INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The 2020 state legislative session is half over. The Governor has already signed one bill into law, but the rest are either dead or in the balance.
“It’s a short session, we have to focus on what’s critical,” said House Speaker Brian Bosma.
For Republicans, everything from their 2020 priority list is still alive at the Statehouse. That includes holding schools harmless for ILEARN scores, transparency in health care costs, and increasing penalties for those who sell tobacco to people under 21.
“We are on track,” said Bosma.
It’s a different story for state Democrats. They’re still fighting for their agenda.
“We have put forth several amendments dealing with things we wanted to talk about with regards to teacher pay, expanding Pre-K, access to Pre-K, education those sorts of things that we were not successful in,” said House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta.
Democrats also haven’t gotten anywhere with redistricting efforts, lowering prescription drug prices and the fight to decriminalize marijuana in the state.
“We’ll continue to work on these things as bills come over from the Senate,” said GiaQuinta. “We’ll have other opportunities to do that.”
“It’s the wonderful or terrible thing about the legislative process. We’re back here every year,” said Bosma. “So, Representative Huston and his team will have a chance to take up some of these issues and fix them in the future.”
Some other important bills still alive include accommodations for pregnant workers, getting rid of teacher externship requirements and a hand-free device driving law.
Speaker Bosma didn’t think the distracted driving law would get much support but he says he feels differently now.
“I became convinced as I heard statistics, heard personal testimonies, I paid very close attention to my own driving habits in the last three weeks,” said Bosma.
Many of these bills are on third reading next week.
We’ll continue following them as they die or move through both chambers.
So far in 2020, the only bill passed into law is one that would pay for higher education projects in cash to save millions in interest.
For a full list of bills at the Statehouse this year, click here.