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Senate Republicans detail special session bills to protect life, provide financial relief for Hoosiers

STATEHOUSE (July 20, 2022) – Senate Republicans today provided details on legislation they are introducing in the upcoming special session to protect life, support pregnant and new mothers and their families, and pay down debt while providing financial relief for Hoosiers.

"Senate Republicans are today proposing a package that can provide financial relief to all Hoosiers in multiple ways while continuing to pay down our outstanding debt," said Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville). "In addition, we have an opportunity to protect the lives of unborn children following the historic Supreme Court decision last month. As such, we are introducing legislation that will limit abortions in Indiana while still providing necessary exceptions and boosting support for mothers and babies."

Protecting life, supporting mothers and families
Senate Bill 1 (ss), authored by State Sen. Sue Glick (R-LaGrange), and Senate Bill 2 (ss), authored by State Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen) work together as a package to protect life and provide assistance to expectant and new mothers and their families. SB 1 would prohibit abortions except to protect the life of the mother and in cases where a pregnancy is forced on a woman through the horrific acts of rape and incest.

SB 1 does not affect access to the morning-after pill or any other method of birth control, does not affect treatment of miscarriages, does not affect treatment of ectopic pregnancies, does not affect in-vitro fertilization procedures, does not prohibit ending a pregnancy when the unborn child would not be able to survive due to a fatal fetal anomaly, and does not criminalize women seeking an abortion. SB 1 does not create any new penalties for doctors who perform abortions – the existing penalty that allows a doctor to have his or her license revoked if he or she performs an illegal abortion will remain in place.

"We are not here to criminalize women, we are here to support mothers and help them bring happy and healthy babies to term," Glick said. "We in the pro-life movement have long believed in exceptions to abortion restrictions for the life of the mother, and that is reflected in our legislation. In addition, we recognize there are heartbreaking cases where, because of violence committed against women and young girls, providing some additional exceptions is necessary. That's why the legislation we are introducing provides exceptions for cases of rape and incest, which I believe a majority of Hoosiers support."

While no one can fully predict the exact financial needs that may exist in a post-Roe Indiana in 2022, lawmakers recognize the potential need for increased services and are providing a $50 million initial investment to that end. SB 2 would allocate $45 million to the Hoosier Families First Fund, which would allow the State Budget Agency to distribute funds to the Indiana Department of Health, Indiana Family and Social Services Agency, Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) and Indiana Department of Homeland Security for a variety of programs that can help support healthy pregnancies and families.

Eligible existing and new programs could address:

  • Funding to support the health of pregnant mothers,
  • Pregnancy planning, including addressing barriers to long-acting reversible contraception,
  • Needs of low-income families with children under four years old,
  • Increased access to child care,
  • Support for foster and adoptive care,
  • Programs to prevent children from entering the DCS system,
  • Funding for Safe Haven baby boxes and more.

SB 2 also increases Indiana's adoption tax credit tenfold from $1,000 to $10,000. The adoption tax credit is available to Hoosiers who incur expenses when adopting a child. This change would have an estimated fiscal impact of $5 million.

Providing financial relief to Hoosiers, paying down debt
In light of the state's strong economic performance, Senate Republicans are proposing a $1 billion package that will provide Hoosiers relief on their utility taxes, cap fuel taxes, continue to pay down Indiana's pre-1996 teacher pension obligations and fund planned construction projects.

Senate Bill 3 (ss), authored by State Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle), provides for a six-month suspension of the sales tax on residential utilities, which nearly all Hoosiers pay. This would include the 7% sales tax on electricity, water, gas, and phone bills.

"We have had ongoing discussions about what the best way is to provide relief to Hoosiers in this environment of high inflation," Holdman said. "By suspending the 7% sales tax on residential utilities, we can provide relief to nearly every Hoosier, with an estimated statewide savings of $260 million. This concept would benefit more people than the proposed taxpayer refund, and all of the savings would go to Indiana households."

SB 3 also:

  • Caps the sales tax on gasoline so that as it fluctuates each month, it cannot go above 29.5 cents/gallon through June 30, 2023.
  • Suspends the increase to the gas tax and special fuel tax that took effect on July 1, effective through June 30, 2023. This policy will reduce the gas tax by 1 cent per gallon and the special fuel tax by 2 cents per gallon. In conjunction with the cap on the sales tax on gas, this change means the total taxes drivers pay at the pump cannot increase for the rest of the fiscal year, regardless of how high gas prices get.
  • Provides for a $400 million pay-down of the pre-1996 Teacher's Retirement Fund, which currently has an unfunded liability of $9.8 billion.
  • Provides $215 million to help fund capital projects that were included in the 2021 budget, but that have not moved forward due to skyrocketing construction costs.

Bills being considered during the special session are posted on the Indiana General Assembly's website at Committee and session agendas can also be found on this site. All committee and session meetings are livestreamed and archived at


Click here for high-resolution photos of Senate Republicans

BACKGROUND: State lawmakers are set to return to the Statehouse for a special session on July 25. In light of the historic Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, legislative leaders are anticipating a multi-week special session. Statehouse leaders have said the General Assembly will vet bills through the full legislative process, including committee hearings and public testimony. The special session began on July 6, but state law allows legislators to use up to 40 calendar days to complete a special session, meaning work must conclude by the end of Aug. 14. A Senate special session schedule is set to be released to media and the public today. Updates will also be posted to