Senate approves $200 tax refund, will consider abortion ban this evening

Pro-choice rally at the Indiana Statehouse on the first day of the Special Session
Pro-choice rally at the Indiana Statehouse on the first day of the Special Session(WTHR)
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 8:58 AM EDT
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Indiana lawmakers started work during a special session on Monday, July 25. The session, called for by Gov. Eric Holcomb, will allow lawmakers to consider abortion ban legislation and how to give Hoosiers a tax break given the state’s surplus.

Both issues will affect every person in Indiana, but the abortion ban will be what puts national attention on the state. Vice President Kamala Harris even visited Indiana Monday to meet with legislators ahead of their work during the special session.

BACKGROUND: Indiana Senate passes abortion legislation, moves on to House - Indiana Senate to discuss, vote on abortion ban amendments - Indiana abortion bill includes potential prison and fines despite Republican pledge ‘not to penalize women’

State senators started the session tackling the abortion ban bill, while the House started with work on a tax refund plan. They are slated to then switch for the second week. On Tuesday, July 26, the Senate passed the abortion ban legislation out of committee. It was presented to the full Senate on Wednesday afternoon and passed out of the Senate on Saturday, July 30.

Under Indiana code, the special session must end no later than Aug. 14, 2022, but legislative leaders anticipate concluding their business within two weeks after convening.

Timeline of events - Friday, Aug. 4

3:55 p.m. - The Senate approved the $200 tax refund bill after the House passed it earlier Friday. The measure now heads to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk.

3:04 p.m. - The Senate filed a motion to concur on SB 1, which means the Senate will accept the amended House abortion ban version as is.

3:00 p.m. - The Senate is taking up the amended SB 2, which includes the $200 tax refund for Hoosiers taxpayers.

2:25 p.m. - In 4 hours, the Senate will be able to take up the abortion ban bill if lawmakers so choose.

2:24 p.m. - The Indiana House has passed a bill that would ban nearly all abortions in the state, sending the legislation back to the state Senate to confer on House changes. House members on Friday advanced the near-total abortion ban 62-38 with limited exceptions, including in cases of rape and incest, and to protect the life and physical health of the mother. The measure now goes to the Senate. If approved as is, Indiana lawmakers will become the first in the nation to pass new legislation restricting access to abortions since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June removing its protected status as a constitutional right. The measure then would go to Gov. Eric Holcomb, who has not indicated whether he would sign it.

2:20 p.m. - Democrats made a motion to suspend action on the abortion ban and it failed.

1:45 p.m. - The Senate convened to have a final reading on SB 2, which would give a $200 tax refund to Hoosier taxpayers.

1:30 p.m. - There has been emotional testimony from both sides of the aisle as lawmakers debate the abortion ban bill.

12:25 p.m. - The debate over the abortion ban bill has passed 2 hours.

12:20 p.m. - Rep. Renee Pack says she is standing against further oppression of girls & women in the state of Indiana. Says beliefs of Republican representatives should not be put on the women of Indiana. Passionately objects to being called a murderer by colleagues.

11:30 a.m. - Some Republicans continue criticism of the GOP bill saying it does not go far enough. Rep. Matt Hostettler is urging his fellow Republicans to come back in the next session and strengthen the ban.

10:40 a.m. - Democrats strongly voiced their opposition to the abortion ban. Among their remarks: “Sadly women will lose,” “Don’t pretend the abortion ban will not kill women,” “Health care providers and doctors will flee our state.”

10:35 a.m. - The House is now debating SB 1, the abortion ban bill.

10:14 a.m. - The House passed SB 2 for inflation relief 93-6.

The version passed Friday morning would make Indiana taxpayers eligible for $200 rebate payments from the state’s surging budget surplus under an apparent deal reached among Republican legislators. The measure overwhelmingly passed the House on Friday morning and GOP Senators have already signaled they will pass it.

Those payments will be less than the $225 refunds that were originally proposed by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb but the deal represents a concession from GOP senators who were reluctant to go along with that plan.

10:10 a.m. - Rep. James DeLaney (D) likened the current inflation relief proposal to an empty pinata or a cookie jar filled with store-bought wafers. He said from the House floor that the surplus could potentially provide six times more relief to Hoosiers than what Republican leaders proposed.

9:46 a.m. - The House is starting with SB 2 (tax refund plan). Sponsor Rep. Tim Brown said the Senate supports the compromise package being considered. Rep. Greg Porter (D) said it is a missed opportunity to do more for Hoosiers.

9:45 a.m. - The House is reconvening for votes on SB 1 and SB 2.

Timeline of events - Thursday, Aug. 4

2:50 p.m. - An amendment to remove the exception for fatal fetal anomalies failed

2:24 p.m. - A Democrat Amendment to add the abortion issue to the November ballot failed.

2:03 p.m. - After a contentious debate on Amendment 20 to remove the rape and incest exceptions. The motion failed with a vote of 39 to 61. The majority of the 71 Republicans in the House voted to remove the exceptions.

1:50 p.m. - An amendment changing language to define an abortion exemption in cases of serious medical risk was approved.

1:33 p.m. - The House is considering amendments to the abortion ban bill.

12:30 p.m. - The Senate Tax and Fiscal Police committee passed an amended version of HB1001 with a 10-1 vote. In committee, the bill was stripped and now reads like SB2 (funding to support women) and SB3 (inflationary relief). This comes after the House stripped SB2, to make it read like HB1001.

Timeline of events - Tuesday, Aug. 2

6:10 p.m. - The amended version of Senate Bill 1 passed out of the House Courts and Criminal Code committee by a vote of 8-5. The bill now heads to the full House for consideration.

11:25 a.m. - The Indiana House Ways & Means committee unanimously passed, amended and stripped Senate Bill 2 on to the full House of Representatives. The bill now includes all of the language from House Bill 1001, which focused on the $225 taxpayer refund.

They also stripped out the Hoosier Families First Fund, which would provide $45 million for eligible existing and new programs to address:

  • Funding to support the health of pregnant mothers
  • Maternal support services and pregnancy resource centers
  • Access to contraception
  • Pregnancy planning, including removing barriers to long-acting reversible contraception
  • Needs of low-income families with children under 4 years old
  • Increased access to childcare
  • Support for foster and adoptive care
  • Programs to prevent children from entering the DCS system
  • Funding for Safe Haven Baby Boxes and more.

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