Sen. Bray Media Contact: Molly Fishell, Communications Director
Sens. Glick, Holdman Media Contact: Quinton Hayes
STATEHOUSE (Aug. 5, 2022) – The Indiana Senate today passed legislation to protect life, support pregnant and new mothers and their families, provide financial relief for Hoosiers and pay down state debt.
"The issues we have grappled with in this special session are extremely difficult, but we have taken an enormous step forward in protecting unborn lives in our state while ensuring we provide the resources our new and expectant mothers may need," said Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville). "In addition, we were able to help Hoosiers who are struggling due to inflation by way of a $1 billion automatic taxpayer refund while simultaneously taking care of Indiana's own fiscal house."
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. Travis Holdman (R-Markle), work together as a package to protect life and provide assistance for expectant and new mothers and their families.
SB 1 (ss) prohibits abortions except to protect the life or physical health of the mother, in cases where a pregnancy is forced on a woman through the horrific acts of rape and incest, or when an unborn child suffers from a fatal fetal anomaly.
The new law 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 and does not criminalize women seeking an abortion.
SB 1 (ss) does not create any new criminal penalties for doctors who perform abortions – the existing penalty subjecting a doctor to a criminal charge for performing an illegal abortion will remain in place.
"Our mission this special session was to protect the unborn and make clear that we are not here to criminalize women," Glick said. "With the passage of Senate Bill 1 (ss) today, we took a huge step forward in a post-Roe world by ensuring more babies have the right to life. We are also providing women with the support they need before, during and after their pregnancy with the passage of the wraparound services in Senate Bill 2 (ss). Life is precious and we believe we have respected that with the bills we passed into law."
While no one can fully predict the exact financial needs that may exist as Indiana sees an increase in babies born in Indiana, lawmakers recognize the potential need for increased services and are providing $87 million in dedicated spending, flexible spending and tax benefits to support expectant mothers and their families and to ease the financial obligations affiliated with adoption.
Of that spending, $42 million is allocated to programs like the Nurse Family Partnership, Child Care Development Fund, Safety PIN program, Safe Haven baby boxes and Real Alternatives. An additional $45 million is allocated to the newly created Hoosier Families First Fund, which allows the state the flexibility to add funds to programs that help support healthy pregnancies and families.
"We took a tremendous pro-life stance with Senate Bill 2 (ss) with both dedicated and flexible funding that will help pregnant women over the course of their pregnancy and beyond," Holdman said. "This funding can be used for all kinds of programs that support women, children and families. Dollars in the new Hoosier Families First Fund can support anything from pregnancy services, to foster and adoptive care, to Safe Haven baby boxes and more."
SB 2 (ss) also helps make adoption more affordable for Hoosiers by increasing the adoption tax credit to $2,500 for each eligible child and creating a $3,000 income-tax exemption for each adopted dependent. This exemption is on top of the normal $1,500 exemption for all dependents.
Providing financial relief to Hoosiers, paying down debt
In light of the state's strong economic performance, the Indiana Senate voted to return $1 billion to Hoosiers through a second automatic taxpayer refund and lay the groundwork to pay down the state's pension obligations. Under SB 2 (ss), Hoosiers who filed an income tax return can expect to receive an additional $200 per filer in addition to the $125 automatic taxpayer refund authorized in the 2022 regular legislative session.
Under SB 2 (ss), Indiana residents on Social Security who did not qualify for the $125 taxpayer refund triggered in 2021 (because they did not have to file a state tax return by the end of calendar year 2021) can still qualify for the new $200 refund if they file their tax year 2022 income tax return in calendar year 2023. They will receive the payment as a refundable tax credit. This means if the credit exceeds their income, they will receive the remaining credit as a refund.
SB 2 (ss) also provides that if the state ends the current fiscal year on June 30, 2023, with excess reserve funds, up to $1 billion of that surplus would go toward paying down obligations to the pre-1996 Teachers' Retirement Fund. That fund still has an outstanding liability of $9.8 billion.
The new law also caps the sales tax on gas so it cannot exceed 29.5 cents.
"Like all Americans, Hoosiers are feeling inflationary pressures because of liberal policies in Washington, D.C.," Holdman said. "Thanks to more than a decade of fiscally conservative policies in Indiana, our state is in a position where we can help our citizens in meaningful ways and continue to aggressively pay down our long-term pension liabilities. This plan embodies the good financial stewardship Hoosiers have come to expect from the Statehouse."
More information on these bills can be found here.
The bills will now move to Gov. Holcomb's desk for his consideration.
Click here for high-resolution photos of Senate Republicans
BACKGROUND: State lawmakers returned to the Statehouse for a special session on July 25. In light of the historic Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the Indiana General Assembly conducted a two-week special session where lawmakers vetted 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 have concluded by the end of Aug. 14. Archived video of committee and session meetings is available at iga.in.gov.