New year will bring new speaker, key retirement and short session
While the holiday season is filled with Thanksgiving gratefulness and Christmas joy, it also is signals something a little less festive – the return of state legislators to Indianapolis for another legislative session. Representatives and Senators gathered in Indianapolis on November 19 to formally kick-off the 2020 session. Each year, Organization Day functions a little bit like the first day of school – everyone is back in the building together for the first time in months to talk about what they did during the summer and to start to get their acts together for the coming session. Typically, nothing substantive happens on Organization Day, but often the tone is set for the session and the formal rules and deadlines are put in place.
This year, though,
Speaker of the House Brian Bosma
broke some news during his traditional remarks from the House floor. Speaker Bosma announced that he would be stepping down as Speaker following the 2020 session and would leave his seat in the House. Bosma has served in the House representing the northeast side of Indianapolis since 1986 and has served two separate terms as Speaker of the House this time since 2010. He has always been a good friend to credit unions and his leadership will be missed. To help create a smooth transition, Speaker Bosma called on the Republican caucus to select a new leader to serve alongside him as “Speaker-Elect” to help learn the ropes. On December 2, House Republicans held a caucus and unanimously selected
Rep. Todd Huston
(R-Fishers) to serve as the next Speaker of the House. Rep. Huston is expected to formally become the Speaker when Bosma steps down near the end of the upcoming session. The good news is that Rep. Huston is also a good friend to credit unions and has a tremendous relationship with FORUM CU, which is headquartered in his district.
In other breaking news in the aftermath of Speaker Bosma’s announcement, longtime
House Financial Institutions Committee Chairman Woody Burton
(R-Whiteland) announced that he would retire from the House and not seek re-election in 2020. Rep. Burton has served in the House since 1988 and has been Chairman or Ranking Republican on the Financial Institutions Committee for nearly 20 years. Over the years, Burton has carried or supported credit union legislation many times and was credit unions’ Outstanding Hoosier Legislator in 2003. Chairman Burton’s leadership and experience on financial services issues will also be missed.
2020 is a short session year for the General Assembly. Session will reconvene on January 6 and is likely to end on or about March 11 as legislators are expected to leave town to make way for the Big 10 men’s basketball tournament. With no state budget to dominate the session in a short year, legislators are expected to try to tackle legislation aimed at high healthcare costs and education issues that were emphasized by a huge rally of nearly 20,000 teachers and their supporters who flooded the Statehouse on Organization Day. The League expects to be involved in a number of issues that we will preview in upcoming Advocacy in Action messages over the next two weeks including additional consumer credit law improvements, pursuing a fix to the unintended consequences from a law impacting access to consumer credit reports, and a few other things.