2022 Indiana General Assembly Report, Week 6
With the start of the second half of the Indiana General Assembly, the House started its deliberations on bills that were introduced and passed in the Senate and conversely, the Senate started consideration of House bills. It was a quiet week with House and Senate Utilities Committee meetings but otherwise little legislative action.
As a reminder, the second half of the legislative session essentially restarts the legislative process (minus the introduction of any new bills). When bills move to the opposite chamber they can be amended, but the new chamber’s amendments are subject to approval by the originating chamber. If the original chamber refuses to consent to any changes, a conference committee will be formed. Conference committees consist of members from both chambers who work to create a version of the bill that both houses can agree on. Once a bill is approved by both chambers in some fashion, it can then proceed to the Governor for his signature or veto. In total, 161 bills left the Senate and 104 bills left the House.
Many committees have begun hearing their bills but it’s important to remember that only 265 bills out of the original 857 bills are still in contention. While the schedule is slightly more intense, the volume is significantly less so. That said, new language that hasn’t passed either chamber sometimes creeps into bills so we are keeping our ears to the ground and our eyes peeled as the legislative process continues.
This past week we testified on House Bill 1111 which paves the way for IURC discussions of FERC Order 2222. While there were questions amongst the committee, namely Sen. Chip Perfect, regarding its conflict with HB1100, the bill passed the Senate Utilities Committee unanimously. You might recall from our report last week that HB1100 includes the dangerous “no more stringent than language” defeated during previous legislative sessions and invites significant legislative interference in administrative rule makings, which could undermine the current process before agencies like the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, which often include substantial input from stakeholders like CAC. HB1100 has been placed in Sen. Chip Perfect’s Commerce and Technology Committee so we shall see. HB1111 will likely face another vote this week—as early as this coming Thursday.
Also in Senate Utilities Committee last week, was House Bill 1221, Chairman Ed Soliday’s effort to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Sadly, an anti-competition amendment went in during committee and we testified that the bill was much better for consumers as it passed the House. The bill passed Committee and will face another vote as soon as this coming Thursday.
We also monitored the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, which discussed House Bill 1196 at length. HB1196 aims to lessen solar homeowners red tape to gain approval for their solar system with their homeowner associations. While the bill admittedly doesn’t go as far as some may like, it’s a 5-year ongoing brokered deal with the Builders lobby, multiple legislators, including Rep. Mike Speedy (R-Indianapolis), Sen. Aaron Freeman (R, Indianapolis), and Sen. Linda Rogers (R, Granger), and solar advocates living in HOAs. The bill faces a vote as soon as Tuesday in the Senate.
- On Monday we will be testifying on SB265 which is scheduled in House Natural Resources. This legislation was crafted specifically for the proposed carbon sequestration pilot project in Vigo County. In 2021, the bill passed both the House and Senate only to fail in conference committee.
- We will also be attending yet-to-be-scheduled meetings of the House and Senate Utilities Committees.
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Lindsay Haake & Kerwin Olson