which contained 26 sections – 18 of them resolving conflicts in statute and 6 clarifying code references – passed in the House and Senate without incident.

The Legislative Council met early in the day to determine Interim study committee topics.  “There were 100 studies proposed to be conducted this summer which were narrowed to 32 items,” said veteran Legislative Services Agency deputy director, George Angelone. Of note, Rep Terri Austin (D-Anderson) sought clarification of a Public Policy study regarding the potential decriminalization of marijuana and a “deeper dive” into the use of delta 8 and 9 – pot-like intoxicants – with Austin deeming Courts and Criminal Code or Corrections as more appropriate committees for the study. Sen Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) and Rep Todd Huston (R-Fishers) assured Rep Austin the assignment to Public Policy Committee was a “compromise” to “get it on the agenda.”

In addition to the ho-hum housekeeping duties, GOP Legislators rallied 67-28 in the House and 32-18 in the Senate to override Governor Holcomb’s veto of House Bill 1041.  The controversial transgender sports participation bill which impacts K-12 students captured the attention of the public this previous legislative session. In March, Holcomb issued a statement and vetoed the bill which claims to protect the integrity of girls’ sports, calling it “a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist in Indiana.” 

However, within minutes of the override, a lawsuit was filed by the ACLU against Indianapolis Public Schools on behalf of a 10-year-old transgender girl who will no longer be able to play on her softball team. “This is a policy that we feel is appropriate,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) “We don’t like to get the State of Indiana sued, but it happens from time to time.”

While there are many topics assigned to Interim Committees, those issues/assignments of significant interest to E-REP include:

  • No topics for study were assigned to seven (7) committees, including Agriculture and Natural Resources; Commerce and Economic Development; Employment and Labor; Environmental Affairs; and Public Policy
  • Committee on Fiscal Policy
    • Multiyear review of tax incentives reports from the Legislative Services Agency (expires December 31, 2025)
    • Multiyear review of workforce related programs (expires December 31, 2028)
    • Every even-numbered year, review of tax expenditures (expires December 31, 2023)
    • Formular used for the complexity index in the school funding formula.
  • Housing Task Force (expires January 1, 2023)
    • Review data on housing shortages in IN for low and middle income households. Review state laws that affect the local regulation of housing. Review efforts in other states and municipalities to address housing shortages through changes to zoning and land use restrictions. Consider measures that would encourage increased housing options in IN, including the following: (a) Municipal incentives. (b) State mandates. (c) Eliminating or limiting single family only zones. (d) Allowing greater housing density near transit, jobs, schools, or neighborhood centers.
    • Discrimination in housing appraisals.
  • Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance
    • Joint Review with the Interim Study Committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health, and Human Services on a study of market concentration of the health insurance industry, hospital industry, health care practitioners, retail pharmaceutical industry, pharmacy benefit manager industry, and pharmacy services administration organization industry.
    • Whether a health insurer or health maintenance organization should be required to exempt a participating health care provider from needing to receive prior authorization on a particular health care service if the participating health care provider has continuously needed approval for the health care service for a determined number of months.
  • Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications
    • Implementation and use by electric utilities of the law permitting the securitization of costs for retired electric utility assets, including all issues described in SEA 386 (2021) and HEA 1220 (2021).
  • Committee on Education
    • Multiyear study (expiring January 1, 2023) to eliminate, reduce, or streamline the number of education mandates placed on schools, streamline fiscal and compliance reporting to the general assembly on sustainable and systematic basis, and study provisions listed in IC 20-19-8-3(a)(4)
  • Committee on Roads and Transportation
    • Issuance of driver record cards to persons who meet training, certification, and insurance criteria but are ineligible for driver’s licenses, including the topics of fiscal impact and other anticipated consequences of issuing driving cards to residents of IN who cannot provide proof of identity and lawful status in the US
  • Committee on Corrections and Criminal Code
    • Logistics of ensuring release-ready patients and offenders from IN psychiatric hospitals and the Department of Correction are connected with appropriate care upon release, identification of programs currently in operation to provide care, and funding needed to support care.
  • Administrative Rules Review Task Force (expires December 31, 2022)
    • The following topics concerning transparency in the administrative rulemaking and publication process: (i) The process by which executive branch agencies and the Legislative Service Agency make information concerning proposed and adopted administrative rules (including emergency rules) available to the public. (ii) How agencies use non-rule guidance in their operations. (iii) The number and subjects of administrative and emergency rules. (iv) Whether there are improvements that can be made to increase transparency to the current process for adopting administrative rules (including emergency rules)