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Church News

I-CAN Update for March 31

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Unless there are last minute morning hearings on Monday, committee hearings ended this week.  All committee reports must pass the floor this coming Monday afternoon.  Committees were busy this week; all bills must pass respective houses by next Thursday.
 
Although the Senate Judiciary Committee did not hear HB 1128, Abortion matters, the House Public Policy Committee amended major parts of it into SB 404, Abortion, child abuse and human trafficking.  It removed the abortion pill reversal portion but included abortion facilities' licensing and reporting information.  In addition, SB 404, as amended excludes the parental notice of all judicial bypass requests.  This feature drew the most opposition and the threat of a court challenge.  Contact your legislator here.
 
The bill still contains provisions that strengthen parental rights and protects adolescents from exploitation.  The proposed law increases the age for reporting child sex abuse to age 16 from age 14 and it requires adults to prove parentage in giving consent for an abortion on a girl younger than 18 years of age.  Because of changes to SB 404, the Senate will have to concur or convene a conference committee to resolve all acceptable changes.

Despite assurances that SB 9, SNAP and drug convictions, would be heard; we learned early this week it would not be considered.  Chairman David Frizzell (R - Indianapolis) reported that leadership asked that it not go further and that drug related bills this year would concentrate on treatment and rehabilitation.  This is disappointing because SB 9 would help with addiction and released prisoner rehabilitation.  Because the bill passed the Senate it is eligible for inclusion in another bill in conference committee, however, because of leadership position this is unlikely.
 
As expected, SB 154, Asset limitations for SNAP, was amended and passed House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee 7 - 0.  The amendment reduced the asset limit from $10,000 to $5,000 and only provides prepaid funeral and burial expenses as exempt from the limitation.  The bill is reduced from the preferred Senate version.  The bill is expected to pass the House next week.  House will have to concur or dissent on the changes.
 
House Judiciary Committee amended SB 423, Sanctuary policies and postsecondary educational institutions, to eliminate the unnecessary restrictions and penalties for universities.  Universities now must comply with Indiana Code prohibiting sanctuary policies in the same manner as Indiana cities and towns. SB 423 will be on third reading on Monday.  It returns to the Senate for concurrence or dissent.  Senate is expected to concur.

HB 1024, Prayer in schools, passed third reading in the Senate 44-5 today. The bill now goes to the House for concurrence or dissent.
 
HB 1004, Pre-kindergarten education, also passed third reading in the Senate 38-11 today and now goes to the House for concurrence or dissent.  We expect the House to dissent and the bill to be a topic for conference committee consideration.

In addition to the Update, you can obtain more detailed information regarding the bills, as well as detailed information about the legislative process and the Indiana General Assembly by clicking here.  You can also access the archived I-CAN Updates, ICC positions and other background information at the ICC website www.indianacc.org

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