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Could these bills rise from the dead at the Indiana Statehouse?

Posted at 1:35 PM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 13:39:45-05

INDIANAPOLIS — As the saying goes, nothing is truly dead in the Indiana General Assembly.

Until “sine die,” that is. What is sine die? It’s an insider term that is Latin that’s roughly translated as “that’s all folks.”

This is the part of the legislative session where dead bills sometimes get resurrected. That’s happening this year with what’s known as constitutional carry.

After House Bill 1077 died in the Senate, its language was brought back by a conference committee this week as the new Senate Bill 209.

It’s a process that’s legal and it means the bill could quickly go to both the House and Senate with no more public comment and no amendments.

That would mean no more scolding from Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter, as happened last week.

Gov. Eric Holcomb hasn’t said whether he would sign the bill into law, but it probably doesn’t matter. The Republican supermajority could override his veto with a simple majority vote.

There was concern among teachers and civil rights activists that similar maneuvers would bring back House Bill 1134, the bill aimed at putting restrictions on teachers when it comes to talking about racism and LGBTQ issues in the classroom.

But, for now, HB1134 appears to be remaining dormant.

After the bill’s first death, Senate Pro Tem Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville said there was a chance parts of it could be inserted into other bills by a conference committee.

However, this week, House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, said if that happened, House Republicans would be unlikely to go along with it.

Republicans in the House are still not happy with what they saw as a watering down of the bill in the Senate, which removed some of the rules teachers would have to follow. Senators also took away the possibility that parents could sue teachers over lessons the parents didn’t like.