Members of the 2019 Indiana General Assembly gathered on Organization Day Tuesday, November 20, and the 121st Official General Assembly reconvened Thursday, January 3. The 2019 session is a budget year in which state lawmakers must craft a comprehensive plan to fund Indiana governmental services for the next two years. By law, the 2019 legislative session must be completed by April 29.
Many important issues will be addressed. The League of Women Voters of Indiana has prioritized bills of interest in five areas—Redistricting, Voting Rights, Environment and Natural Resources, and Education. Some of the bills in these areas have been introduced.
The LWV promotes transparent and accountable redistricting processes and an end to hyper-partisan practices. The LWV encourages creation of an independent special commission that reflects the diversity of the unit of government.
Voting Rights: The LWVIN is interested in four senate bills which have been filed. SB 116 deals with polling locations in schools. Proof of identification in SB139 provides that a document issued by a state university or by an approved postsecondary educational institution serves as proof of identification for purposes of voting if the document otherwise satisfies the requirements for a proof of identification. SB 194 eliminates voter challenges at a primary election based on party affiliation.
Indiana’s electoral vote: SB 212 provides that allocation of Indiana’s electoral votes to the candidate for President of the United States go to winner of the National Popular Vote if the “Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote” becomes effective.
Environment and Natural Resources: SB 205 deals with SPEA study of low-carbon and green industries in Indiana and the job creation, economic growth, and wealth generation that could result for Indiana Communities from the development of these industries.
Gun Safety: SB 119 prohibits firearm transfer to minors. SB125 deals with open carry of rifles. SB 126 defines prohibited equipment on firearms. SB 123 addresses storage of firearms at public venues, and SB 135 concerns Housing of Worship and firearms.
Education bills of interest include: K-12 Education-Students, Teachers, Funding and Administration and also Higher Education. Bills related to K-12 consider secured school fund, school calendar, school curriculum, civics test as graduation requirement, high school random drug testing, school concussion recovery protocol, emergency communication disorder permits, and rental of curricular materials. School Funding SB 127 allows school corporation to place referendum on ballot to impose a school safety referendum tax levy to improve school safety. SB 183 deals with Virtual Charter Schools.
Higher Education SB138 deals with eligibility for resident tuition rate and SB 216 (Phil Boots) addresses educational costs exemptions.
Watch in the media for details about these and other bills. Plan to come to the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfasts and talk with our Representatives Tim Brown & Sharon Negele and Senator Phil Boots!
Open to all men and women, the LWV is a non-partisan, multi-issue political organization which encourages informed and active participation in government. For information about the League, visit the website: www.lwvmontco.org or send a message to: LWV, PO Box 101, Crawfordsville, IN 47933.