Indiana House leader hopes special legislative session can be completed in one day

Gov. Eric Holcomb, left, and House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, stand together Wednesday during a bill signing ceremony at Cummins Indianapolis Distribution Headquarters.

INDIANAPOLIS — House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, is optimistic the special legislative session that Gov. Eric Holcomb plans to call in May could be over in just one day.

Bosma told reporters Wednesday that he and Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, have agreed the only issues that will be considered during the special session are those that can't wait until next year and were close to passing when the regular legislative session expired at midnight March 14.

He said that definitely includes tax code revisions needed to harmonize Indiana law with recent federal tax changes, as well as any other measure approved by a conference committee, such as the school safety funding and Muncie school loan endorsed by the Republican governor.

However, the proposed autonomous vehicle regulations, sponsored by state Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, which caused significant consternation in the Senate "can wait until next year," Bosma said.

Bosma and Long plan to identify well ahead of the special session which proposals will be considered and possibly release the text of each measure, so the 100 representatives and 50 senators are prepared to act on them immediately.

The General Assembly still must agree to waive numerous procedural rules to complete its business in a single day.

While the Republican chamber supermajorities can do that on their own, Bosma said he hopes Democrats will "be cooperative."

"I'm not confident that will be the case," Bosma said. "Of course, they don't have many opportunities to criticize with a state that's operating so efficiently."

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Indeed, House Democrats already are fundraising off the fact that Statehouse Republicans flubbed the end of the annual legislative session by failing to advance pending measures to the governor before the midnight deadline.

Several Democrats also have pledged to donate their $173 per day expense reimbursements for the special session to various charities.

State lawmakers do not receive additional salary for attending the special session.

In response, Bosma promised to donate $1,500 to a charity serving foster children and dared Indiana Democratic Party leaders and an Indianapolis newspaper columnist who criticized the need for a special session to match his contribution.

Long said he and Senate Republican committee chairmen will donate their special session per diem payments to the Indiana Military Family Relief Fund.

See 31 measures Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed into law

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