Weekly Legislative Update 02/24/2024

You can make a difference


Some of us were fortunate to hear Democratic candidate for Governor and former Indiana Education Secretary speak over the weekend. She was a fiery and inspirational speaker who brought attention to what is and isn’t being done in Indiana and the possibilities of a better future. One of the current bills under consideration in the legislature brought the most gasps from the crowd. It will allow children who have completed 8th grade to quit school and work instead. Here is the bill:
House Bill 1093 Employment of minors
This bill “repeals provisions restricting how long and when minors between 16 and 18 can work. It also specifies that a prohibition on kids aged 16 to 18 working in a hazardous occupation doesn’t apply to youth performing farm labor.
An amendment was added with language from House Bill 1062 that a child who is at least 14 and has completed eighth grade can work during traditional work hours with parent approval…
Shawn Christ, secretary treasurer for the Indiana State AFL-CIO, called the bill “an attempt to roll back child labor protections that have been fought for generations after generation.”
(Indiana Capital Chronicle)
The bill passed the House and is now being considered in the Senate. It passed the Committee on Pensions and Labor and was referred to the Appropriations Committee. Contact members of that committee by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the page. Contact your senator also.
Other bills of concern:
Senate Bill 202 State educational institution matters
This is “a sweeping bill that would require the state’s colleges and universities to consider “intellectual diversity” in campus policies.
Among its provisions, the bill forbids schools from granting a faculty member tenure if they’ve shared political opinions unrelated to their academic discipline with students. It also allows students and other employees to file complaints against faculty members who they believe have failed to keep these opinions to themselves — or have otherwise stifled a “culture of free inquiry” on campus.” Chalkbeat Indiana)
“Faculty from higher education institutions across Indiana descended on the Statehouse Wednesday to speak out against a contentious bill that would increase lawmaker oversight of state colleges and universities…Sen. Spencer Deery, R-West Lafayette, has called his Senate Bill 202 a “reform” effort intended to reverse “declining views” of higher education.
But dozens of opponents argued the proposed changes could harm students and professors, or would overly burden public institutions…would change up institution boards of trustees by removing appointment power from alumni councils and pass it off to House and Senate Republican majority leaders — “with advice” from Democrat minority leaders.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle) Passed with amendments 59-28. View the vote. Because it has amendments, it goes back to the Senate for consideration. Contact your senator.
Senate Bill 50 Chaplains in public schools
Allows a principal or superintendent of a public school, including a charter school, to employ, or approve as a volunteer, a school chaplain if certain requirements are met. This bill “permits chaplains to work as counselors in schools but does not require them to be mandated reporters.: (MADVoters) Currently in the House Education Committee.
House Bill 1102 Deregulation of child care
Allows a class I child care home to operate without a license if the class I child care home registers with the division of family resources. Passed out of committee and is bweing considered on the Senate floor. Contact your senator.
House Bill 1264 Election security
This bill will make voting more difficult for many, especially first time voters. It requires more stringent proofs of residency and citizenship and requires the use of an online system, Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) online electronic program to check the “proof of citizenship” for naturalized citizens who register to vote. This database is dated and does not identify illegal immigrants. It likely violates both the Civil Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act. (The Indiana Citizen)
“The bill creates new requirements for first-time voters, proof of citizenship and more. It also would allow state election officials to pay for commercially available data — likely Experian’s TrueTrace — and let county voter registration offices use the information for voter list maintenance. Supporters called it an election security bill while opponents said it adds unnecessary hoops for eligible voters.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle) Passed through committee 5-3 and goes to the Senate floor for consideration and a vote. Contact your senator.
HB 1399 PFAS chemicals
This bill “would change the definition of toxic PFAS chemicals to exempt those which Hoosier manufacturers want to keep using. [It] seeks to carve out more than 5,000 “forever chemicals” from being defined as such by the state and its environmental rules board.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle) Received a hearing but not yet a vote in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee.
From Hoosier Environmental Council: “Raise your voice in opposition to this bill that would prohibit future PFAS regulation. PFAS chemicals are also known as forever chemicals – learn more about them and their health effects. Please contact your state senator, especially if they serve on the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee, and urge them to oppose HB 1399.
Senate Bill 52 Prohibition on use of dedicated lanes 
From the Hoosier Environmental Council: “This “anti-rapid bus transit bill would endanger a decade of work and hundreds of millions in investment and economic development centered around public transit…This bill would restrict dedicated lanes and likely be the death of the planned Blue Line Bus Rapid Transit Route that will connect the airport to the far east side of Indianapolis. According to documents shared by IndyGo, over 30,000 households in Marion County do not own a car and east/west travel across the city is particularly difficult. This is an environmental justice issue: it strips planned investment that would benefit thousands of low- and moderate-income households, would help reduce traffic congestion, and related harmful vehicle emissions.
This bill has been assigned to the House Roads and Transportation Committee.
