David Long

Legislature Passes on Formal Study of LGBT Rights

May 28, 2015
Courtesy / Indiana Senate Republicans

Republican legislative leaders say a formal study on creating civil rights protections for the LGBT community won’t happen this year. But they say they’ll be thinking about the issue regardless.

Republican leaders admitted earlier this year that controversy surrounding the religious freedom bill fast-forwarded the debate around adding LGBT protections to the state’s civil rights statute.  But the topic didn’t make it onto the list of issues lawmakers will officially study this summer. 


The Indiana House easily approved legislation repealing the state’s common construction wage, and the bill’s support in the Senate looks strong.  For the bill’s opponents, pushing it to a summer study committee could be their best hope.

Set by local boards, the common construction wage is a sort of minimum wage for public construction projects. 


Republican legislative leaders say the potential price tag of one aspect of Governor Mike Pence’s tax simplification proposal could be too costly to support.

Among the many provisions of Pence’s bill is a change to a sales tax exemption for Hoosier businesses. 

Initial estimates by the governor’s administration put the cost around $35 million. But LSA, the legislature’s bipartisan research agency, calculates a revenue loss of anywhere between $130 million and $240 million per year. 

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

More than a hundred legislators from around the country will gather in Indianapolis this week to lay the foundation for a future constitutional convention.  Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long says the gathering comes as state lawmakers grow increasingly concerned about what they see as overreach by the federal government.

House and Senate leaders say they’re looking forward to a less contentious legislative session than the past two years as the General Assembly convenes Monday.

The last two sessions saw sweeping education reforms, Right to Work, abortion bills and immigration measures that created significant conflict between Republicans and Democrats in the legislature. 

Now, the GOP holds a supermajority in both houses.