Indiana Chamber Releases Top 12 List Of Most Impactful New Laws

The 2023 Indiana General Assembly session saw big policy wins for the state’s economic development efforts, employers and the Hoosier workforce and talent pipeline, says Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar.

To tout those “big scores,” the state’s largest small business advocacy organization has just issued its Top 12 list of most impactful new or soon-to-be state laws.

Economic Development/Technology

House Bill 1001 – State Budget (economic development matters): Includes $500 million to fund a second round of Gov. Holcomb’s Regional Economic Development and Leadership Initiative (READI) that focuses on quality of place and building up local/regional communities. Allocates $500 million to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to help the agency close big deals. Doubles the appropriation (to $40 million) for the Manufacturing Readiness Grant to assist manufacturers modernize their technology as well as designates $150 million for the site acquisition revolving fund to attract significant projects/employers.

Brinegar: “On the economic development front, the Governor and IEDC were big winners, and we were very supportive of their proposals. These IEDC funds will give economic development officials more tools at their disposal as they compete with other states for job-creating expansions and new investments in transformative projects.”

Senate Bill 5 – Consumer Data Protection: Establishes a new article in the Indiana Code concerning consumer data protection, to take effect January 1, 2026. Sets forth exemptions from the bill’s requirements concerning the responsibilities of controllers of consumers’ personal data, and the rights of Indiana consumers with respect to their personal and sensitive data (e.g., correct or delete data held by a controller, obtain copy of the data, etc.).

Brinegar: “This is a big win for Indiana as it can now signal the state’s expectations for managing data to those here and to prospective companies and residents.”


House Bill 1001 – State Budget (childcare via Senate Bill 186): Establishes an employer tax credit for businesses that subsidize/support childcare opportunities for employees in their communities.

Brinegar: “This is an important step in a much-needed strategy aimed at leveraging public dollars to spur additional private sector investment that addresses childcare accessibility and affordability gaps.

House Bill 1002 – Career Advising Grant Program: Contains a number of provisions aimed at expanding work-based learning opportunities, making high school graduation requirements more relevant to real-world expectations and creating funding flexibility (through the creation of career scholarship accounts) to help students to complete on-the-job training and postsecondary credentials.

Brinegar. “This measure has the potential to be transformative for students and employers, as the components will provide a more relevant secondary education that better prepares Hoosier students for the realities and opportunities of today’s workforce.”

House Bill 1449 – Twenty-First Century Scholars Program Enrollment: Provides that the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the Department of Education will identify income-eligible students for automatic enrollment in the 21st Century Scholars program.

Brinegar: “It’s imperative that Indiana provides a pathway for thousands more Hoosier students, especially those from low-income households and challenging circumstances, to earn postsecondary credentials. This move was critical to that happening.”

Senate Bill 167 – FAFSA: Requires high school seniors to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) unless the student opts out with the consent of a parent, principal or school counselor.

Brinegar: “This will dramatically increase access to student financial aid and is expected to strengthen Indiana’s talent pipeline and reverse a troubling decline in postsecondary participation rates.”


HB 1007 – Creates Energy Plan for Indiana: Provides that when the state makes decisions concerning Indiana’s electric generation resource mix, energy infrastructure and electric service, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) must consider the following attributes of electric utility service: reliability, affordability, resiliency, stability and environmental sustainability.

Brinegar: “The last energy plan for Indiana was created in 2006.The Indiana Chamber has been advocating for a statewide energy plan for several years and this new effort will help guide Indiana’s energy makeup moving forward and provide certainty for the business community.”

Senate Bill 155 – IDEM Matters: Requires the Environmental Rules Board to adopt rules raising two Title V operating permit program fees, increasing the annual fee for a Part 70 permit to $6,100 and the annual fee for a federally enforceable state operating permit to $6,100 for five years.

Brinegar: “This legislation was needed so that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) can keep its authority over air permitting. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent a warning letter to IDEM in October 2022 threatening to take over the Title V program in the future. Thankfully, that – and any increased delays and costs to businesses and manufacturers as a result – now will not happen.”

Health Care

Senate Bill 1 – Behavioral Health Matters: Puts a framework in place to help combat the growing mental health crisis affecting Hoosiers, including a timeline to apply for federal Medicaid reimbursement and the establishment and maintenance of the 9-8-8 crisis response center and toll-free help line.

Brinegar: “Mental health concerns cost Indiana employers $885 million annually in lost productivity and they cost the state $708 million per year in direct health care costs. We applaud the Indiana General Assembly for passing this bill, which will offer support for Hoosiers with mental health challenges.”

Senate Bill 4 – Public Health Commission: Implements certain changes recommended by the Governor’s Public Health Commission and to improve Indiana’s woeful public health rankings. Notably, it provides local health departments the option to receive more funding if they agree to certain conditions that will help them raise their local health metrics.

Brinegar: “This bill represents a critical step to improving the quality of life in Indiana’s rural communities. Attracting talent in rural Indiana has long been a challenge for employers. The highly skilled employees that are needed throughout Indiana want thriving, healthy communities to live, work and raise a family.

Taxation/Public Finance

House Bill 1005 – Housing: Creates a program and $75 million fund called the Residential Housing Infrastructure Assistance Program and Fund. Local governments can apply for loans from the fund to pay for infrastructure projects related to residential housing development. The bill also sets guidelines on how the money in the fund should be distributed, with 70% going to municipalities with a population of less than 50,000 and 30% going to other local governments.

Brinegar. “Housing needs have impeded economic development in many areas. This bill will provide an ability to assist in needed residential development to accommodate potential employees for employers considering local investment.”

Senate Bill 2 –Taxation of Pass-Through Entities: Allows certain types of businesses known as “pass-through entities” (such as partnerships and S corporations) to elect to pay federal taxes at the entity level based on each owner’s share of adjusted gross income.

Brinegar: “This bill, the first passed in the 2023 session, allowed for more than a half-million business owners eligible for this tax relief to have certainty as they prepared to file their 2022 returns. The associated federal tax relief is estimated to exceed $100 million and will not impact state revenues.”

Senate Bill 419 – State Tax Matters: Makes a variety of tax-related changes that are beneficial to the business community.

Brinegar: “Two changes are of particular significance and will aid in innovation and in workforce attraction. First, businesses can now claim immediate research and development (R&D) expensing for state tax purposes. The remote worker provision – via the 30-day safe harbor provision – will make things easier for employers and their out-of-state workers. If remote workers are physically in Indiana for 30 days or less, then there’s no state tax filing that needs to be made, and the business doesn’t have to do any kind of withholding. This is an important step to make Indiana favorable to out-of-state remote workers and will help the state mitigate the projected losses to its workforce over the next decade (due in large part to Baby Boomers retiring).”