We anticipate that if the bill is approved in Roads and Transportation, it must be sent to the House Ways and Means Committee. We urge you to call your state rep., particularly if they serve on either of these two House committees, and urge them to oppose SB 52. You can send your state rep. an email using our website or give them a quick call using this script:
“Hello Rep. [your rep.’s name], my name is [your name] and I live in your district at [be sure to identify your neighborhood/city]. I’m calling to urge you to oppose Senate Bill 52, which would have drastic impacts on public transit in Indianapolis and throughout Indiana. [Share your thoughts on why transit is essential]. Thank you for your time and consideration.”
Easily take action through their website here: Hoosier Environmental Council. Still in committee.
House Bill 1235 Prohibited causes of action concerning firearms.
This bill aims “to circumvent an active lawsuit that has the potential to hold them [the gun industry] accountable for the harm they’ve done to the state of Indiana through legally wrongful conduct. Since 1999, Brady has represented the City of Gary in its fight against major gun manufacturers. The gun industry has tried to derail this pivotal case every step of the way…[This bill] could not only obliterate Gary’s lawsuit — the only of its kind in the country — but would also make it impossible for any locality in Indiana to hold the gun industry accountable for the consequences of the firearms they negligently manufacture, market, and sell.” (Brady)
Passed with amendments to the Senate floor for a vote. Contact your senator.
House Bill 1084 Privacy of firearms financial transactions
Prohibits a governmental entity or any other person from knowingly or willfully keeping any list, record, or registry of: (1) privately owned firearms; or (2) the owners of firearms; with respect to Indiana consumers. Passed out of committee to the Senate floor. Contact your senator.
House Bill 1284 Deposit account agreements.
This bill allows “financial institutions to change contract terms on customers without explicit acceptance…“The House must either vote to concur with the Senate changes or send it to a conference committee to negotiate a deal between the two chambers. The proposal previously encountered little opposition on the House floor — getting just four ‘no’ votes from three Democrats and one Republican.” Passed the Senate 28-21. View the vote. It returns to the House with amendments so will be considered again there. Contact your representative.
Bills you may want to support. Please voice your opinion.
House Bill 1426 Long acting reversible contraceptives.
This bill “would require Indiana hospitals offer women who give birth in the hospital, and are covered by, or eligible for, Indiana Medicaid, the option of having a subdermal contraceptive implanted after delivery and prior to discharge. With an implant, the user does not need to remember to take a daily pill or do anything else to prevent pregnancy. Removing the implant promptly restores fertility. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Rita Fleming, D-Jeffersonville, a physician,…noted about 50% of the 80,000 Indiana births a year are unintended, and more than half the pregnancies and deliveries in the state are paid for by Medicaid.
She said reducing unintended pregnancies and births by even 10% through improved access to long-acting reversible contraception would save $86 million a year, bolster public health and keep more women in the workforce.
“The health implications are significant. We know from our maternal mortality and morbidity reports that a short interval between pregnancies poses great health risks to mothers and babies,” Fleming said. “It’s a small price to pay for big benefits.”
According to the measure, religious-based hospitals that object to the use of contraception could opt out of offering it by notifying the Indiana Department of Health.
The legislation was endorsed in the House by a 94-4 margin with the support by every Northwest Indiana lawmaker.” (NWI Times) It passed through the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services and has been assigned to the Appropriations Committee.
House Bill 1004 Thirteenth check
From Indiana State Teachers Association: [This bill] would provide for a 13th check for members of the Teachers Retirement Fund (TRF) and Public Employees Retirement Fund (PERF) in 2024.
These stipends are significant to those who receive them. This is the least the state can do to recognize a lifetime of service to the Hoosier state. 
HB 1004 has passed out of the House and now faces an uncertain future in the Senate. Contact your senator and ask them to support a 13th check for educators and vote yes on HB 1004.” This bill has been assigned to the Appropriations Committee. You can contact members of the committee here:  https://iga.in.gov/2024/committees/senate/appropriations.
You can easily take action with the ISTA here:  https://www.ista-in.org/our-advocacy/ista-advocacy-center
Senate Bill 246 Assessment of wetlands classified as wildlands
From Hoosier Environmental Council: This bill “continues to advance with bipartisan support! In addition to the environmental groups that testified in favor, the Indiana Builders Association also testified and voiced their support for the legislation. SB 246 would expand a voluntary incentive program for property owners to preserve wetlands. Passed out of committee 12-7 to the full House floor for a vote. Contact your representative.
Senate Bill 5 Lead water line replacement and lead remediation
From Hoosier Environmental Council: This bill would “make it easier for utilities to replace lead service lines continues to advance with broad bipartisan support. Passed out of committee unanimously and now goes to the House floor for a vote. Contact your representative.
Read about many more concerning or laudable bills below and voice your opinion: https://iga.in.gov/information/find-legislators
MADVoters Indiana is a great source for up-to-date information about current Indiana legislation and where it stands. Link to their bill tracker here: https://www.madvoters.org/bill-tracker
If you’re on Facebook, link to them here: https://www.facebook.com/madvoters
Time is of the essence. The House has until Tuesday to vote bills out of committee, the Senate until Thursday. Bills that don’t make it out of committee are effectively dead, though language from “dead”

