2021 Legislative Session Recap
Now that the 2021 Indiana Legislative Session has drawn to a close, I wanted to give you an update on the BIG VICTORIES won by IFI and our supporters this year. Every year we always have several pieces of legislation that we are disappointed did not become law and this year is no different. However, thanks to you, we have a track record of success – and this year took things to a new level, especially in response to the lessons learned in 2020.
Before I get into the specifics, I want to thank the legislators who made this session a success. There were a number of allies who stepped up to put our values into action, and you’ll be learning more about who those were on IFI’s 2021 Legislative Scorecard, which will be released this summer.
Here are 5 huge wins your support won this year:
One of the biggest victories of the year was one that came together at the last minute: a MAJOR expansion of school vouchers. The expansion language IFI had been advocating for in HB 1005 ended up being included in the final budget. The vast majority of Hoosier families will be eligible for school vouchers (officially called “choice scholarship” in state code), expanding school choice and giving parents more options in deciding which schools are best suited for their children. The final language expands the income limit of parents to 300% of free and reduced lunch. Institute for Quality Education did a great job taking the lead on pushing for this legislation and you can learn more about them here.
HB 1577, a far-reaching abortion accountability law, also awaits the Governor’s approval. Among other things, this legislation protects conscience rights, requires doctors notify a woman seeking abortion that abortion pill reversal does exist, moves the time limit for dispensing abortion drugs from 9 weeks to 8 weeks postfertilization, requires abortion providers (at no charge to the mother) to give the pregnant woman a picture of her baby from an ultrasound procedure prior to receiving an abortion, and prohibits an abortion clinic from receiving an annual license renewal if they are in non-compliance with state regulations including failing to include ultrasound reports in a pregnant woman’s patient file. It also prohibits the use of telemedicine to provide any abortion. Rep. Peggy Mayfield deserves special credit for authoring this legislation.
Governor Holcomb has signed SB 263 into law, protecting churches and ministries from overly burdensome restrictions during future public emergencies. IFI was very active with this legislation: helping with the language, working with ministry leaders through The Daniel Initiative to testify to the amazing things Christian churches and organizations have done to serve their communities during the pandemic, and lobbying the bill across the finish line. A special thank you must go to Sen. Eric Koch who authored this legislation and worked very hard to see it become law. Also awaiting Holcomb’s signature is SB 5, which provides an avenue for the public to challenge orders and restrictions made by local health departments.
Senate Bill 202 was passed by the legislature, creating pathways for Hoosiers to visit loved ones in nursing homes and care facilities during future public emergencies.
Governor Holcomb has already signed SB 187 into law, authorizing public safety officials to prioritize investigations into defacement, vandalism, and destruction of public monuments, statues, and memorials.
These wins are a big deal, of course, but not listed are the countless BAD bills that your opposition defeated in Indianapolis – things like the legalization of assisted suicide, legalization of drugs, and the destruction of religious liberties through a number of bills pushed by leftwing activists (you can view our full legislative agenda here).
Hoosiers stepped up all session with phone calls, emails, and financial support to ensure IFI’s boots on the ground had the resources they needed to shepherd bills through the process and across the finish line. Because of the huge success we saw in 2021, we’re already putting together our legislative priorities list for 2022 – and we’re confident that, with your help, we can continue to work to ensure Indiana is an ideal place for Hoosiers to live, work, and raise a family.
Click here to help support that mission through the end of this year and into 2022.