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2019 Indiana General Assembly Report, Week 14

The end of the 2019 Indiana General Assembly is finally in sight. This past week we saw the final, full week of committee meetings for this year’s session.

CAC monitored meetings of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Environmental Affairs Committees and the House Utilities Committee in addition to a number of stakeholder and legislator meetings.

We saw the harmful “anti-protest bill,” Senate Bill 471, pass the Senate on its concurrence vote last week despite extensive floor debate. We have been working with an alliance of First Amendment supporters on the bill including the ACLU, Hoosier Environmental Council, the NAACP and many others. Find more on the bill from Indiana Public News Service here and our action alert regarding this precarious legislation here.

We also saw the House Bill 1266 pass the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee. While it was amended in committee to be slightly less harmful, HB 1266 remains a poor excuse for an environmental protection bill. Specifically, the bill focuses on sediment and erosion control in construction sites. Late last week the Senate heard the bill on second reading meaning it could be amended before the entire Senate on the floor. Amendments to improve the bill sadly failed. For more on HB 1266, see the write up from our friends at the Hoosier Environmental Council.

The Senate announced its conferees, meaning its members of the conference committee for Senate Bill 442 which deals with the underground storage of carbon dioxide relating to the proposed Wabash Valley Resources ammonia fertilizer project in Terre Haute. Senators Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute) and David Niezgodski (D-South Bend) will serve on the conference committee. Follow all conference committees here. We await the House’s conferees as we continue our work to advance the best outcome for Indiana consumers and Indiana’s environmental future regarding carbon sequestration.

After awaiting a hearing for weeks, House Bill 1331, the homeowner’s solar bill authored by Rep. Mike Speedy (R-Indianapolis) was heard, amended and passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. It now goes to the full Senate where it may be heard on second reading, meaning it may be amended, as early as Monday.

During the House Utilities Committee meeting we saw Senate Bill 472 amended in a way that would signify a giant shift in utility regulatory policy—in what would be seen as somewhat of a policy coup, it has earned the ire of consumer advocates and utility companies alike. The amendment and bill passed the committee 8-4. The bill will be on second reading, meaning it may be amended as early as Tuesday.

Upcoming this Week

  • Thursday marks a significant deadline in the legislature: third reading deadline is the day by which bills must be voted upon or they will fail to advance. After three months of hard work to either advance or defeat an issue, this point in the process is where the rubber meets the road and many issues’ fates will be dealt.
  • Gaming issues, economic development initiatives and the biennial budget and a handful of other issues that are up against deadlines this coming week.
  • House Bill 1266 will be on third reading, meaning it will be voted on, as soon as Monday.
  • Senate Bill 472 will be on second reading in the House this coming week.
  • House Bill 1331 will be on second reading in the Senate this coming week.

Follow our updates on Facebook and/or Twitter for announcements regarding bills we’ve been following in these weekly reports.

A legislative process note:

A handful of bills are already making their way to Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk. 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.

Respectfully Submitted,
Lindsay Haake

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