Signed into law:

House Bill 1383 Wetlands
This bill will reduce the number of wetlands eligible to receive the state’s highest ranking and most amount of protection  (WIBC)

Passed both chambers, Governor next
House Bill 1412 Canine standard of care
This bill established “care standards for dog breeders and pet stores that would simultaneously strike local ordinances banning dog sales” (Indiana Capital Chronicle)
Passed in the Senate 31-18.  View the vote. The amended version passed in the House 53-34. View the vote
Senate Bill 185 Student use of wireless communication device.
This bill “requires that all public and charter schools create a policy for phones and other wireless devices. Hoosier students could still use their phones or tablets for educational purposes, if teachers deem it necessary. They can also use the devices if there is an emergency or for health reasons.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle) Passed the House 83-8. View the vote.
Senate Bill 182 Regulation of drones near correctional facilities
This bill “seeks to criminalize the use of drones around and over correctional facilities. (Indiana Capital Chronicle) Passed the Senate 46-2. Passed the House unanimously.
House Bill 1090 Transportation matters
Under this bill “juries hearing civil lawsuits related to car accidents would get to hear whether the victim was wearing a seat belt and use the information to reduce damages…”
(Indiana Capital Chronicle) Passed 36-13. View the vote.
Senate Bill 241 Taking bobcats
This bill “would require the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to establish and implement a bobcat hunting season by July 1, 2025.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle) Passed 65-23. View the vote.
House Bill 1025 Mixed beverages
This bill “would put liquor-based mixed beverages under a wine license, allowing beer wholesalers to sell them.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle) Passed 38-11. View the vote.
House Bill 1070 Mental health grants
Allows the division of mental health and addiction to award mental health grants to for-profit community mental health organizations if a nonprofit organization does not qualify for the grant.

