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2020 Legislative Session

Lawmakers are expected to touch on big topics like teacher issues, vaping regulations and road safety in this year's legislative session.

It's slated to end in mid-March, and Republicans are insistent they don’t want to re-open the state budget this year – unless it’s for their priorities.

Also on the list of priorities are Indiana’s high health care costs. Lawmakers expect to pass a bill for transparency in medical prices and a ban on surprise billing – where patients, for instance, find out after a procedure that one of the doctors was out-of-network.

New This Week

Mar 11, 2020

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Indiana Lawmakers Aiming To Wrap Up This Year's Session

Indiana lawmakers are aiming to reach final agreements on numerous bills Wednesday during the expected final day of this year’s legislative session.

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Mar 11, 2020

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Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne).

Fetal Remains Bill Sent To Governor; Only Abortion Bill Of 2020 Session

The measure builds on a 2016 law upheld last year by the U.S. Supreme Court that requires medical facilities to bury or cremate fetal remains, not dispose of them as medical waste.

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All Statehouse Coverage

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March 13, 2020

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Indiana Statehouse

Tougher Indiana Law On Under-18 Marriages Wins Approval

Anyone younger than 18 will need a judge’s permission in order to get married in Indiana under a law change approved by state legislators.

March 12, 2020

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A small wetland in Marshall County, 2005.

Environmentalists To Governor: Veto Bill On Drain Maintenance In Wetlands

The bill aims to help local governments cut costs by allowing them to fix or reconstruct a drain in a state wetland without a permit from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

March 12, 2020

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Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) and Rep. Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) discuss the 2020 legislative session.

Legislative Leaders Split On Good And Bad Of 2020 Session

Republican legislative leaders say Indiana made huge gains in health care and education in the 2020 legislative session. But Democrats decry missed opportunities.

March 12, 2020

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Bill To Raise Smoking Age To 21 Headed To Governor

Indiana’s legal age to smoke and vape will soon be 21, in alignment with federal law. Legislation sent to the governor Wednesday also increases fines on retailers who sell to those underage.

March 12, 2020

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Bray

Senate Republicans Kill Bill Over AG Eligibility, Protecting Curtis Hill

Confusion remains over whether Attorney General Curtis Hill will keep his job if his law license is suspended. That’s because Senate Republicans couldn’t agree to a bill on the issue as the 2020 legislative session ended.

March 12, 2020

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doctorcomputer.jpg

Surprise Billing Legislation Passes, Some Say It Wont Reduce Health Care Costs

HB 1004 would ensure patients will not face unexpected charges if they go to an in-network hospital but a service is done by an out-of-network doctor.

March 11, 2020

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longbeach_janzen.jpg

Lake Michigan Beach Access Language Added To Bill Headed To Governor

Legislation that secures the public’s right to access Lake Michigan beaches in front of private property is back on the table. Lawmakers snuck in language from a bill that failed earlier this session.

March 11, 2020

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A generic image of soybeans in a field.

Bill Increasing Pesticide Fines Turns Into Working Group

Lawmakers voted to send a bill to the governor on Wednesday that would create a working group to look into penalties for misusing pesticides.

March 11, 2020

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New licenses

Indiana AG Says State Agencies Can't Use Nonbinary Marker

Indiana's attorney general says agencies are not allowed to use an “X” gender designation on identification cards for residents who don't identify as male or female.

March 11, 2020

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An image of Republican Rep. Ed Soliday.

Controversial Coal Bill Awaits Holcomb's Signature

The current version of the bill only requires utilities to note planned coal plant closures in their long-term energy plans called IRPs or integrated resource plans.

March 10, 2020

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talking while driving

Hands-Free Driving Law Heads To Governor

Indiana is just the stroke of a pen away from becoming the 22nd state to ban cell phone use while driving unless hands-free.

March 10, 2020

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Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa.

Todd Huston Sworn In As Indiana's Newest House Speaker

There was a changing of the guard at the Statehouse Monday as Rep. Todd Huston (R-Fishers) became the new Speaker of the Indiana House.

March 9, 2020

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Purdue University professor Andrew Whelton.

Purdue Professor: Lead In Schools Bill Won't Protect Kids

A bill headed for Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk would require schools to test for lead in drinking water. But a Purdue University professor says the bill won’t protect kids.

March 9, 2020

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statehouse at night

2020 Legislative Session Likely To Wrap Up Wednesday

Indiana lawmakers are preparing to finish the 2020 session this week a few days ahead of when state law says they have to.

March 6, 2020

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The Indiana Statehouse.

Here's What Lawmakers Are Doing About The Multi-Million Dollar Virtual School Scandal

An official report reveals just how much two virtual charter schools falsified student enrollment data to receive millions in state funding. Now lawmakers are responding.

March 6, 2020

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The Indiana Statehouse at night.

Weekly Statehouse Update: Charter School Referenda Sharing, Youth Labor Changes

Language that could remove AG Curtis Hill from office clears the House, an unexpected change to school referendum money passes the Senate and a bill easing restrictions on child labor is headed to the governor.

