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What could still become law, halfway through the 2021 legislative session

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Posted at 5:38 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 17:38:19-05

INDIANAPOLIS — We’ve reached the halfway point of the 2021 legislative session, and it’s a good time to check in on some of the bills that have advanced, and some that aren’t going to become law in 2021.

Click each title to read more about the bills.

Still Alive

Potential end to rapid transit for IndyGo

The bill that could spell the end for the Purple and Blue lines in Marion County passed the Senate last week. If it passes, it will create another hurdle for IndyGo to get funding for the two planned upcoming rapid transit projects. Current law states IndyGo must raise a certain amount of money without using taxes or fares. IndyGo has used federal grant money to raise that money, but the proposal would take that ability away.

COVID-19 protections for businesses

Not only is this bill still alive, it’s already been signed into law. The law protects businesses against lawsuits from COVID-19 unless there is gross negligence or willful misconduct. It was supported by many statewide business organizations.

Curbing Holcomb’s powers

Over the last year, Gov. Eric Holcomb has used many executive orders to institute stay-at-home orders, mask mandates and more. State lawmakers say they want to be included in more conversations. The Indiana House passed a bill limiting Holcomb’s ability to declare states of emergency without the legislature.

Dead

Prohibiting defunding the police

A bill that would’ve prohibited Indiana towns and cities from reducing their police department budgets will not become law in 2021. The bill passed a Senate committee, but was overwhelmingly voted down in the full Senate, 37-9.

Marijuana

There were at least six marijuana bills filed in 2021, ranging from medical, decriminalization to fully legalizing. All of them died this year. Holcomb has been very clear that he opposes any efforts to legalize in Indiana.

Pregnancy accommodations for working women

The pregnancy accommodations proposal Holcomb has been wanting for years will not happen in 2021. Instead, a bill that is called pregnancy accommodations is likely to pass, but it will have little impact on pregnant workers in Indiana. The bill gives women the ability to request accommodations from their employer, something they can already do.