Bills still under consideration

Passed both chambers
House Bill 1259 Professions and occupations
This bill “seeks to continue expanding the nursing workforce by addressing foreign-educated nursing licensure requirements and on-the-ground training. While most of the bill received glowing support in testimony, one issue was a bit of a sticking point for nurses working in clinical settings: language striking minimums for preceptors, or licensed nurses supervising students during rotation.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle) Passed unanimously This bill was amended and so goes back to the House for approval.

Passed the House and now under consideration in the Senate

House Bill 1001 Education and higher education matters
This bill “primarily seeks to allow money from the 21st Century Scholars program and Frank O’Bannon grants to be used by high school graduates for training by an approved intermediary, employer or labor organization — rather than for education costs at a college or university.” Passed out of committee along party lines to the House floor. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)
House Bill 1042 Transition to teaching scholarships
This bill “would fund additional scholarships for school employees with non-teaching degrees. Lawmakers hope the expansion will encourage more people to transition to teaching from other careers…The program provides scholarships of up to $10,000 to school employees who have bachelor’s degrees in other fields. Through the program, they can become teachers without earning an additional degree.
Lawmakers passed last year’s bill to help ease Indiana’s teacher shortage. As of Friday, there were more than 1,300 job openings for teaching positions posted on Indiana’s portal. (Indiana Public Media) Passed unanimously out of the Education and Career Development Committee to the Appropriations Committee.
House Bill 1002 Enforcement of equal educational opportunity
This bill aims to “ban antisemitism in public educational institutions — although critics of the proposal maintain it limits free speech and conflates anti-Jewish rhetoric with criticism of a foreign government. The legislation advanced from the House Education Committee on Wednesday in a bipartisan 12-0 vote, sending it to the full chamber.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle)
House Bill 1133 Use of digitally altered media in elections
“The proposal requires disclaimers on political campaign communications including fabricated media depicting a candidate that a reasonable person wouldn’t know was fake. The panel amended the bill to add federal candidates alongside state candidates.” Passed out of committee 7-1 and goes to the full Senate floor. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)
House Bill 1265 Various election matters
“The Senate Elections Committee on Monday added an amendment to a bill that could block some Hoosiers from running for Attorney General.
The amendment to House Bill 1265 would add a qualification to run for attorney general, saying the person can’t have been disbarred or suspended without automatic reinstatement within one year of the election. The bill then passed the committee 6-2. (It now goes to the Senate floor for consideration and a vote.)
It wouldn’t currently apply to Attorney General Todd Rokita, who was reprimanded for misconduct in November. But new complaints were filed against Rokita, which are still working through the disciplinary process. If he were suspended without automatic reinstatement he would be ineligible to run under this amendment.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle)
Health Care
House Bill 1327 Health and insurance matters
This broad bill attempts to address monopolies of medical entities…“The health department would be tasked with creating a database of ownership information for Indiana’s health care entities, which includes hospitals, physician group plans, third party administrators, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers. The bill includes non-compliance penalties.”
Testimony [in committee] on the insurance transparency and hospital ownership bill drew mixed reviews, with some concerns about regulations for pharmacy benefit managers.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle) In the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee.
House Bill 1216 Medical services for certain detainees.
This bill requires “the state to foot the bill for Hoosiers involuntarily committed to mental health facilities. Additionally, the bill would allow doctors overseeing intake to consider the testimony of friends and family members before signing off on an involuntary commitment.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle) In Appropriations Committee.
House Bill 1162,
“One year after passing a law that allows Ukrainian immigrants on humanitarian parole to receive driver’s licenses, Indiana lawmakers are trying to repeal it after a federal judge recently ruled that the law must extend to all parolees.
The bill that passed the House on Monday with bipartisan support would eliminate a statute that allowed people legally in the U.S. on a narrow parole definition to receive a driver’s license, but only if they are from Ukraine. A group of Haitian immigrants living in Indiana under the same federal designation sued the state over the law, saying it was discriminatory and unconstitutional.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle) Passed through committee to the Senate floor for a vote.
House Bill 1135 Cosmetology licensure and apprenticeships.
This bill creates a second pathway for cosmetology licensing. The purpose is to serve students in rural areas — which may not have nearby beauty schools — and be more affordable for students. Passed through committee to the Senate floor. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)
House Bill 1086 Alcoholic beverage sales
This bill “allows Indiana bars and restaurants [to]  hold time-limited happy hours…Current law requires alcohol discounts to be live the whole day.
[It} also requires those retailers to get liquor liability insurance with coverage of at least $500,000. But it won’t legalize carry-out cocktails after the language was removed.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle) Passed 38-10. View the vote. It goes back to the House for approval.
House Bill 1021 Green alert for missing at risk veterans.
Defines “veteran at risk”. Creates the green alert program to provide for public notification regarding missing veterans at risk. Passed out of committee unanimously.
House (These bills have passed the Senate and are now being heard in the House)

