This week, the Indiana General Assembly reached the halfway point of the 2021 legislative session – meaning the Senate and House of Representatives have chosen which of their bills to hear, amend and vote on. During the second half of session, each chamber will swap bills – the Senate will hear House bills and vice versa.
Of the 411 bills introduced in the Senate this year, 168 were passed. Of those 168 bills, 155, or 92 percent, were passed with bipartisan support. Fifty-two percent were unanimous.
In the coming weeks the Senate will assign the 148 bills passed by the House to committees, where they may be heard. If these bills are passed with no amendments, they will go straight to the governor’s desk. If there are changes to the legislation, the House can either accept the changes, or choose to discuss the bill further in a conference committee.
Conference committees consist of one member of each of the four caucuses. Here, members settle on the final language of the bill before going back to each chamber to vote on the updated bill.
I’m pleased to have had several bills that I authored and supported moving to the House. This includes legislation that would fund virtual instruction in public schools, expand telehealth options, and give Hoosiers more say in regard to local health department orders.
In addition, Senate Enrolled Act 1, which I authored, has now been signed into law by Gov. Holcomb. This law will help businesses, schools, churches, not-for-profit organizations and individuals by giving them immunity for civil damages if someone claims they were exposed to COVID -19 on their property or during an activity they organized.
I am also sponsoring a number of House bills in the Senate, which I will keep you updated on as session continues.
This is a great time for constituents to take a look at the issues the General Assembly is addressing. I encourage you to watch session and committees live, view legislation and more at iga.in.gov.
As always, feel free to contact my office directly with your questions and concerns by email at Senator.Messmer@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.