Nearing the finish line of the 2019 legislative session

Posted by: Abigail Campbell and Sydney Livingston  | Friday, April 12, 2019 10:00 am

With session coming to a close at the end of the month, some bills are now law, many are dead and others are headed to conference committee. In conference committee, a bill is perfected and fine-tuned by a smaller group of selected legislators. This is one more step to ensure that the legislation we pass is beneficial for all Hoosiers.

Each bill being considered in these final steps has been through a long vetting process. One that is almost to the finish line and will likely become a new law is HB 1063, my legislation that would provide “Stop the Bleed” kits to public schools across the state.

This bill passed through the House Veterans Affairs and Public Safety committee in January, and the full House of Representatives voted in favor a week later. The legislation then went to the Senate, where it was assigned to the Education and Career Development committee. It passed committee with minimal amendments, and was then approved by the full Senate. The legislation returned to the House in March where I concurred with the minor amendments. The full House then took a final vote. Once it was approved, the legislation was sent to the governor and can now be signed into law.

However, the author sometimes chooses to disagree or dissent with amendments made to his or her bill in the chamber. When this happens, the bill goes to conference committee.

Conference committees consist of two members from the House and two from the Senate, with the author of the bill as one of the conferees. Advisors can also be added to assist the conferees in the decision-making process.

One bill likely to go to conference committee is HB 1001, our proposed state budget. During conference committee, the conferees and advisors will discuss the budget and any changes that have been proposed throughout the process. The public may be allowed to testify on the amended budget bill. If all members of the committee can agree on the changes made, the budget will then need to pass through the House and the Senate one last time before it is sent to the governor, who can choose to veto, sign the bill into law, or let the bill become law without his signature. This is the process that all dissented bills will go through. With some bills, the committee cannot come to an agreement and the legislation is dead.

These final steps help ensure that every proposal for a new law is effective, beneficial and impactful. The last day of session, referred to as Sine Die, is quickly approaching and all our work must be done by midnight on April 29. There are many bills still up for debate, with 26 already signed into law. The governor provides a great resource at www.in.gov/gov/2019billwatch.htm. Here, Hoosiers are able to see the bills that have become law this session. It is updated each time a new bill crosses the governor’s desk and is signed into law.

If you have questions or concerns about any of the legislation we are working on, you can visit iga.in.gov. You can also contact me at 317-234-9450 or h67@iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) represents House District 67,

Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland counties, as well as portions of

Decatur, Jennings, Jefferson and Dearborn counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.