2020 Indiana General Assembly Report, Week 6
With the start of the second half of the Indiana General Assembly, the House began its deliberations on bills that were introduced and passed in the Senate and conversely, the Senate began consideration of House bills. It was a quiet week with few committee meetings and very little legislative action, which is a normal sequence of events for the week after a Third Reading deadline.
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.
Many committees have begun hearing their bills but it’s important to remember that only 283 bills out of the original 912 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.
Time's a Tickin'
We are still awaiting news of committee placements for the Coal Bailout, House Bill 1414, and House Bill 1337 which would improve reporting protocols to downstream water users of toxic chemical spills. Neither have received committee assignments yet and with only two weeks of committee meetings left, there’s not much time left in the legislative session. We are also eager to see both lead testing bills move forward: House Bill 1265 by Carolyn Jackson (D-Hammond) provides for statewide lead testing in schools and Senate Bill 214, by Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D-East Chicago) provides for lead testing in Lake County Schools.
Upcoming Next Week
- On Monday we will be monitoring the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee which is hearing a handful of bills we’ve been tracking.
- We will also be attending the House and Senate Utilities Committees as they will be hearing municipal utility legislation and water legislation that’s on the CAC watch list.
Lindsay Haake & Kerwin Olson