2022 Legislative Session Update
A message from Ryan Ritchie, Director of Government Relations
For those of us who have been through a breakup in our personal lives, we know that there are two types of individuals in such situations. You may have been the one who was dumped—the one who leaves the relationship feeling heartbroken and wondering how you will ever move on from such a love. Or you may have been the one who initiated the breakup, feeling that you gave the relationship your all, that you created some fond memories with your ex (and maybe some not-so-fond ones), and now you’re on to bigger and better things. In the end, it all comes down to how you feel about your ex.
Now, you’re probably wondering why RJL Solutions is offering relationship advice, and trust me, that is not a market we will be wading into anytime soon … However, the end of a Legislative Session feels like a breakup every year, and usually we find ourselves feeling like the individual who has been dumped—sad to see the liveliness of the Statehouse wane and our adrenaline levels return to normal. But this year is different. Anyone who navigated this session would probably agree that the relationship with the 2022 Legislative Session was comparable to what we can only imagine a relationship with Ted Bundy was like. So much so that some even say this session “ate them alive.”
With their Sine Die adjournment early Wednesday morning (around 1 a.m.), the Indiana General Assembly wrapped up another short session, largely characterized by debates on education, taxes, local government issues, and the Second Amendment. In the final hours of session, proposals that had failed to make it through the legislative process were shoved into other bills, resulting in a few key bills being killed on the House and Senate floor.
The House and Senate began session with various education bills aimed at curbing Critical Race Theory, a topic that has gained national attention throughout the past few years. While the Senate’s version of the bill died early on, the House’s version (HB 1134) successfully made it through the first half before being killed in the final weeks in the Senate due to lack of support. In addition, bills surrounding materials in schools considered “harmful” to minors were killed throughout the legislative process.
While language from HB 1134 was not placed into any other bills, the language surrounding harmful materials for children was placed in HB 1369, which died by a vote of 21-29 in the Senate.
HB 1002 was coined “the tax cut bill” early on this session, with various provisions to reduce tax cuts for Hoosiers, including cuts to the individual income tax, utility taxes, and the business personal property tax. After making it through the House without hesitation, HB 1002 was immediately met with concerns in the Senate Tax and Fiscal Committee, who stripped the bill and replaced the language with other provisions.
HB 1002 was one of the final bills considered in the House and Senate, with final provisions that cut utility taxes, individual income taxes, and pays down state teacher pension debt. The bill passed both chambers and now heads to the Governor’s desk for signing.
Back in January, a number of bills were introduced in the House and Senate, which caught the attention of local governments across the state. Proposals surrounding local annexations, eminent domain, local taxes, and infrastructure were presented. In all, local governments made it out relatively well, with SB 73, HB 1106, SB 390 and business personal property tax cuts (without replacement revenue) all failing to pass.
HB 1077, the original “constitutional carry” bill, allowed for individuals 18 years of age and older to carry firearms without permits, with certain exceptions for individuals who have past criminal convictions. The bill was met with strong opposition from several firearm safety groups. Additionally, Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter expressed his opposition to the proposal, accusing lawmakers of playing political games. In the end, HB 1077 died; however, the language was later placed into HB 1296, which passed both chambers. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for final signature, which is uncertain at this time.
As I mentioned earlier, this session was unusually tough to navigate, but the RJL Solutions team is proud to have achieved legislative successes for many of our clients. To leave you with one final breakup quote,
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
Our team will continue smiling because we are grateful to work alongside each of our clients for another year. We look forward to a productive spring, summer and fall, preparing for the 2023 budget session next year. In the meantime, please let us know if we can be of assistance to you for any state or federal needs.
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