Senate Bill 1 Reading Skills
This bill “would require IREAD testing to begin a year earlier, in second grade, and allow those who pass at that stage to be exempt from taking the test again in the future. 
Students who do not pass must receive targeted support during third grade to help them improve their reading skills. After a full year of remediation — and three chances to take the IREAD test — lawmakers want schools to retain students who do not pass the test by the end of third grade.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle) Passed out of the Education Committee 12-9 and referred to Ways and Means Committee where it passed 12-9. It now goes to the House floor for a vote.
Senate Bill 2 Child care
“Much of the bill’s contents are recommendations from an interim committee, said author Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, such as establishing pilot “micro-facilities” and lowering the minimum age for child care workers.” Passed out of committee unanimously.
Health Care
Senate Bill 132 Professions and professional services
This bill adds “some additional regulations on insurers and…[allows] patients to assign benefits to dental providers whether or not their dentist is in-network.
…[It] includes requirements for the Family and Social Services Administration’s rollout of Managed Care for Long-Term Supports and Services, tweaks telehealth law, eases licensing for foreign-born nurses, eliminates certain requirements for health facility administrators and more.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle) Passed unanimously out of the Committee on Public Health and referred to the Insurance Committee.
House Bill 1385 Payment for ambulance services
The legislation “would require health plan operators to pay out-of-network ambulance service providers at a rate set by the county or municipality in which the transport started. If there’s no local rate, plan operators would have to pay 400% of the published Medicare base rate or the ambulance provider’s billed charges — whichever is less. Passed out of committee 7-1 to the full Senate floor for consideration.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle)
Senate Bill 139 Psilocybin treatment program
This bill “would establish a fund for continued psilocybin research, otherwise known as “magic mushrooms.”
There is no initial state appropriation  but it creates a special fund consisting of money received from state or federal grants and programs, gifts, donations, or transfers made to the fund.” Advanced out of committee 12-7. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)
Senate Bill 181 Citizenship and immigration status
This bill empowers “the Indiana Attorney General’s Office to enforce a 13-year-old law banning sanctuary city ordinances…[This bill] “comes after Indiana’s two highest courts dismissed lawsuits aimed at a pair of Hoosier cities.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle Passed through committee to the House floor for a vote.
Senate Bill 14 Right of a state officer or employee to carry a handgun in the capitol.
This bill “stipulates that Indiana’s attorney general, secretary of state, state comptroller and treasurer of state have the right to carry a handgun within the state capitol complex.” Employees in those offices would also be allowed to carry a handgun. Handguns may be carried concealed or open. Lawmakers and their staff already may carry handguns in the state capitol.
(Indiana Capital Chronicle
Senate Bill 17 Age verification for material harmful to minors
Requires an adult oriented website operator that displays material harmful to minors to use a reasonable age verification method to prevent a minor from accessing an adult oriented website. Passed out of committee 8-1.
Senate Bill 275 Pension matters
This bill “would require the Indiana Public Retirement System board to develop the capability to pay members of certain funds by category: one group would get a 13th check and the other a 1% COLA…The General Assembly would set the “to be determined” cutoff date dividing the two groups. The bill requires the board to set surcharge rates to pre-fund those bonuses.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle) In the House Ways and Means Committee.
Senate Bill 4 Fiscal and administrative matters
This bill “sets up an ongoing review process of unused state government funds and allow agencies to cut their fines or fees through an internal process… the bill could recoup roughly $40 million in its first review cycle, with over half of that money earmarked for the Medicaid reserve account to make up for a $1 billion budget shortfall and the remainder going into the General Fund for spending in 2025.” Indiana Capital Chronicle) Passed unanimously out of committee to the House floor.
Senate Bill 188 would shorten the amount of time that Hoosiers have to sue their financial institutions from six years down to two, and caps the amount of damages that can be awarded. 
(Indiana Capital Chronicle) Passed out of committee to the House floor for a vote.
Read about several veterans bills that have received bipartisan support and are likely to pass at Indiana Capital Chronicle.

