So what made this session—which, from the outside at least, looked much like sessions of the past—more enjoyable for lawmakers?
While the General Assembly filled some holes in the law discovered by the increasing use of such services as Airbnb, rental scooters and peer-to-peer vehicle sharing, nothing was done to examine the framework behind some of these popular new concepts.
Pro tip to the new kids on the block: Throw everything you’ve learned about lawmaking in your first session to date (or in fourth grade civics!) out the back door of the Statehouse, buckle your seat belts, and prepare for a ride like you’ve never experienced before.
Ratcheting down an already depressed forecast will make the final week of the session an exercise in cost-cutting and priority-shifting.
Virtually no bill is ever “simple.” And the more an advocate protests about its being so, the more complicated or controversial it tends to be.
House Republicans opted to hash out the hate crimes legislation in a private caucus—just like their Senate counterparts did.
The inter-chamber dynamics are fascinating, but there’s no time for petty politics in shaping this budget.
It seems as though the courts have been more involved in privacy and tech issues than lawmakers have been.
After several years of Republican supermajorities and control of the Governor’s Office, the GOP policy agenda has little remaining that might be as objectionable to Democrats as, for example, right-to-work legislation, which sparked the historic 34-day Democratic walkout in 2011, or the repeal of common construction wage laws in 2015.
Since shaming isn’t Gov. Eric Holcomb’s style and social conservatives have their message heard clearly in the House, the governor’s options for persuading House Republicans to amend the hate crimes bill are limited.
The number and nature of the moving parts involved in the gambling issue in this legislative session are numerous and complex; the opportunities and problems presented are endless.
In the State of the State address, Republicans saw an emphasis on the fundamentals and admirable restraint on spending absent sufficient revenue collections for new programs. But Democrats read into the agenda a lack of boldness and unwillingness to commit dollars where they would offer a bigger return on investment.
Three of the four leaders are “legislative legacies” of sorts, raised with a respect for “the system” and a sense of public service and selflessness.
Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, first elected in 1982, is one of several lawmakers who will not run again. While he’s unfamiliar to most outside Lake County, he leaves a fascinating legacy and one of importance not just in Lake County and the Statehouse, but for people in Indianapolis.
With so many leading lawmakers with long years of experience in conference-committee deliberations leaving and being replaced by those who have played only supporting roles in recent sessions, we’re seeing a change in how conference committees operate.
Now that Hoosiers can purchase alcohol at retail on Sundays thanks to (technically) emergency legislation signed into law even before conference committees had begun to convene, some even question why legislators should stay in Indianapolis through March 14.
Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, is leading the state’s effort to create rules for autonomous vehicle use in Indiana.
Rep. David Ober isn’t destined to remain a lawmaker. He’s asked the IURC Nominating Committee (four former legislators are among its seven members) for its consideration to fill the IURC vacancy.
Contrary to popular public belief, the session’s driving issue is not Sunday-alcohol or cold-beer sales expansion.
With income down $558.3 million from less than a decade ago—and gambling-related employment and state and local tax collections reeling accordingly—some lawmakers are looking to recharge the state’s gambling industry.