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Bill Watch

Bill Watch

Bill Watch is a service of the IndyBar Legislative Committee. During each week of the legislative session, the IndyBar will distribute an updated report, through the support of Faegre Baker Daniels, to its members indicating the progress and recent actions taken on the bills being monitored by the association.

Bill Tracking Reports:
Practice of Law Bill Report
Areas of Law Bill Report

Please contact Legislative Committee Chair Lawren Mills with any questions or concerns.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced on Monday that he will call a special session in May and is asking the legislature to address five issues:

Schools and school safety

  • Increase funding for the Indiana Secured School Fund by $5 million now and in FY19
  • Allow school corps to obtain funding advances for school security equipment and capital purchase
  • Provide Muncie Community School Corporation with one-time $12 million loan from Common School Fund

Federal compliance issues

  • Conform with federal tax reform changes by updating state’s conformity date to Feb. 11, 2018
  • Comply with IRS rules to protect federal taxpayer information and assure access to federal tax data

You can read a more thorough explanation for the Governors call for a special session here.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The 2018 legislative session concluded on Wednesday, March 14, with legislators working just a few minutes past the midnight deadline. All bills which passed out of both chambers are headed to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. You can monitor bills that have been sent to Governor Holcomb here.

Friday, March 9, 2018

This week was a busy week at the Indiana Statehouse as the third reading deadline passed in both the House and Senate. Each chamber is now in the process of scheduling bills for conference committees or voting on concurrences. If bills were amended in the second chamber, the author decides whether to file a motion to concur with the changes or to file a motion to dissent to the changes. If the author concurs with the amendments, the original chamber votes on the concurrence. If the author files a motion to dissent with the changes, the bill can be scheduled for a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate version of the bill. If the two chambers cannot come to an agreement, the bill dies.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Conferences committees will begin next week. If bills are amended in the second chamber, the author decides whether to file a motion to concur with the changes or to file a motion to dissent on the changes. If there is a concurrence motion, the original chamber votes on the concurrence. If there is a dissent motion, the bill can be schedule for conference committee to reconcile the differences.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Senate Bill 1, a measure allowing Sunday carryout alcohol sales, is on its way to Governor Eric Holcomb who is expected to sign the bill next week. The bill allows Indiana residents to buy carryout alcohol from grocery, drug, convenience and liquor stores from noon to 8 p.m.  Sunday sales could start as soon as Sunday, March 4 because the bill was amended making it law as soon as it is signed. The bill passed out of the House 82-10 and concurred in the Senate 38-10. Governor Holcomb said he plans to sign the bill and promised not to let "too many Sundays pass” before he does.

Conference committees are scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 6. In a conference committee, one member of each caucus conferences to discuss and create a final version of a bill that the House and Senate can agree on. The bill is then sent to both floors for a final vote. If the bill does not move out of conference committee, or if the bill fails either floor vote, the bill is dead.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Brian Buchanan (R- Lebanon) became the State Senator for Senate District 7 after taking the oath of office on Monday. Senator Buchanan fills the seat previously held by Senator Brandt Hershman, who resigned to take a job in Washington, D.C. Prior to winning the competitive caucus race for the senate seat, he was a Boone County Councilman. In his first official statement as an Indiana State Senator, Senator Buchanan stated he is “ready for this challenge and eager to get to work.” He was appointed to the following committees: Agriculture, Natural Resources, Local Government, Utilities, and Commerce and Technology.

On Tuesday, Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) surprisingly announced that he plans to retire from his seat on November 6th, the day of the General Election. Senator Long served as the Senate Pro Tem for the last twelve years and the Indiana Senate for twenty-two years.  Some of Senator Long’s notable accomplishments include property tax caps, the reduction or elimination of numerous other taxes, Right-to-Work and balanced budgets for 13 consecutive years. The Indiana Republican Party will schedule a caucus to select his replacement.

Friday, February 9, 2018

In a statement given by Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long, he highlighted the Senates passage of crucial legislation concerning the opioid epidemic, improvement of workforce development efforts, and support for Indiana schools. He also mentioned the passage of bills improving civil forfeiture laws and allowing the carryout sale of alcohol on Sundays. Senator Long expressed that he is pleased with the work of the Senate so far, but noted that there is still much more work to be done in this short session.

In a post session interview, House Minority Leader Terry Goodin and Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane spoke on their disappointment in the first half of the session. Representative Goodin commented on the lack of bipartisanship taking place, noting that only 8 of the 138 bills passed had democrat lead authors. Senator Lanane commented on the poor priorities of the general assembly claiming they put issues like Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages ahead of more pressing issues such as hate crime legislation and redistricting reform. Both elected officials ended their comments by stating they are hopeful the second half of the session will bring about more bipartisanship.

Friday, February 2, 2018

This week was the last week for committees to meet in the first half. Any bill that did not pass out of committee is now dead. We anticipate a busy week next week with more deadlines approaching in each chamber. After the second and third reading deadlines pass, the legislature will break and return the week of February 12, when adopted bills will start to be heard in committees in the opposite chamber.

Friday, January 26, 2018

This week, the General Assembly entered the fourth week of session. Committees are moving along and bills are being passed to the floor for a full vote. Next week will be the last chance for bills to be heard in committee during the first half.

Friday, January 19, 2018

This week, the General Assembly entered the third week of session. Bill filing has ended in the House and Senate, and committees have been hard at work hearing a number of bills. We anticipate a full slate of bills being heard in the next couple of weeks with several deadlines approaching.

Friday, January 12, 2018

This week, the Indiana General Assembly entered the second week of session. Things are moving quickly in both chambers with just over three weeks until the third reading deadline in this short session.

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Indiana General Assembly convened for the 2018 session on Tuesday, January 2. This session is a short session meaning the legislature will adjourn no later than March 14, and it does not include passing a state budget.

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