2017 Indiana General Assembly Report, Week 14
The House and Senate this past week were both focused on second reading and third reading deadlines. This led to some extended debate on the floor of each chamber as legislators communicated their final views on bills before conference committees begin.
The bill ending Indiana’s net metering programs, Senate Bill 309 was one of the bills that earned extended debate on the House floor Wednesday afternoon. After almost an hour of debate, Speaker Bosma entertained a motion to end debate. While he ultimately chose to continue debate, representatives were cut short and further discussion was essentially curtailed.
Despite bipartisan opposition from both urban and rural representatives, the bill ultimately passed the House by a vote of 56-43.
The author of the bill, Senator Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek) quickly moved to concur to changes the House made on the bill and SB309 was on the Senate’s calendar for another vote on Thursday, though it did not end up being heard. It remains on the calendar for the Monday meeting of the Senate.
House Bill 1519 and Senate Bill 416, which deal with water and wastewater infrastructure, both passed unanimously on Thursday and are now heading back to their chamber of origin. CAC was successful in securing the first ever statutory language in both bills authorizing assistance programs for low-income ratepayers of water and wastewater utilities. This is especially important considering the significant increases that ratepayers of water and wastewater utilities have been faced with in recent years, and will continue to see as Indiana will invest billions in our water and wastewater infrastructure over the next twenty years.
Also headed back to the House for a concurrence motion is House Bill 1471, authored by Rep. Sally Siegrist (R-West Lafayette). HB1471 would transfer the administration of the 211 Connect 2 Help dialing code from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.
As we reported last week, Senate Bill 154 changes asset limits for enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SB154 passed the House unanimously after being amended in committee to lower the asset limit from $10,000 to $5,000 in addition the removal of the self-attestation provision.
Upcoming this Week:
We will be watching SB309 on the Senate floor this week. It is scheduled for a concurrence vote as early as Monday.
A legislative process note:
As a reminder, Governor Eric Holcomb has been receiving bills for his signature or veto. Follow the process with the click of a mouse here. Once the legislation has been signed by both the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tem of the Senate, it heads to the Governor for further action. Once officially received by the Governor, the bill receives up to ten days of consideration. He is allotted ten days to either veto or sign the bill. If the bill does not receive either action, it becomes law without the Governor’s signature after ten days has elapsed.
Lindsay Shipps & Kerwin Olson