Indiana lawmakers use special session to take care of unfinished business

Indiana Statehouse

UPDATE: The House concluded its business just before 1 p.m. and passed five bills to the Senate, who also passed the bills.

  • HB 1230 – School security;
  • HB 1242 – Several tax changes;
  • HB 1316 – Tax changes to comply with new federal law;
  • HB 1457 – Technical corrections;
  • HB 1315 – Muncie/Gary schools takeover.

Previous story:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indiana lawmakers head back to the Statehouse Monday for a special session to take care of some unfinished business.

The one-day gathering is necessary after political bickering at the end of the 2018 legislative session resulted in several bills dying at the last minute.

Due to the chaotic finish, Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a proclamation calling for the special session, which will cost Hoosier taxpayers about $30,000.

One of the bills lawmakers will take up for a vote Monday involves the takeover of Muncie and Gary schools. Both districts face financial difficulties and allegations of mismanagement. The measure would put Muncie schools under control of Ball State University and strip Gary’s school board of power, effectively putting the district under state control.

Legislators will also take up school safety. Holcomb has requested $5 million for school safety improvements after the February shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.

The bill includes a provision that allows schools to keep students in their classrooms and barricade doors for a short time after an unplanned fire alarm. The change is intended to give officials time to investigate the cause of the alarm and make sure it’s not an active shooter situation, as was the case in the Parkland shooting.

In addition, lawmakers are expected to update the state’s tax code in order to bring it into compliance with the federal tax cuts passed earlier this year.

The Indiana House is scheduled to convene at 9 a.m. The Senate goes into session at 1:30 p.m.