The Indiana General Assembly adjourned sine die after midnight Wednesday, sending a slate of bills to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk and signaling the end of the 2022 legislative session.
Debate went on through Tuesday evening and into early Wednesday, much of it in the Senate on the controversial permitless carry bill that already had received hours of debate on the floor and public testimony in committees during the nine-week session. In the end, senators passed the bill 30-20 with nine Republicans voting “no” with the Democrats. Prior to that, the House legislators passed it 68-30.
Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter was outspoken in his opposition to the bill and appeared at the Statehouse to watch the legislature debate and vote on the legislation.
Following a conference committee meeting on the legislation earlier this week , Maj. Rob Simpson, assistant chief of staff communications and information systems for the Indiana State Police, said the legislation could make policing in Indiana more difficult and dangerous. This is partially because police would only know if individuals were unlawfully carrying a gun if they ran a criminal history check, he said, which cannot be done on the side of the road during a traffic stop.
Over 20 states allow permitless carry, according to Statista.
The landmark $1.1 billion tax cut bill is also moving on to Holcomb’s desk, with a unanimous vote in the Senate and a 82-17 vote in the House. The bill includes a decrease of the state income tax from 3.23% to 2.9% over seven years, which would tie Indiana for the lowest state income tax among states that collect it. It would also eliminate some utility taxes and pay down teacher pension debt.
The bill has changed since it was introduced, with many initial provisions from the House aimed at helping businesses. The newest version of the bill also would give automatic taxpayer refunds to individuals due to the state having excess reserves. This is being called a “trigger” and would prevent the state from paying out automatic taxpayer refunds if the state takes an economic downturn.
Holcomb was supportive of the bill, House Bill 1002, throughout the process.
“I’m pleased our agenda items have passed and more importantly that taxpayers will feel the benefits of tax cuts, elimination and refunds,” Holcomb said in a statement. “We’ll get to work with the new tools we’ve obtained, and I’ll immediately turn my attention to the careful review of all remaining legislation soon to arrive on my desk.”
Now, eyes are on Holcomb to see what legislation he will sign or veto. Legislation that Holcomb does not sign will automatically become law after seven days. The database of laws can be found on the Indiana government site.
Taylor Wooten is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.