March 6, 2020

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curtis hill walks

Indiana Governor Backs Path For Forcing Out Attorney General

Gov. Holcomb says he supports a bill endorsed by the Indiana House that would prohibit anyone whose law license has been suspended for at least 30 days from serving as attorney general.

March 5, 2020

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Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany).

Syringe Exchange Extension Sent To Governor

Indiana’s syringe exchange programs will get “another year of certainty” after a bill extending them was sent to the governor Thursday. 

March 4, 2020

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Indiana Republicans Foiling Plans Of Indianapolis Democrats

The blue wave that solidified Democrats’ hold on the Indianapolis city government in last year’s local election isn’t sitting well with Republicans who dominate the Indiana Statehouse.

March 4, 2020

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Bill Will Allow Farm Bureau To Create Its Own Health Plan

The Indiana Farm Bureau celebrated another legislative milestone Tuesday for a bill that will permit the organization to offer health plans to its members.

March 3, 2020

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Teachers rally at the statehouse in March 2019.

Indiana Lawmakers Back Dropping Tests In Teacher Evaluations

Indiana legislators have voted to end the mandatory use of student standardized test results in teacher evaluations, dropping a requirement long opposed by teachers.

March 3, 2020

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wayne township signs

In Split Vote, Lawmakers Pave The Way For Charters To Access Referendum Funds

Lawmakers created an avenue for charter schools to access referendum funding Monday, with a sudden change to legislation in the Senate that worries public education advocates.

March 3, 2020

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needles

Houses Passes Bill To Extend Syringe Exchanges

Indiana’s syringe exchange programs are one step closer to staying open another year. The Indiana House passed a bill Tuesday that includes language to extend the programs.

March 3, 2020

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Indiana statehouse

House Passes Health Care Transparency Database Bill

SB 5 would create a database of prices for health care services so Hoosiers could compare costs.

March 3, 2020

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A stock image of a water fountain.

Bill Requiring Lead Testing In Schools Headed To Governor's Desk

The measure would require all schools that haven’t tested for lead at least once since 2016 to do so within the next two years.

VIEW MORE STORIES

March 2, 2020

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Task Force To Examine Future Of Deaf & Blind Schools

Even after the legislature adjourns, a special task force will continue to examine the future of the Indiana School for the Deaf and the Indiana School for the Blind.

February 28, 2020

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House Republicans Reject More Money For Voting Machine Needs

More than half of Indiana’s 92 counties have voting machines without a paper backup. Election security experts say those backups are critical to electoral integrity.

February 28, 2020

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Weekly Statehouse Update: DCS Oversight Scaled Back, Syringe Exchanges Extended

A DCS oversight bill is dramatically scaled back. Syringe exchanges are given a little extra time. And a consensus has been reached on a smoking age increase. Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

February 27, 2020

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Surprise Billing Bill Passes Committee With Hesitation

The bill would ensure patients will not face unexpected charges if, for example, they find out after a procedure that a doctor was out-of-network.

February 26, 2020

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Senate Panel Gives Syringe Exchange Programs One Extra Year

Lawmakers pushed back the death sentence for Indiana’s syringe exchange programs by one year under legislation approved by a Senate committee.

February 25, 2020

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House Committee Scales Back DCS Oversight Bill

The original bill would’ve created a new committee, required to investigate decision-making at DCS over every case in which a child is seriously hurt or dies after having contact with the agency.

February 25, 2020

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Some Doctors Worried By Indiana 'Surprise' Billing Proposal

The proposed state law is a top priority of House and Senate leaders in the Republican-dominated Legislature who see it as a step toward reigning in health care costs.

February 25, 2020

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Indiana Teacher Gun Training Bill Failing Amid Opposition

A legislative proposal for requiring annual training for teachers who carry guns inside Indiana schools has been scuttled amid a disagreement over whether it infringed on gun rights.

February 21, 2020

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Weekly Statehouse Update: Curtis Hill’s Future, Accountability For Virtual Charter Schools

Uncertainty over Curtis Hill’s future as attorney general. Calls for greater accountability of virtual charter schools. And a fix to Indiana’s welfare eligibility laws. Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

February 20, 2020

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Environmentalists Say Drain Maintenance Bill Could Hurt Wetlands

A seemingly simple bill to help local governments cut costs when repairing drains is working its way through the state legislature. But environmentalists worry it could harm the state’s wetlands. 

February 20, 2020

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Controversial Ambulance Legislation Headed To Summer Study Committee

State lawmakers are hitting the pause button on a controversial section of insurance reform bill.

February 19, 2020

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Senate Democrats Call For Greater Virtual School Accountability

Indiana Senate Democrats are calling for greater accountability for virtual charter schools in the wake of allegations that two such schools inappropriately took $68 million in tax dollars.

February 17, 2020

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Bill To Eliminate Township Assessors Dead In Senate

Assessors in 13 of the state’s largest townships will keep their jobs after a bill to eliminate those positions was effectively killed off.

February 17, 2020

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Senate Bill Would Unify Standards For Appointing Public Defenders

Senate Bill 302 would establish a standard procedure for courts to determine if a defendant is indigent.

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