House lawmakers send inflation relief, family financial supports bill to Senate
The House quickly finalized its inflation relief and family supports bill on Friday before sending it to the Senate.
During the final discussion of HB 1001(s), Democrats reiterated one final time that the bill was good – but didn’t go far enough in supporting families and children.
Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) called the bill “camouflage” for the state’s repeated failure to provide family support in the past. And, he said, the bill is a response to an abortion bill none of them have seen.
“If people had been ready for a session after 49 years of discussing a certain matter we wouldn’t be here today,” DeLaney said.
The majority of amendments proposed by Democrats during the second reading of the bill failed – including suggestions to make products such as diapers, formula and cribs exempt from the state’s gross retail tax and add extra money to incentivize companies to offer family and medical leave.
In addition to limited family support, the bill also sends $225 checks back to eligible Hoosiers and allows people who didn’t file a tax return in 2021 to file an affidavit to receive a check.
Supporters said the affidavit system will allow older Hoosiers, Hoosiers with disabilities and Hoosiers who didn’t make enough to file taxes to receive some relief.
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In her concluding remarks, bill sponsor Rep. Sharon Negele (R-Attica) said the bill limited programs so that people could decide for themselves how to spend the budget surplus.
“The bottom line is, we’re allowing Hoosier families to spend the money on how they see what fits best in their life,” she said. “That’s important. That’s why I think this is so significant.”
Rep. Gregory Porter (D-Indianapolis) said House representatives "could have designed a more inclusive bill" during session – but didn’t.
“Unfortunately we missed another opportunity to do something for regular, everyday Hoosiers,” he said.
Republicans acknowledged many of these concerns, but said it was important to limit the scope of the bill.
Speaker of the House Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said it was difficult voting down some Democrat amendments.
“Look, they are hard to defeat,” he said. “In a lot of ways they make a lot of sense. But you have to look holistically.”
But Huston said, at the end of the day his vote came with no “buts.”
“I will enthusiastically vote the green button on this bill,” he said. “It’s the right thing for taxpayers, it’s the right thing for all Hoosiers, it’s the right thing for women and children. I appreciate your support on this bill.”
The bill passed 93 to 2 and now heads to the Senate.