In other news

Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office refuses to remove content from the “Eyes on Education” website, designed to publicize complaints about schools’ materials on race, gender and politics. Rokita’s office asserts that materials on the portal support the claim of ongoing “indoctrination.” However, the office said it would post responses from school districts challenging those complaints, Chalkbeat Indiana reported.” (State Affairs
The Indiana National Guard expects to spend about $7.1 million deploying 50 soldiers to the U.S-Mexico border at Texas for up to 10 months.  (Indiana Capital Chronicle)
“The majority of states are not processing food assistance applications on time and making too many payment errors, according to the federal government.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack sent a letter to the governors of 44 states earlier this month that are failing to meet federal standards when it comes to processing applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.
The states include Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio.
The letters call for states to take immediate action to improve their rates on at least one of three metrics: application processing timeliness rate, payment error rate and case and procedural error rate, which relates to how accurately states are approving or denying benefits. In the letter, the federal government offers federal assistance and resources to help.” (WFYI)
“Indiana Supreme Court justices on Thursday blocked an injunction against the state’s two-primary rule that prohibits U.S. Senate hopeful John Rust from appearing on the GOP primary ballot in May.” (Indiana Capital Chronicle)
Indiana was listed as one of the top states with reported cases on long COVID, USA TODAY reported last week

To find and contact your Indiana legislators: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/

Enacted, signed into law by the President

S. 3427: A bill to extend the authority to provide employees of the United States Secret Service with overtime pay beyond other statutory limitations, and for other purposes.


Passed the House and Senate, President next

H.R. 1568: Moving Americans Privacy Protection Act
S. 3427: Overtime Pay for Protective Services Act of 2023


The House is now in recess and will be back in session Feb. 28, with just 3 days to pass legislation to avert a partial government shutdown.


H.Res. 994: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 7160) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the limitation on the amount certain married individuals can deduct for State and local taxes, and providing for consideration of the resolution …
… (H.Res. 987) denouncing the harmful, anti-American energy policies of the Biden administration, and for other purposes.
On agreeing to the resolution Failed by recorded vote: 195 – 225
This means the deduction caps remain in place for the time being. The Tax Foundation explains the SALT caps here.
H.R. 7217: Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Failed by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 250 – 180. All Indiana representatives voted yea except Rep Carson who voted nay. View the vote 

Passed in the House 

H.Res. 863: Impeaching Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, for high crimes and misdemeanors.
On agreeing to the resolution, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 214 – 213 with no Democratic support; all Indiana Reps except Mrvan and Carson voted yea. View the vote.

