General Assembly has avoided COVID outbreak, but debated the budget and gubernatorial powers as tempers flared over racial issues.
The Indiana Department of Health told IBJ that the state’s COVID-19 testing data, which has been updated daily since the pandemic began almost a year ago, is limited to information on Indiana residents.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s executive order outlining pandemic-related capacity restrictions based on a county-by-county system will continue through March, as will the public health emergency.
Republican legislative leaders have generally praised Gov. Erric Holcomb’s handling of the pandemic, but they also say lawmakers should be able to provide input in the decisions when an emergency continues for an extended period of time.
Senate Bill 141 would withhold 10% of local income tax revenue from IndyGo until it meets a private fundraising threshold established in a 2014 law. It also would prevent IndyGo from moving forward with expansion projects, like the Blue and Purple lines, until it secures private funding.
The budget, which takes effect in July, would make a handful of one-time investments in small businesses, regional projects, student learning loss, health initiatives, broadband and police training, and it would significantly increase funding for the private school voucher program.
During the Indiana House session on Thursday, a bill concerning school district boundaries that some are calling racist sparked an emotional and angry debate in and out of the chamber.
Senate Bill 141, authored by Sen. Aaron Freeman, R-Indianapolis, would withhold 10% of local income tax revenue from IndyGo until it meets a private fundraising threshold established in a 2014 law.
House Bill 1309, authored by Rep. Karen Engleman, R-Georgetown, will allow employees to request accommodations from their employer—something pregnant workers are already permitted to do.
Senate Enrolled Act 148 prevents all local governments from regulating any aspect of landlord-tenant relationships and blocks tenant protections that the city of Indianapolis had put in place last spring.
The state of Indiana is preparing to launch a new rental and utility assistance program after receiving an additional $372 million in federal funding for that purpose.
Separately, Indiana’s attorney general is facing calls for records surrounding his decision to remain employed as an adviser to a private company while also holding statewide elected office.
The Senate Pensions and Labor Committee on Wednesday discussed Senate Bill 44, which would authorize the Indiana Department of Workforce Development to implement a work-sharing program, but the chairman of the committee refused to vote on the bill.
The Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee on Tuesday night voted 12-0 to approve Senate Bill 407, which would prevent the governor from continuously renewing statewide emergency orders without the approval of the Indiana General Assembly.
The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee on Tuesday amended Senate Bill 168, which would have created a five-member board to oversee and govern the Indianapolis police department, to recommend the issue be discussed in a summer study committee.
Republican Todd Rokita was sworn into office as attorney general in January, but he continues to serve as strategic policy adviser for Apex Benefits, a decision that is being questioned by a government-accountability watchdog group.
Senate Bill 353 would give only the Indiana General Assembly the authority to change the date, time or place of an election.
Researchers who have studied work-share programs—which have been implemented in 28 states—say thousands of Indiana workers have been unnecessarily laid off.
The $36.3 billion two-year budget proposed by the House GOP on Thursday would make a handful of one-time investments in small businesses, regional projects, student learning loss, health initiatives, broadband and police training.