Lawmakers are poised to finish up their regular business this week, but they will have to come back to handle redistricting once census numbers are released.
Here’s where notable bills stand and what you may have missed at the
IndyGo bus rapid transit
Less than a week after Senate Bill 141 died in committee, the
House Bill 1191, which passed out of the
The measure, if passed, would cost IndyGo millions. Senators who oppose the amendment say it’s just another attempt to stop IndyGo’s rapid transit system, which has faced several legislative challenges.
School bus stop safety
A bill that sought to curb the number of drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses has died.
The push has come in the wake of an accident in northern
Holcomb’s emergency powers
House Bill 1123 allows legislative leaders to make the call on whether to bring lawmakers back for a special session if Holcomb declares an emergency. Plus, the bill requires the
Seven department heads from the Holcomb administration had testified against the bill in committee.
Another bill that would limit Holcomb’s rights is also on the way to Holcomb’s desk. Senate Bill 263 would prohibit local governments and Holcomb from restricting the right to worship in-person during an emergency.
Differences between the
The committee added the amendment, which also created a civil penalty for trucks that go off their approved route, to the bill by consent.
Nursing home visitation
Senate Bill 202 is headed to
The proposed legislation would require affected health facilities, such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals, to participate in an existing program that allows caregivers to visit and care for their loved ones. The essential family caregiver program debuted in
The bill also provides immunity for facilities participating in the program, except in cases of “gross negligence or wanton misconduct.”
A bill that provides additional COVID-19 liability protections for nursing homes and other health care providers is headed to Holcomb’s desk after receiving final approval in the House
Supporters say the protections are needed to help health care facilities remain financially viable, but critics say the proposal goes too far in letting nursing homes off the hook for deaths and injuries caused by problems that preceded the pandemic, such as inadequate staffing.
Unemployment insurance fraud
That’s a change from current law, which only penalize people if they receive the payment.
While the bill’s author, Rep.
Earlier this legislative session, both chambers voted to override Gov.
Lawmakers sent a so-called “fix” to Holcomb’s desk, House Bill 1541, to narrow the scope of the act, and nix vague language that prohibits local governments from regulating “any other aspects of the landlord-tenant relationship.”
In a win for tenants-rights advocates, House Bill 1541 was amended to also prohibit landlords from forcing tenants to sign away their rights in a waiver.
But, advocates say even if Holcomb signs the “fix,” it leaves unsolved some of the problems created by the legislation.
House Bill 1156 was signed on
The amended law applies to any state or any individual, partnership, association, limited liability company, corporation, business trust, or other governmental entity or political subdivision that has one or more employees.
While the budget bill will guide education spending for the two years ahead, several other pieces of legislation would deal with school funding for the rest of the current school year.
Nearly identical bills — House Bill 1003 and Senate Bill 2 — have been filed in the
The hope for schools was that the bill ensuring traditionally in-person schools receive full funding for all students — even those receiving instruction virtually — would be passed in time for the annual spring “count day,” on
That finally happened last month and Gov.
School choice will be expanded in
While separate bills were filed with proposals to grow the state’s already robust private school voucher program and create a new Education Scholarship Account option, both were wrapped into the state budget and that’s where
And the Senate ESA is capped at
Debate also is likely over virtual school funding. The
School choice advocates have been lobbying for the change.
COVID-19 learning loss
House Bill 1008 would take
It’s expected that summer learning programs will be much larger than usual this year as schools look to help catch up students who’ve lost class time due to COVID-19. The pandemic has been interrupting instruction for the better part of a year now and early studies show kids are falling behind.
HB 1008, a priority bill for the House majority, has been passed by both chambers and is headed to the governor.
Protection of monuments
A bill that initially began as a move to protect monuments and statues from vandalism now includes greater penalties for rioting and awaits a signature from Gov.
The leaders of the
In its final form, SB 187 directs state police to prioritize the investigation of those who riot or incite violence, destroy monuments or destroy religious property.
Iit also allows the state to withhold discretionary grant funding from local governments that fail to protect public monuments from destruction.
It also absorbs the enhanced penalties for rioting from SB 198, making rioting a Level 6 felony if it results in serious bodily injury or property damage between
Under House Bill 1577 abortion clinics would have to provide information in writing about Progesterone, a drug some anti-abortion groups say can reverse medically-induced abortions, as long as a mother has only taken one of the two required abortion pills.
Not everyone agrees the science behind the reversal pill is sound, including the
House Bill 1577 also would require parents to take an additional step when they write to consent to their minor receiving an abortion: That consent would need to get notarized.
Senate Bill 392 would give the four excluded cities and towns of
The latest amended bill requires the excluded municipalities to conduct a hearing on any proposed amendment to a zone map within the excluded territory. Those excluded cities and towns would now have the power to make the decision regarding changes to the zoning map, rather than the city and county.
That’s good news for cities like
The bill initially required all
5G cell towers
A bill that would ultimately lessen restrictions on 5G cell poles has been returned to the House with amendments.
House Bill 1164, sponsored by Rep.