Passed the House, Senate next

H.R. 7176: Unlocking our Domestic LNG Potential Act of 2024 
This bill would remove restrictions on exports of liquid natural gas. Passed  224-200 with Indiana Representative Mrvan and Carson voting nay and all other Indiana reps voting nay. View the vote.
H.R. 485: Protecting Health Care for All Patients Act of 2023 
GovTrack.us: This bill “would extend a ban on a type of health care analysis that is already banned in some federal programs but not all. It prohibits all federal health care programs…from using prices that are based on quality-adjusted life years (i.e., measures that discount the value of a life based on disability, age, or terminal illness) to determine relevant thresholds for coverage, reimbursements, or incentive programs.” Passed 211-208 with no Democratic support.

H.R. 6678: Consequences for Social Security Fraud Act
GovTrack.us: “To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide that aliens who have been convicted of or who have committed Social Security fraud are inadmissible and deportable.”
Passed by the Yeas and Nays: 272 – 155. All Indiana representatives voted yea except Rep. Carson who voted nay. Read concerns about this bill from Rep. McCollum of Minn.
H.R. 5585: Agent Raul Gonzalez Officer Safety Act 
This bill would make it a federal offense to evade border patrol or other law enforcement by motor vehicle. The bill is aimed at decreasing high speed chases near the border by increasing penalties. Passed 271-154. All Indiana reps voted yea except Rep. Carson who voted nay. View the vote.
H.R. 6976: Protect Our Communities from DUIs Act 
The bill would make a DUI a deportable offense for non-citizens. Passed 274-150. All Indiana reps voted yea except Rep. Carson who voted nay. View the vote.
H.R. 5375: Strengthening the Quad Act 
This bill would establish a working group with Japan, Australia, and India and the U. S. to address pandemic preparedness, economic integration and technology development. Passed 379-39 with all Indiana reps voting yea. View the vote.
H.R. 533: Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act 
It would modify existing efforts within the Dept. of State to counter anti-Tibet propaganda. Passed 392-28; all Indiana reps voted yea. View the vote.
H.R. 2766: Uyghur Policy Act of 2023 
This bill would create a diplomatic position in the Dept. of State to advocate for the Uyghurs, and funding to support those efforts. Passed 414-6.
H.R. 7024: Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 by 357-70.
GovTrack.us: This bill contains an expansion of the pre-pandemic Child Tax Credit (but remains less generous than the temporary pandemic version) and reinstates some tax credits for businesses. as well as other provisions. USA Today provides some details on what’s in the bill. It still has to pass the Senate and it’s possible it fails there. Taking a page from House Republicans on the border enforcement/Ukraine bill, Sen. Grassley (R-IA) suggests Senate Republicans will not vote for it because to pass it would help President Biden in the election. Unclear right now if Grassley is an outlier or not. Passed 357-70. View the vote.
This bill is facing republican opposition in the senate with some republicans critical of a provision that will allow low-income families the tax credit. Read more at Indiana Capital Chronicle.
H.R. 5528: Safe and Smart Federal Purchasing Act of 2023 by 397-0. According to the Library of Congress summary “This bill requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to evaluate the procurement activities of each agency to determine whether provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation related to the lowest price technically acceptable source selection process have created any national security risk and report to Congress.”
H.R. 6679: No Immigration Benefits for Hamas Terrorists Act passed 422-2. The bill would bar known terrorists from entering the country or obtaining any benefits available to immigrants. U. S. law already did both of these things before this bill.
H.R. 4039: No Dollars To Uyghur Forced Labor
Passed by Voice vote so no individual record of votes was made.

H.R. 3016: IGO Anti-Boycott Act
Passed by Voice Vote so no individual record of votes was made.
H.R. 5856: Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2023
Last Action: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 414 – 11; all Indiana Reps voted yea.
H.R. 443: Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Act 
This bill directs the Secretary of Labor to develop and execute training for department employees that would help them detect human trafficking. Passed unanimously.
H.R. 4385: Drought Preparedness Act
To extend authorization of the Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991.
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote.
H.R. 2882: Udall Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2023
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 350 – 58.
H.R. 443: Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Act
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 407 – 0.
H.R. 3202: Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act of 2023
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 389 – 32.
H.R. 5009: WILD Act
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote.

