2019 session halftime update

2019 session halftime update

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

This week marks the halfway point for the 2019 legislative session, meaning the Senate and House of Representatives will now consider legislation passed by the opposite chamber.

Of the 636 bills introduced in the Senate, 218, or 34 percent, passed.

Additionally, of the number of bills passed, 125, or 57 percent, passed with unanimous support, and 195, or 89 percent, passed with bipartisan support.

At the start of the 2019 session, the Senate Republican Caucus announced its legislative priorities. Now, at the midpoint, the Senate has passed a number of bills to address these and other issues.

Here are some of the major issues the Senate discussed during the first half of session, along with legislation passed to address the issues.

Improving the foster care system

  • Senate Bill 1 would help address the concerns of foster parents dealing with the court system and provide support for Department of Child Services caseworkers.

Fighting our state’s opioid epidemic

  • Senate Bill 33 would create a grant fund to support the establishment of Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Centers, which would offer a full range of treatment options to those struggling with drug abuse.
  • Senate Bill 141 would place sensible regulations on Office-Based Opioid Treatment providers to ensure legally dispensed opioids are not diverted for illegal use.
  • Senate Bill 519 would create stronger penalties for professional drug traffickers by allowing prosecutors to “stack” the amount of drugs dealt in a 90-day period.

Expanding tax credit for Hoosier teachers

  • Senate Bill 362 would increase the school-supply tax credit for Hoosier teachers from $100 to $500.

Providing a local option for school-safety funding

  • Senate Bill 127 would allow schools to seek a property tax referendum specifically to fund school safety, and expand how schools can use Secured School Safety Grants from the state.

Improving school bus safety

  • Senate Bill 2 would require schools to limit the number of bus stops where children must cross high-speed highways as well as increase criminal penalties for drivers who fail to stop when a school bus stop arm is extended.

Additionally, during the second half of session, 201 House bills will be coming to the Senate.

Several of the major issues coming to the Senate in the second half that senators will discuss include Indiana’s state budget, workforce-development reforms and tracking school spending.

For more information on legislation moving through the General Assembly, click here.