A Note from Our Lobbyist
At roughly 12:30am Wednesday morning, March 9, 2022, the legislative session came to a close. Of the thousands of bills offered at the beginning of session, roughly 200 made it to the finish line. Some bills of note:
HB 1002: This was the state tax bill that dealt with various tax situations, including lowering income taxes by roughly 2%. The bill passed both houses and should be signed by the Governor shortly. Taxpayers should see benefits from this bill in 2024.
HB 1294: This was the restraint of pregnant inmates bill. After being brought to our attention by an IMAN Associates board member, we got involved and worked with the bill's author Rep. Flemming to help its passage. It requires pregnant women in jail to be the least amount restrained possible if at all. This bill brought us in line with Federal rules. The bill received no "No" votes in the House or Senate and was signed into law by the governor on Thursday. A huge win for pregnant Hoosiers, and Rep. Flemming was thankful for IMAN's support and involvement.
HB 1361 and HB1410: These were the TANF and SNAP bills. 1361 ended up passing with language that includes eligibility requirements for the Federal Child Care Development Fund. 1410 passed after extensive work by IMAN Associates and many other groups to make the bill less onerous to effected groups. Ideally, we would have liked these unnecessary bills to have died, but we were able to make some headway and get the bills in a better place. This is an issue that will probably be in a summer study committee and we will continue to fight for citizens to get the emergency help they need.
HB 1369: This bill ended up with many other pieces of legislation that were having issues with passage. 1369 ended up including language that would dictate what types of media educations facilities can have, a study language on delta 8, and the remains of a handful of other bills. It passed the House but died in the Senate.
After a convoluted journey, constitutional carry language passed both the Senate and the House. We join roughly 20 other states with this language, although there was concern from some law enforcement groups. I believe the governor will sign this but it's worth keeping an eye on.
In the final hours 100 legislators wrote a letter to the Governor to hold a special session this summer if the Supreme Court fully or partially overturns Roe V. Wade, a decision dealing with abortion rights. We will keep an eye on further developments on this.
A major issue for IMAN Associates this year was helping our allies from Afghanistan as they transition to life here in Indiana. Over the course of the session, we brought attention to this issue and fought to get legislation passed that would continue to shine a light on these folks in need as their transition continues. Unfortunately that bill didn't get a hearing, but we are continuing to fight for our new neighbors throughout the rest of the year. We've received support on this issue from multiple Reps and Senators, including a Point of Personal Privilege from Sen. Qaddoura on the Senate floor this past Tuesday. We will continue to work on this issue with the legislature and executive agencies and should have more news soon.
While we didn't get every win we would have liked, the legislators increasingly know of IMAN Associates and our mission and we will continue to successfully build alliances and assist the legislators and state executives as they create sound policy for the state.
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