Friday, February 2, 2018

This week the House narrowly passed the payday lending expansion bill, HB1319, but the Senate forwarded a beneficial expansion of nutrition assistance in SB11. And two workforce reorganization bills advanced, but with little focus yet on upskilling low-income adults. We are now approaching the midway point of the General Assembly 2018 session. Monday February 5th is the last day the House will have to pass bills over to the Senate. Tuesday February 6th will be the last day for the Senate to send bills to the House. Next week we will have a full review of where we are, what we have to focus on next, and we'll discuss some of the bills which didn't move (but should have).

This week we've had some challenges. HB1319 ,the bill that would expand payday lending and allow triple digit APRs, passed the House 53-41. We are gearing up to fight this bill in the Senate. You can help stop this destructive expansion of payday lending by calling your State Senator and asking them to oppose HB1319 and express your support for a 36% cap on APR for payday loans. On a positive note, SB416 which would also have allowed triple-digit APR loans, was transformed into a study bill on the UCCC. This means the legislature will take a closer look at the effects of the bill and weigh in on whether they believe the bill should continue to be pursued further in its current form next year. This gives us the opportunity to talk with lawmakers over the summer about our lending laws and ensuring that proper checks and balances on loan institutions remain in place.

More good news! The Senate passed SB11! This bill would remove the lifetime ban from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) placed upon people with drug felony convictions. For two years in a row the Senate has supported and passed this legislation. We would like to thank Senator Bohacek for his drive and dedication as he worked with us to get this bill passed through the Senate. We still have work to do to get this bill through the House and signed by Governor Holcomb. Last year a similar bill died in the House. We need your help to make sure the House hears this bill becomes a reality.  Please call your House Representative, (Dem: 1-800-382-9842 Rep: 1-800-382-9481) ask them to support SB11 and provide needed relief to people who, aside from a past conviction, are may otherwise be eligible for SNAP and the SNAP IMPACT program which can help people obtain employment. Let Indiana be a state that provides second chances and removes unnecessary barriers to becoming self sufficient citizens!

HB1285 began as a bill to implement real time income (RTI) verification along with other changes to SNAP like prohibiting the waiver for work requirements when unemployment is high. RTI was introduced this session as a "cost control" method for SNAP; however. we have concerns and question whether it would save the program money or just create instability for people who need access to food assistance. Beyond RTI, we have concerns over a prohibition on the work requirement waiver. The waiver was a beneficial tool during the recession, allowing Hoosiers access to nutrition assistance when unemployment was high. A permanent prohibition would limit SNAP's reach if our economy takes a downturn or if certain communities face high unemployment. The bill has passed the House as a study, which will look at the potential affects of these changes and what they mean for the state as well as SNAP recipients.

HB1002, a bill to reorganize Indiana's workforce funding and programs, passed second reading in the House. HB1002 passed with an amendment from the Ways and Means committee allowing for prioritization of adults in the Workforce Ready Grant program. SB50, the Workforce Developement; Career and Technical Education bill passed out of committee with language adding a panel to review college and career funding and a new Secretary of Workforce Training, as well as a 'real world career readiness program' for high school students. There is still a lot of work to be done on these bills to adequately address the needs of low income, low skilled workers and adult students.

Other Bills This Week:


HIGH SPEED INTERNET SERVICE (OBER D) A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning utilities.

Current Status:   
2/1/2018 - Senate sponsors: Senators Houchin and Koch

Recent Status:   
2/1/2018 - Third reading passed; Roll Call 127: yeas 92, nays 0
2/1/2018 - House Bills on Third Reading
CENTRAL INDIANA PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS (MOED J) A BILL FOR AN ACT to repeal a provision of the Indiana Code concerning transportation.

Current Status:   
2/1/2018 - Referred to Senate Homeland Security and Transportation

Recent Status:   
2/1/2018 - First Reading
1/31/2018 - Referred to Senate
OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING (DEVON D) A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning state and local administration.

Current Status:   
2/5/2018 - House Bills on Third Reading

Recent Status:   
2/1/2018 - Second reading amended, ordered engrossed
2/1/2018 - Amendment #2 (DeVon) prevailed; voice vote


Next Week:

There are no committee meetings scheduled for next week as of Friday February 2nd.

The House and Senate floor will reconvene on Monday February 5th. 

Senate Floor:

Second Readings:
SB213   
PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION FOR AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOUSING. (ECKERTY D) A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning taxation.

Third Readings:

SB179 
CHILD SUPPORT. (BRAY R) A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning family law and juvenile law.
SB326 
REDISTRICTING STANDARDS. (WALKER G) A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning elections.
SB377
SMALL LOANS. (PERFECT C) A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning financial institutions.
SB420 
CREDIT SERVICES ORGANIZATIONS. (PERFECT C) A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning trade regulation.


House Floor


Third Readings:

HB1002

REORGANIZATION OF WORKFORCE FUNDING AND PROGRAMS. (HUSTON T) A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning state offices and administration.
HB1056 
INNKEEPERS' TAXES. (OBER D) A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning taxation.

HB1245
OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING. (DEVON D) A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning state and local administration.
HB1288
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. (TORR J) A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning state and local administration.
HB1382   
STUDY OF PHARMACY DESERTS. (BROWN C) A BILL FOR AN ACT concerning health.


See the full list of bills the Institute is tracking this session.

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