Thursday, January 6, 2022
This week, the General Assembly reconvened at the Statehouse for the 2022 legislative session. Senate Republicans announced the following as priority bills for this year.
Make more Hoosiers eligible for the taxpayer refund
Current Indiana law provides for an automatic taxpayer refund when state reserves hit high levels. When Indiana closed out fiscal year 2021, Indiana’s automatic taxpayer refund was triggered, sending $545 million back to hardworking Hoosier taxpayers, and $545 million to state pension obligations. Senate Bill 1 would adjust the current statute to make approximately 900,000 additional Hoosiers eligible for the state’s taxpayer refund.
School funding stability for quarantined students
State law dictates that schools receive 85% of the regular foundation funding amount for students who receive at least half of their education virtually. Due to quarantine rules and the spread of COVID-19 in the fall, many schools were set to receive less funding than anticipated due to quarantined students having to learn virtually. Senate Bill 2 would ensure schools receive full funding for children who were considered virtual students during the fall of 2021 because they had to quarantine at the start of the school year.
Responsibly end Indiana's public health emergency
Legislative leaders, in conjunction with the governor, previously identified several remaining issues that need to be addressed through legislation so the public health emergency can be ended in Indiana without causing undue harm to Hoosiers. Senate Bill 3 would ensure Indiana can continue receiving the same federal reimbursements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid while also maintaining the state’s ability to hold voluntary community vaccination clinics.
While this is by no means a comprehensive list of all that is on the table this session, these are the biggest issues Senate Republicans are looking to resolve. To see all of the bills introduced so far, click here.