The bill states that cities can only prohibit a new 5G pole in a public-right-of-way if no above-ground wireless support structure, utility pole or other utility superstructure already exists above ground in an area that was designated strictly for underground utilities before
Poles for 5G internet that were previously approved in underground designated areas do not count as an existing above-ground infrastructure, a relief for neighborhoods that previously only had underground utilities until 5G poles were erected.
Small cell towers, or 5G poles, have drawn the ire of many
A bill sponsored by Democrat Sen. J.D. Ford, D-
A bill from Sen.
Senate Bill 385 will give the city two more years to establish a special taxing district to help pay for the soccer stadium, moving the deadline from 2022 to 2024.
A bill carrying heavier penalties for obstructing emergency vehicles has also died this session after failing to be heard by the House committee on Courts and Criminal Code ahead of the
Senate Bill 194 would have given a felony six charge to any person blocking an emergency vehicle. It applied to any vehicle using a visual or audible emergency signal, responding to an emergency call or in pursuit of a suspect. It also applied to people blocking the entry to a building that provides emergency medical services.
The charge would have been a stricter Level Five felony if the offense results in catastrophic bodily injury or death.
The bill, proposed by Sen.
The bill passed the
The committee pulled language from the bill that would have made it a misdemeanor to provoke a public safety official to commit battery, citing constitutional issues.
A comprehensive bill on rioting will has died after failing to pass out of the House Rules and Legislative Procedures committee.
Senate Bill 198 enhanced penalties for rioting, making it a felony if it results in property damage of at least
It’s one of several pieces of legislation filed in response to the protests in downtown
The bill also required a bail hearing for any person arrested during an unlawful assembly, and allowed the government to seize property used for a crime during an unlawful assembly.
The bill passed the
Holcomb signed Senate Bill 316
The act expands the number of veterans who are eligible for benefits from the
Some veterans groups were opposed to the language because they say it lowers standards to include Bad Conduct discharges and Other Than Honorable discharges. Proponents though, say they just want to help more Hoosier veterans.
The bill also enables money to be used from the fund for its own administration.
Local COVID-19 restrictions
A bill that could make it more challenging for health departments such as the one in
Senate Bill 5 was amended to prohibit local health officials from implementing more stringent restrictions than the state during an emergency order, unless those restrictions are approved by either the local city council or county legislative body.
Driver’s license suspensions
A bill that looks to change how driver’s license suspensions work took another step toward passage on
House Bill 1199 from Rep.
About 330,000 Hoosiers had an active driver’s license suspension in 2019, according to
The bill now heads to the governor’s desk, where there’s little doubt about what will happen next. Making it easier to reinstate licenses was on Gov.
Under House Bill 1369, the license would have been eliminated in
Money was included in the
Holcomb, a Republican, has been pushing lawmakers to pass legislation to force businesses to make certain pregnancy accommodations for women for years.
House Bill 1309 would require businesses to respond in writing in a timely fashion to pregnancy-accommodation requests made by women, but it does not require them to grant those requests. The
Many advocates consider the bill to be a watered down effort that would offer little true support for women. It’s not exactly what Holcomb had in mind, either, but he indicated he would sign it.
City name changes
A proposal that would have made it more challenging for some cities to change their names is now dead after it never received a committee vote in the
Senate Bill 130 would have required those interested in changing the name of cities named in
The bill previously passed the
A Republican-backed bill that would have made it more challenging for third party candidates to get on the ballot in
House Bill 1134 was written so narrowly it would have only applied to Libertarian candidates, based on past election results. The bill would have required candidates from parties that receive between 2% and 10% of the vote in the secretary of state race to acquire at least 4,500 petition signatures, including 500 from every Congressional district, to be included on the subsequent general election ballot for governor and
Within days of the publication of an IndyStar story on ethical issues surrounding a housing standards bill, it was pulled from the House calendar.
House Bill 1114, authored by
Robot delivery devices
House Bill 1072 creates a framework for local governments that want to allow the technology, which remains largely in development phases.
FedEx and Amazon are both developing their own robots. They supported the bill.
De-escalation training for police
It also establishes a procedure allowing the
The bill also allots
Authored by Rep.
Police use of force
An amended version of Senate Bill 311, authored by Sen.
The original version of SB 311 aimed to prohibit municipalities from banning or restricting use of force options, like chokeholds. It also would have allowed officers to disregard the department’s use of force continuum “based upon the officer’s determination of what is reasonable and necessary under the totality of the circumstances.”
Public safety budgets
A bill that aimed to limit when local governments can reduce public safety funding was defeated on the
A similar House Bill, HB 1327, authored by Rep.
Police department administration
Senate Bill 394, authored by Sen.
The proposal was in response to
Law enforcement officer misconduct database
Authored by Sen.
The bill died on the
IMPD oversight board
Senate Bill 168, which would have created a state oversight board for IMPD, was referred to summer study earlier this session. That means the bill, authored by Sen.
The original proposal called for the governor to appoint four people to a board with controls over IMPD, with the mayor of
An amendment changed who would appoint the board members, with the governor getting just one appointment, and one appointment each to the
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