2017 Indiana General Assembly Report, Week 9
The deadlines for bills passing their chambers of origin took place this week. If the introduced bill failed to pass its chamber of origin the bill is considered dead. Of the 1,254 bills originally introduced in the beginning of the legislative session, 362 bills moved past their chamber of origin for further action. The House completed work on 3rd reading bills Monday and the Senate finished 3rd reading bills Tuesday.
Late Monday evening, after media deadlines had come and gone, the Senate passed Senate Bill 309 by a vote of 39-9. SB309 ends Indiana’s net metering program. The bill remains a hot potato at the legislature and we anticipate continued interest in the issue. The passage of SB309 comes at the same time Kentucky killed its bill to end residential solar program. Read more about the Kentucky bill here: https://wfpl.org/bill-to-regulate-solar-power-put-on-hold-by-sponsor/
After a few days of sitting on the Senate calendar, Senate Bills 9 and 154 passed the Senate. According to the Indiana Institute for Working Families, SB154 and SB9 increase access to SNAP by allowing those with prior drug felonies who are complying with parole and probation to apply, and raising the asset limit eligibility criteria to $10,000 so families can utilize the short term assistance while still working toward self-sufficiency.
Deadline week came and went without any action on Redistricting Reform. We are part of a large coalition headed up by Common Cause Indiana, calling for comprehensive reform for drawing Indiana’s statehouse and congressional districts in a fair and independent manner. House Bill 1014 was given a hearing but received no vote by Committee Chair Milo Smith (R-Columbus), nor any further discussion on the House floor.
Upcoming This Week
The Senate will lurch out of the gate 9AM Monday morning with preliminary hearings on House Bill 1001, the biennial budget.
We anticipate a steadier course of action since fewer bills are meandering through the process. We plan to continue our steadfast monitoring of all issues we identified throughout the first half of session in addition to maintaining vigilance for any ‘new’ issues that may arise.
Lindsay Shipps & Kerwin Olson