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Government / IPBS

Indiana Senate braces for contentious second half

The Indiana Senate is bracing for a contentious second half of session after the House sent several controversial measures its way.

Among the measures Senate lawmakers will grapple with in the next few weeks are a bill on COVID-19 vaccine mandates (HB 1001), a $1 billion-a-year tax cut package (HB 1002), legislation policing how controversial topics are taught in schools (HB 1134) and a ban on transgender girls playing girls high school sports (HB 1041).

Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said that will make for more challenging work.

“The first half, frankly, was frenetic but relatively smooth, as far as I’m concerned,” Bray said. “There’ll be some difficult bills that we’ll have to deal with but we’re equipped to do it.”

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Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) predicted several of those measures will be significantly changed if not halted outright. He called his chamber more “pragmatic.”

As for his caucus, he said the top priority in the second half will be pushing for medical cannabis.

“It is so beneficial and we’re just stuck, here in the Midwest, on a lake without a paddle,” Taylor said. “I mean, the other states around us have done this.”

Lawmakers have until mid-March to finish their work.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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