INDIANAPOLIS – Legislators closed out the first half of the General Assembly last week – moving bills on teacher pay, hate crimes and gambling to the next stage while letting others die on the vine.
Overall, senators filed 636 pieces of legislation and sent 218 – or 34 percent – to the House.
Representatives filed 715 bills with 201 – or 28 percent – moving to the Senate.
Here's a look at the key remaining issues and a few that had last rites.
The Senate passed a bill – but without a list naming specific classes of targeted people, such as race, religion and sexual orientation. The House battle is expected to focus on that list as Gov. Eric Holcomb and a large swath of the business community are pushing for a comprehensive law that will add Indiana to the states with an explicit bias crimes statute.
But social conservatives are fighting against so-called thought police and want a bill that includes bias of any kind – from political beliefs to association with national groups.
Both sides want to avoid a repeat of the embarrassing Religious Freedom Restoration Act brouhaha that painted the state as discriminatory.
“The list is an important statement,” said Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane. “We all have a race. We all have a color, a sexual identity. No one is left out. It's just like Spike Lee says – do the right thing.”
Increasing teacher salaries has been identified by Republicans – and all education stakeholder groups – as a priority. But how to get there is easier said than done