Legislature to return for rare special session

Statehouse Stained Glass_Special Session

On March 19, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced his decision to bring legislators back to the Statehouse for a special session, but it’s still unclear if legislators will consider during that special session the annexation language that was one of Farm Bureau’s priorities for 2018.

The special session will likely take place the week of May 14.

According to the governor, it was called because several important bills did not make it to the House for a vote before the legislature was statutorily required to adjourn by the end of March 14. Some of the issues, Holcomb said, need to be addressed before the next legislative session in January. The governor asked legislators to focus on the bills that address school safety, school funding, and aligning Indiana and federal tax policy.

“The end of this year’s session was unique, and special sessions are rarely called, especially in a non-budget year,” said Justin Schneider, Indiana Farm Bureau’s director of state government relations. “Unfortunately, we did have language in a bill that didn’t pass the House by the close of session.”

HB 1104, which included language for INFB’s priority issue of annexation, was one of the bills that did not make it to a final vote in the House. It is unclear at this time if the annexation language in HB 1104, which would limit the lifetime of all remonstrance waivers to 15 years and require waivers to be recorded, will be voted on by legislators in the special session.

“The language isn’t on the governor’s list of priority legislation for the General Assembly to handle,” said Schneider. “However, its absence from that priority list doesn’t necessarily mean the language won’t be heard or voted on.”

The INFB public policy team will continue to monitor that provision and will keep members informed of its status.