INDIANAPOLIS — Last week was one of the major deadlines in the Indiana legislative session.
It was the last chance for bills to get head in committees, or they become dead for the session. Here’s a look at a few bills that are dead, and a few that could still become law. Technically, some of these ideas could present themselves as amendments in other bills, but it’s unlikely in these cases. If they weren’t popular enough to pass as bills, they likely aren’t going to be popular as amendments.
Click the title of each bill for previous RTV6 coverage, or more information on the bill.
Senate Bill 436 - Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis
A bill that would require the Marion County prosecutor to charge people for small marijuana was approved this week. Last year, Prosecutor Ryan Mears announced he would no longer charge people with marijuana possession of less than one ounce, citing its lack of impact on violent crime and disproportionally affecting minorities.
But a bill that passed a Senate committee this week would either force him to change his policy, or appoint a special prosecutor for those crimes.
Senate Bill 342 - Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette
Pregnant women in the workplace may get more accommodations from their employer, if an Indiana Senate bill becomes law. The bill would give pregnant workers more frequent breaks, a private non-bathroom space, or assistance with manual labor. It’s one of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s 2020 agenda items, so it’s likely to pass.
House Bill 1001 - Rep. Dale DeVon, R-Granger
Teachers and schools won't be punished for last year's low ILEARN scores. Instead, they will be held harmless. The state switched from ISTEP to ILEARN last year, and scores fell as expected.
House Bill 1070 - Rep. Holli Sullivan, R-Evansville
It could be illegal to hold your phone while driving under a House bill that passed this week. Many advocates showed up to the Statehouse to support the proposal – some who had lost friends or family in distracted driving crashes. The few House members who voted against it said they didn’t want government to play a large role in people’s lives.
Senate Bill 263 - Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle
A Senate bill that would provide funds for Indiana teachers who want to take handgun lessons advanced from a committee this week. Teachers can already carry guns in classrooms under Indiana law, as along as their school corporation allows it. If this bill becomes law, they would have to undergo some training before carrying in schools.
Senate Bill 114 - Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes
A bill to decriminalize marijuana in Indiana died without a hearing. Even though two neighboring states have fully legalized, the Republican leaders in the state haven’t budged on their opposition to any change on this issue.
Senate Bill 421 - Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Gary
Another bill that didn't get heard was a bill to cap a 30-day supply of insulin at $50. But Melton said he’s trying to get the language from the bill into another proposal.
Senate Bill 40 - Sen. John Crane, R-Avon
A proposal to make basketball the official state sport wasn’t heard. In such a short session, side ideas like this weren’t seriously discussed.
House Bill 1089 - Rep. Curt Nisly, R-Goshen
A bill that would criminalize abortions in the state wasn’t heard. The bill would change the definition of “human being” to “having human physical life, regardless of whether the individual has been born.” This would make any abortion murder.
House Bill 1226 - Rep. Carey Hamilton, D-Indianapolis
A proposal to make feminine hygiene products tax-free didn’t get a hearing. The proposal has been pushed in recent years, but it didn’t gain any traction this year. It was estimated that this change would’ve cost the state between $3 million and $5 million per year.