Indiana House, Senate pass tax refund, family assistance bills | News

INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) – Lawmakers at the Indiana Statehouse are wrapping up the first week of the General Assembly’s special session. Much of the debate today has been about financial proposals before the attention turns back to abortion this weekend.

After more than six hours of debate on Senate Bill 1 on Thursday, no discussion on the proposed abortion bill today. Instead, lawmakers in the Senate passed Senate Bill 2.

If signed into law, the bill would provide more than $45 million to the Department of Child Services, the Indiana Department of Health and other state agencies. It passed 46-1, which Senator Ron Alting says is a positive development after Thursday’s heated debates.

“That number shows you that most of the Senate, if not the entire Senate, is in favor of moving forward with those monies to those different entities that need [them] to help people,” Alting said.

In the lower chamber, the House passed House Bill 1001. The bill would allocate more than $58 million to the Department of Health and the Family and Social Services Administration.

The bill’s author, Representative Sharon Negele, has been adamant it will benefit families and children.

Democrats like Representative Chris Campbell, however, argue it doesn’t do enough and is only being proposed in anticipation of a near total ban on abortion.

“Seeing the impact that an abortion ban will have on the state with the restrictions and how that will impact healthcare in Indiana, we definitely wanted to put as many of those safeguards in place [as possible],” Campbell said.

Representative Sheila Klinker hopes some of the amendments not included in the bill will come back up in the next session.

“It’s always a stipulation that something’s going to occur in the next session,” Klinker said, “but I really feel that they’re serious about this.”

The House will reconvene on Monday. The Senate, however, won’t be waiting that long. It will gavel in tomorrow morning to vote on Senate Bill One.

Alting says he will not support the bill and is unsure whether it will pass.

“I respect everybody and all their views on this,” Alting said. “I mean even the Supreme Court wasn’t unanimous. Our religious leaders in Tippecanoe County I’ve met with, they’re not all on the same page. … The vote will be very close. Let there be no mistake about it.”

Senate Republicans will caucus tomorrow at 10 a.m. Session is scheduled to convene at 10:30 for a final vote on Senate Bill 1. Should it pass, the abortion bill will go before the House next week.