Senate Bill 2, HB 1001, advances despite mixed feelings in Indiana

Indiana lawmakers passed a pair of bills on Friday to increase spending on services for women and children, but critics say it’s not enough to deal with the consequences of banned abortion in Indiana.

Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 1001, which aim to support families and mothers amid inflation and proposed restrictions on abortion – which critics say could lead to increased reliance on these services – have passed and are now being moved to their opposite chamber for review. The impacts of Senate Bill 1, Indiana’s proposed abortion ban, remain unclear.

The Senate was split on abortion legislation late Thursday night, where they voted to keep exceptions for rape, incest and maternal life in the bill.

After:As eyes focus on the abortion bill, Indiana lawmakers aim to help women and children.

Senate Bill 2: “Indiana is not ready”

Sen. Fady Qaddoura, D-Indianapolis, and Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said they support the bill. They both had caveats that they wanted more done and that the currently proposed legislation is not enough.

Senate Bill 2, which passed 46-1, is a sister bill to the Senate abortion restrictions. Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, was the lone opposition vote.

This proposal allocates $45 million, creating the Hoosier Families First Fund, to the Department of Child Services, Family and Social Services Administration, Indiana Department of Health, and Indiana Department of Homeland Security to support programs for families and mothers. The bill also allocates $5 million for adoption tax credits.

“I strongly believe that the State of Indiana is not ready, not ready to deal with the consequences of Senate Bill 1,” Qaddoura said.

Earlier this week during committee, Senator Lanane proposed an amendment to the bill for an additional $250 million from the state’s general fund for mental health programs. It failed. Only one amendment aimed at compiling Medicaid reimbursement data has arrived in ink.

The bill is now heading to the House, which has proposed its own approach to family and maternal health assistance in Bill 1001.

House Bill 1001: “We could have done more”

Rep. Greg Porter, D-Indianapolis, said the House could have done better than House Bill 1001.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we could have done more,” Porter said, despite still voting in favor of the stimulus bill.

House Bill 1001, which passed 93-2 on Friday, would follow Gov. Eric Holcomb’s tax refund proposal to use $1 billion from state reserves to give each Hoosier taxpayer a $225 refund. plus $125 refunds released.

This proposal would also allocate $58.5 million in funding to programs that support families and mothers, such as Medicaid services, a grant program to reduce infant mortality, and the Child Care Fund voucher program. child development, in addition to increasing the tax credit for adoption.

Democrats tried to make the bill fairer, he said, by offering dozens of amendments to HB 1001, with only one of their amendments passing the Republican-controlled House.

Rep. Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis, moved an amendment to create a doula advisory council to recommend a doula reimbursement rate. She received support from both sides, including the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Sharon Negele, R-Attica. Doulas help provide mental and physical support to pregnant women, according to the amendment.

Negele said she would consider more proposals at next year’s session.

“I think they’re an essential part of health care when it comes to women having healthy babies,” Pryor said.

Porter praised the House bill for reducing the state sales tax on children’s diapers. But he said it could have been extended to more basic necessities for children, such as pacifiers and infant formula.

A Porter amendment to do so fell through the party line Thursday.

After:Indiana House wants to save families the diaper tax. So far, the Senate has not done the same.

“There are too many mothers, families who will be negatively affected because we haven’t done more,” Porter said. “Another missed opportunity.”

But House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, said the money in question belongs to the Hoosier taxpayers.

“I don’t want to go into exactly who gets it and who doesn’t,” Huston said. “I think you should go back to everyone.”

So far, Senate Republicans have opposed refund checks, so passage is by no means guaranteed. Senate Republicans have their own version of inflation relief, Senate Bill 3, which does not include an additional refund to taxpayers.

After:Indiana Senate Republicans propose gas tax cap and sales tax exemption to fight state inflation

After:Indiana Senate strikes down abortion ban with no exceptions after contentious debate

Instead, the bill places a cap on the state sales tax on gas and utilities to fight inflation.

A vote on that proposal will take place on Saturday with the Senate’s final vote on abortion restrictions.

Contact IndyStar General Assignment Reporter Rachel Fradette at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @Rachel_Fradette.

Norman D. Briggs