Weekly Statehouse update: State of the State, caucus agendas, antisemitism bill
Gov. Eric Holcomb’s final State of State includes a surprise. Republican caucuses unveil their agendas. And an antisemitism bill heads to the House floor.
Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.
Holcomb spent much of his State of the State address reflecting on his time in office, trumpeting the state’s accomplishments over the last seven years. But he did announce that his economic development initiative, READI 2.0, will receive a $250 million boost from the Lilly Endowment, the single largest grant award in its history.
House and Senate Republican agendas this session are centered on education and workforce issues. The House GOP top priority bill would allow state scholarship programs to be used for workforce training, not just traditional two- and four-year degree programs.
And the Senate GOP’s top priority is improving student reading skills. Their bill, SB 1, identifies early those students who are struggling to read and holds back most of those who fail the test in third grade.
House and Senate Democratic caucuses unveiled a joint agenda aimed at addressing the costs of child care, housing and health care.
Democratic leaders say the caucuses working together is about their collective voice being louder than individual voices.
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A bill, HB 1002, unanimously approved in a House committee this week would ban antisemitism in public educational institutions. A similar bill cleared the House last year but failed to advance in the Senate. Some who testified voiced concerns the measure would limit free speech.
Disclosure: the Lilly Endowment also provides funding for Indiana Public Broadcasting News.
Find all the bills our statewide team is covering in our bill tracker at ipbs.org/2024billtracker/.