Lawmakers return to Statehouse for 2022 Session

Several bills, from gun rights to COVID-19 vaccine requirements, will be brought to the table
Lawmakers return to Statehouse for 2022 Session
Lawmakers return to Statehouse for 2022 Session(Staff)
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 5:06 PM EST
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WPTA) - Indiana lawmakers know they’ll have a full plate the next 10 weeks at the State Capitol now that the 2022 session of the General Assembly is off and running.

Republicans and Democrats back in their familiar surroundings in this short session, labeled that because lawmakers every other year don’t have the responsibility of hammering out a state budget.

Lots of bills, though, will get brought to the table for discussion and votes. Maybe the headline bill of the session, whether employers seeking to require their workers to get COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of keeping their jobs, will have to grant exemptions to their employees for basically any reason given whatsoever. Many businesses and health care experts say employer vaccine mandates can help reduce the impact of the pandemic.

A constitutional carry bill was introduced Tuesday and legislators say it could get passed out of a House committee Wednesday.

If the bill, which is also referred to as permitless carry or lawful carry, would ultimately pass, it would allow many Hoosiers to carry handguns without a permit. People would still have to pass a federal background check, but supporters say it would simplify the process for lawful gun owners.

Critics say requiring permits helps police know what they’re dealing with in certain high-risk traffic stops.

When asked why this bill is important, House Majority Leader Rep. Matt Lehman (R) said: ”I think it’s important because it’s a constitutional right. We don’t require other constitutional rights to be permitted to participate in.”

House Minority Leader Rep. Phil GiaQuinta (D) said he doesn’t think the bill is a good idea: “Permits are also helpful to law enforcement to make sure that they’re able to adequately do their job, for their own safety, for the safety of the folks that they’re pulling over, so it’s... I think it’s a bad idea,” GiaQuinta said.

Those issues, plus several tax cut proposals, figure to get lots of attention between now and the session’s end in mid-March.

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