As we head into the final days of 2021 and prepare for the upcoming legislative session, we find ourselves immensely proud of what we accomplished alongside our clients throughout the past year. With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to sit back, enjoy good food amidst the company of your loved ones and fill your days with much-deserved rest and relaxation. And while you’re sitting back enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate (or whatever drink makes your days “merry and bright”), the RJL Government Relations team will be reading EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. of the hundreds of legislative proposals drafted up by our legislators. That’s right, while you deck your halls with boughs of holly, we’re decking ours with bill drafts and Indiana State Code books.
Throughout the legislative session, our Government Relations team monitors all legislative activities and advocates on behalf of our clients at the Statehouse. Leading the charge will be:
Collectively, our team boasts a deep knowledge of state and federal policy, a vast network of established relationships and a fierce drive to tackle even the most daunting legislative endeavors on behalf of our clients.
As the 2022 legislative session nears, we reflect on the wins and losses, the highs and lows and the many challenges and blessings that the 2021 session brought us. Beginning in January, the General Assembly kicked off a legislative session marred by debates surrounding public health and budgetary proposals. Over the following months, the legislature debated and passed proposals limiting the executive branch’s authority in public health emergencies, tackled the redistricting process, and passed the biannual budget. The budget, especially, received ample attention due to the number of notable initiatives included in it, such as the $500 million Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) grant program, the $1.9 billion increase in K-12 funding, $40 million to increase wages for direct support professionals (DSPs) and $250 million for expanding broadband in underserved areas. Shored up by money available through the Federal Government, Indiana was successful in retaining a balanced budget with a strong rainy-day fund.
Looking to the future, the 2022 legislative session is expected to be swift, busy and turbulent. The word on the street (or in the hallway) is that legislators are planning to address medical billing issues, the federal vaccine mandate, education issues (making schoolboards partisan), repealing/reducing certain tax liabilities (business personal property tax) and workforce issues. Since 2022 will be a short session (i.e. not a budget session), we expect these topics to be hotly debated and acted upon in a rather short period of time. If things pan out as expected, session could end early/mid March.
If we haven’t completely knocked your stockings off by now, you’re in luck! As with every legislative session, there will undoubtedly be other major items that the General Assembly will address in 2022. Both the House and Senate met on November 16th for Organization Day, the ceremonial first day of session, and began creating their agendas for the upcoming year. Over the next two months, legislators will file their bills (a maximum of five in the House and ten in the Senate per legislator) which will be posted to the General Assembly’s website. While our team will be reading through each of these bills and informing you of proposals relevant to your industry, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or special requests.
On behalf of our entire team at RJL Solutions, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and look forward to continuing our partnership with you over the next year.