Today the second half begins. House bills and Senate bills which passed the first half of session will now move to the opposite chamber for the entire process to begin again. Session will begin slowly as it did in January so bills may make their way through the committee process. By mid April things will be moving at a rapid pace. The 2021 Legislative session must be completed by constitution by April 30.
Of the 600 House Bills that were filed, 149 passed out of the House on third reading for a passage rate of just under 25%. Whereas, out of the 404 bills filed in the Senate, 167 passed on third reading for a passage rate of 41%!
On the final day of the first the House passed HB1001, Indiana’s 2 year fiscal budget. The budget is approximately 36 billion dollars, an increase of 2 billion over the previous budget without increasing taxes. Indiana’s economy is strong with an unemployment rate in the low 4% range.
The first half included two bills which have been signed into law by Governor Holcomb.
HB1002 which protects small business and schools from civil liability due to COVID 19 so long as those businesses exercise due diligence in protecting customers and patrons.
HB1003 guarantees schools received full funding for students weather in the classroom or in receiving virtual instruction. Previous law provided for 85% of funding for virtual instruction.
HB1006 heads to the Senate. HB 1006 Upholding the Integrity of Law Enforcement (Steuerwald) Passed the House 96-0. Affords the Law Enforcement Training Board greater discretion and ability to decertify officers who have demonstrated a pattern of abuse of their authority. Requires de-escalation training for incoming and current officers. Includes a $70M appropriation for capital improvements to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.Provides funding for body cameras for Indiana law enforcement officers.
HB1032 expands the availability of Safe Haven Baby Boxes to be placed around Indiana. Safe Haven Baby Boxes provide for a mother in crisis an option to carry her baby to full term and allowing the baby to be surrendered in a safe haven baby box anonymously allowing for her baby to be given a chance at a healthy life.
House, Senate, and Congressional Districts must be redrawn in 2021. To do so the General Assembly mush have the 2020 Census Data. Due to COVID 19 this data is delayed in arriving. A special session of the General Assembly will most likely be required sometime in late summer to early fall to draw new districts. A special session must be called by the Governor. The dates for such a special session will be forth coming as information becomes available.
State Representative Randy Frye