Last week we welcomed State Representative Chuck Mosely for a Zoom Town Hall. He talked about significant bills from the 2022 session and what to expect in 2023.
- HB 1002 is a tax cut bill that changed before it passed both chambers. It would have reduced personal property tax which would caused cash shortfalls across the state–$300,000 in Portage alone. Such as tax cut may be brought back next year. Despite urging by Democrats, no suspension of gas tax was enacted. A 13th pension check for teachers also didn’t happen.
- HB 1134 was the controversial education bill that would have restricted how and what history can be taught; it didn’t pass this year, but expect a bill like it to return next year. The Speaker of the House said it will be back in 2023. We need to keep up the fight.
- SB 17 that would have allowed felony charges against librarians for having “inappropriate’ material in library collections did not pass, but will be back in 2023.
- HB 1182 that would have required candidates for school board to declare a political party did not pass on the last day. Most states have nonpartisan school boards, but expect this bill to return in 2023.
- HB 1251 allows school corporations to hire adjunct teachers without the qualifications or pay that contracted teachers have and make.
- HB 1296 allows Hoosiers to carry handguns without a permit. He said nothing can be done without repealing the law and that won’t happen in the Indiana with gerrymandering. He noted that law enforcement opposed the bill.
Some good bills passed. HB 1045 increased the annual tax credit for a 529 savings account for college.
When asked about the republican legislators apparent opposition to public education in favor of charter and private schools, especially in funding, Rep Moseley had stern words. He said that supporting public education is in the Indiana constitution and that every legislator takes an oath to uphold the constitution. He said that attacks on public education is all about money. The single most government funded entity is public education.
When asked how we can best support teachers, he said “Vote!” He urged us to go to school board meetings whether we have children in school or not. He reminded us that more than 50% of property taxes goes to fund schools.
He was asked about poor health outcomes among Hoosiers and what can be done. He favors lowering drug costs in Indiana and thinks it is doable. The middle man sets drug prices. Eliminating the middle man can cut the process by one third. Allow an open market with Medicaid drug costs. The next target should be controlling hospital costs.
He was asked about environmental issues. Indiana ranks near the bottom in states in environmental health and pollution. He talked about making strides in coal ash disposal in Town of Pines. He noted there is an ongoing fight to form a task force about the climate crisis. He suggested becoming involved with Save the Dunes.
When asked about the need for affordable child care, he noted that school corporations are included in bargaining agreements for leave time for child care. He said we won’t see any legislation for child care in Indiana, although you may see some progress in the private sector. There may be legislation next year, as there was this year (didn’t pass). Republicans say Indiana can’t afford to assist families with child care. Rep. Moseley noted that with affordable childcare, people could take jobs, helping solve the worker shortage.
Representative Moseley was asked about what can be done about gerrymandering. He noted that sometimes the maps don’t have the effect intended. High voter turnout can overcome a gerrymandered district. We have to get out the vote—and it’s not easy.
Asked about working with a supermajority republican legislature, he said finding common ground is hard, but getting to know each other and being prepared help him reach across the aisle and have conversations.
We thank Representative Moseley for a very informative session.