2018 Legislative Session

Happy Sine Die! Both the Senate and the House 2018 120th General Assembly session adjourned for the last time this year on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. It was a late night at the statehouse on Wednesday as lawmakers rushed to get bills passed and ultimately ended with a number of key bills left on the table. The chaotic close came after the Senate and House spent considerable time in closed door meetings and spending hours on the floor celebrating and honoring retiring lawmakers in the final days of session. The Senate even adjourned for the day on Tuesday afternoon, making it among the first sessions in legislative history where the Senate did not consider any conference committee reports until the final day of session.

One of the casualties of the late negotiations was HB 1104. The Senate was successful in passing HB1104 but the House failed to vote on the bill prior to the Midnight Sine Die deadline so the bill died. This bill contained many DLGF agency provisions as well as the provision allowing for the presiding officer of the county fiscal body or the county executive to have greater compensation for additional duties so the language was lost in the deadline. Others bills lost in the deadline included the Muncie School takeover, education funding and school safety funding, autonomous vehicles (Governor Initiative), and SB 242 (DOR Bill).
To be honest, this is a very unique flop and blame can be spread between both chambers. The Governor also doesn't come out great in the scenario, as he lost some of his initiatives. Frankly, we are still shocked at how it all went down in the last 30 minutes and believe there is still the possibility of a special session, so stay tuned.
Our team, including our members making calls to legislators, fought back horrible mining language, bad conflict of interest language, restrictive stormwater and drain repair rules, overly broad bonding disclosure requirements and public works contract changes. We were successful with community mental health(HEA1141) and county jail language with some additional funding sources for all counties(HEA1263). We fought for a workable fix for local licensing battles and supported broadband expansion(HEA1065). We also relaxed the open-door rules for administrative meetings(HEA392).