Passed the Senate with amendments and sent back to the House

H.R. 815: National Security Act, 2024
According to officials, the bill’s original intention was to address emergency treatment for veterans in the community, but it was replaced with the National Security Supplemental language to allow the bill to advance faster than it typically would. Officials say this is a typical procedural move, to use a preexisting bill as a vehicle for legislation, but doing so requires a vote.
Passed 70-29 with Indiana Senator Young voting yea and Sen. Braun voting nay. View the vote.
“The Senate passed a $95 billion national security supplemental bill, providing funding for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and humanitarian aid to Gaza. Most of the money in the measure will stay in the United States, paying defense contractors to restock the matériel the U.S. sends to Ukraine.”  (Letters from an American)
“The Senate jettisoned from the package a bipartisan effort to boost immigration enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border after most Republican senators, following the lead of former President Donald Trump, deemed the bipartisan proposal inadequate. Abandoning the border proposal brought the price tag of the bill down to about $95.3 billion.” (Associated Press)
Passed 70-29 with 22 Republicans voting yea. Indiana Senator Young voted yes and Braun no. View the vote. The bill faces a slim chance in the House; Speaker Johnson has said he won’t bring the bill to the floor for a vote.
Republicans who oppose this bill say border security legislation must be included, although they also opposed the original bill that included a stringent border deal hammered out by members of both parties in the Senate.

To find and contact your Members of Congress:  https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials 

In other news

“Two teenagers in custody in connection with the deadly shooting during the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl rally that left one woman dead and more than 20 others injured were charged Thursday, according to Missouri court officials.” (CNN)
“A special counsel charged a former informant with lying about the Biden family’s role in Ukraine, potentially dealing a massive blow to vital testimony Republicans have used to justify an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.” (CNN)
“Jailed Russian opposition figure and outspoken Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny, who made global headlines when he was poisoned with a nerve agent in 2020, has died aged 47, the Russian prison service said.” (CNN)
“A New York judge ordered Donald Trump on Friday to pay $355 million in penalties, finding that the former president lied about his wealth for years in a sweeping civil fraud verdict that pierces his billionaire image but stops short of putting his real estate empire out of business.” (Associated Press)
“A judge in New York dismissed the last obstacle to the first-ever criminal trial of a former president. Jury selection will begin on March 25 in Trump’s hush money trial. A guilty verdict could mean this year’s potential GOP nominee will be a convicted felon. But if he’s found innocent by a jury of his peers it could also transform the election.” (CNN)
“The ex-president’s election interference case in Georgia is on a knife-edge after an head-spinning day when two prosecutors were effectively put on trial themselves over a romantic relationship that defendants say should disqualify them and end the case. Even if they survive, Trump and his co-accused may have won the day after taking the chance to malign the prosecutors and to brand them as corrupt and unethical.” (CNN)

“Former President Donald Trump faced widespread criticism for threatening to ignore NATO’s mutual defense obligations if Russia invaded. Trump said at a rally he had warned the leader of a “big” European country he would encourage Russia to “do whatever the hell they want” to NATO countries that don’t spend enough on defense…Tom Nichols said at The Atlantic, but anyone familiar with his presidency and “servile fascination” with Russian President Vladimir Putin “knows the truth: Donald Trump would make the United States a friend to the Kremlin and an enemy to NATO. Putin knows it,” and “so should every American.”” (The Week
“Special counsel Robert Hur on Thursday released a 388-page report on President Biden’s retention of classified material, finding the president frequently showed limitations with his memory and recall. While the report concluded no charges should be brought against the president, its language describing Biden, 81, is likely to be campaign fodder for Republicans who have repeatedly raised questions about the president’s ability to serve.” (The Hill)
“He concluded that while Biden had “willfully” retained the documents, the evidence fell short of charging him with a crime, and that he would not have recommended charges even if sitting presidents didn’t have temporary immunity.” (Vox)