INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana legislators met Friday for the third hearing of bills regarding fiscal matters in both the House and the Senate.
In the Senate, lawmakers took up the third hearing on a plan to create a fund to establish the Hoosier Families First Fund. The original legislation would appropriate $45,000,000 from the state general fund for this fund for fiscal year 2023.
The fund can go to the Department of Child Services, Family and Social Services Administration, Indiana Department of Health, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to fund existing programs and new programs for certain purposes.
It also increases the amount of the adjusted gross income tax credit that those eligible to claim the federal adoption tax credit can claim.
The bill made it through the second hearing with only one amendment that would have the state compare Medicaid reimbursement rates to the surrounding states.
The bill passed with a 46-1 vote. It now heads to the House.
They are also having the second reading on their plan to provide relief for Indiana residents. Their plan includes a six-month suspension on sales tax on residential utilities. It also proposes a cap on sales tax for gasoline at 29.5 cents a gallon.
Senator Travis Holdman (R-Markle) got two amendments passed for the bill. The first one makes sure the sales tax holiday covers electrical energy, natural and artificial gas, water, steam, and liquified petroleum gas. The second cleaned up language about monthly billing cycles.
No other amendments were made to the bill during the second reading. It now goes to a third reading and a vote. The session is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. The abortion ban bill will also be heard for the third reading Saturday.
The House met for their third reading of legislation that would provide, among other items, a $225 taxpayer refund.
The legislation passed through the second hearing with several amendments. A total of 63 amendments were proposed for the legislation. The amendments that passed include:
- Giving grant award preference regarding baby boxes to communities that currently have one or more baby boxes. This is intended to raise awareness.
- Creating a board to make recommendations regarding reimbursement methods for doula services.
- Making notices at license branches directing people with questions about adoption, foster care or pregnancy to IN.gov.
- Preventing grant funding to go to providing contraceptives without consent of a parent or guardian to students of nonpublic schools or public schools through a school-run program.
- Allowing grant funding to provide instruction on the use of fertility awareness-based family planning methods.
- Allowing grant funding to help people seeking contraceptives.
While discussing the bill, lawmakers acknowledged that some people have yet to receive their first refund. The issue, they said, comes from a shortage in the type of paper that checks use.
The checks for the first round of refunds are being held off until the bill for the second round either gets signed into law or fails. That way, if it passes, the second round can be lumped with the first before checks go out.
The bill passed with a 93-2 vote. It now heads to the Senate.