Hi, friend!

There is one more week left of the 2022 legislative session with the last day to adjourn, also known as "sine die," scheduled for March 14th.

Conference committees are well under way now that the third reading deadlines have passed early this week. This is a very important time during the legislative session because it is when lawmakers from both chambers meet to discuss amended bills and come to an agreement to pass a bill to send to Governor Holcomb to sign into law.

If they don't come to an agreement, then that bill will die. But it is also during this time that sometimes legislators will take language from a dead bill and re-insert it into a living bill that has a conference committee-- I personally like to call these "zombie bills" since they come back to life once you think they are dead! This is why it is important to stay vigilant until sine die to ensure that no bad language is re-inserted into bills that are expected to pass.

Read below to find out more about what bills are living, what bills are dead, and what bills might be turning into "zombies."

Have a great weekend!



HB1134 - Education Matters

You may remember from my "special edition Statehouse Sound-off" earlier this week that HB1134, "Education Matters" failed to be brought to the full senate chamber for its second reading by Monday's second reading deadline and has died!  Read more about 1134's defeat here.

While we are so happy to see this bill defeated, (HUGE thanks to all the thousands of advocates to shared their opposition to the bill with lawmakers!) MCCOY joined other advocates from around the state on Thursday for a press conference at the Statehouse hosted by ISTA to call on legislators to not re-insert any language from HB1134 into any other living bills going through conference committees (which would have turned parts of 1134 into what I call a "zombie bill.").

Shortly after, Speaker Huston told reporters that it's unlikely that portions of HB 1134 will be added to other legislation. He says that House Republicans want their version of the bill, which a majority of the Senate do not support.

Click on the link below and keep trying to connect with your legislators tomorrow and through the weekend to tell them there is no place for HB 1134 in Indiana. Now is the time to collaborate with educators, parents, and others to unite behind policy that unites us and benefits of all of our students.

ZOMBIE BILL: Gun licensing

Last week, legislators decided to delete the permitless carry components from HB1077, "Firearms Matters" which originally would remove the requirement to obtain a license to carry a firearm. By removing that key component of the bill, legislators did not bring it to the full senate chamber for a second reading, so it died. 

Legislators on a House-Senate conference committee on Wednesday inserted the permit repeal provisions into an unrelated bill. The committee chairman did not allow for any further testimony on the bill. 

Leaders of the state Fraternal Order of Police, police chiefs association and county prosecutors association have joined the state police superintendent in criticizing the permit repeal proposal, arguing that it would strip officers of a screening tool for quickly identifying dangerous people they encounter who shouldn’t have guns. MCCOY shares the concern of gun safety advocates as well as police officers that this provision will allow for more people to carry guns in public places and will lead to insecurity among citizens as well as law enforcement.

Trans Youth

Earlier this week, we were disappointed to see that legislators passed HB1041, "Participation in School Sports."  out of the senate with a vote of 32-18. No amendments were made to it. 

It will now be sent to Governor Holcomb to sign into law. This legislation will prohibit transgendered girls from participating in a girls' sport. Excluding trans students from participation deprives them of opportunities available to their peers and sends the message that they are not worthy of the same things that their non-trans friends are. 

The ACLU has promised to file a lawsuit against the state should the bill become law.

MCCOY will continue to advocate against bills like these that are hateful and discriminatory against children.

Youth Justice

HB 1359, "Juvenile Law Matters," has passed through both chambers now with bipartisan support. It had amendments made in the Senate which the House approved, so the bill will next be sent to Governor Holcomb to sign into law. 

The bill has been in the making for years and creates various reforms of the juvenile justice system statewide, including risk assessment tools to divert youth away from the system,  implementing more statewide consistency, and banning the detention of children under 12.

We are pleased to see this bill pass into law. This is another strong step toward positive youth justice reform in Indiana. 

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