The "short session" of the Indiana General Assembly

The Indiana General Assembly kicked off the "short session" on January 6. Bills are still being posted, so we will dedicate this issue to describe what may happen this session before legislators anticipate adjourning March 11.

What happens in Week 1?

Week 1 is filled with bills being posted, heard in the first chamber, and assigned to committees . The standing committees hold their first meetings, where legislators introduce themselves and review their rules of procedure (i.e. how long an amendment may be posted before a hearing, the length of public testimony). Certain priority bills of the leadership are heard. This year, the first bills heard related to the "hold harmless" provisions related to the ILEARN tests.
What should we anticipate for libraries?

ILF proactively requested legislation this session, and much of our advocacy efforts will focus on educating legislators about the three issues in our proposed "Library Matters" bill (see below). ILF responds to bills related to ILF's 2020 Policy Priorities . When a bill is proposed that would change the underlying tax structure, operating, or financial policies for libraries, your ILF's Advocacy team evaluates the bill and responds accordingly. For the 2020 session, several bills could impact Property Taxes, Local Income Tax, and Construction requirements. As of 1/10, we do not anticipate bills will directly address academic, school, or special libraries (outside of the major education bills); however, we are always monitoring bills that might have an amendment inserted that could impact all types of libraries. Generally, we anticipate that our efforts on the Library Matters bill will be the primary focus during this short session.

ILF Advocacy in Week 1 and the "Library Matters" bill

ILF testified on HB1100, Local Government Matters . ILF testified in support of the notice requirements related to any proposed changes to Local Income Tax (LIT). ILF monitors bills before committees related to local government and fiscal matters, as many bills could impact libraries. ILF Members may see ILF's bill list linked in the Bose Report . For example, HB1113 , DLGF, proposes a library budget change assessed value to max levy and date from Sept. 30 to Nov. 1 .

ILF has been working with Sen. Glick on a "Library Matters bill" related to public libraries. We are calling attention to the important work public libraries do to support family reunification for children in foster care. We seek to clarify elements of HEA1343 and criminal history checks from the 2019 session. As of Friday AM, 1/10, the bill is not yet posted. ILF will inform its members when a hearing is scheduled or when action is needed.