STATEHOUSE (Jan. 4, 2022) – Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) today announced the Senate Republican Caucus's legislative priorities for the 2022 session.
"Senate Republicans are prioritizing legislation that will have a positive impact on citizens across Indiana," Bray said. "Our priorities will ensure more Hoosiers are eligible for Indiana's automatic taxpayer refund, prevent schools that had quarantined students from experiencing unforeseen funding cuts, and responsibly end Indiana's state of emergency without affecting our most vulnerable Hoosiers. Though this is a short session, there is much to be done, and Senate Republicans are ready to get to work."
Senate Republicans will be prioritizing the following items for the 2022 session.
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, which will send $545 million back to hardworking Hoosier taxpayers, and $545 million to state pension obligations. Senate Bill 1, authored by State Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) will make adjustments to the current statute so approximately 900,000 additional Hoosiers will be eligible for the state's taxpayer refund.
School funding stability for quarantined students
Under existing Indiana law, school funding for the fall semester of each year is determined based on the number of students enrolled in a school district on a "count day," which fell on Sept. 17 last year. State law also 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, authored by State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond), 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 currently addressed by executive orders 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, authored by State Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), would ensure Indiana can continue receiving the same federal reimbursements for SNAP and Medicaid and maintain the state's ability to hold voluntary community vaccination clinics.
The Senate is set to reconvene Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 1:30 p.m. For more information on the Senate Republican Caucus, visit www.IndianaSenateRepublicans.com.
For a high-resolution photo of Sen. Bray, click here.