February 15, 2018

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Indiana Catholic Conference (ICC) is the public policy voice of the Catholic bishops in Indiana regarding state and national matters.

Committees are meeting; all bills must clear this second round by the end of the month. Because each committee will only have a few times to meet, many bills will go unheard in each chamber.

On Wednesday, House Public Policy Committee heard testimony on SB 340, Regulation of abortion, authored by Senator Travis Holdman (R – Markle). The testimony, with questions from committee members, took over 2 hours. In addition to Catholic Conference, others supporting the bill were Indiana Right to Life, Allen County Right to Life and Indiana Family Institute. And the expert witness was Dr. Andrew Mullally from Fort Wayne. Planned Parenthood and several young women testified in opposition. The committee will vote on the bill next week. It is expected to pass committee.

House Education Committee met on Thursday to consider SB 65, Instruction on human sexuality; the committee will consider several amendments filed and vote on the bill on Tuesday, next week. Many persons testified on behalf and against the bill. For some, the concern is that parents ought to opt out rather than requiring parents to give permission before instruction. The bill now requires that before specific instruction regarding human sexuality parents are to be notified of the materials used and give permission to take part in the instruction. While not widespread, there were examples of some schools where explicit instruction regarding sexual behaviors has occurred. ICC supports the bill because it affirms parents’ responsibility and right regarding education of children, particularly in such an important and sensitive topic.

HB 1319, Small loans and unsecured consumer installment loans, is still under consideration by Senator Mark Messmer (R – Jasper), chair of the Commerce Committee, to which the bill has been assigned. ICC, along with others, is working to educate Senators about the bill and the harms it will create. As in the House, we believe that we can defeat the bill, if leadership does not push it. Calls to oppose it are helpful. Call or contact your Senator and ask them to kill the bill.

House Financial Institutions Committee will meet on Wednesday, February 21, to consider three bills dealing with same Indiana Code and topics related to payday loans. We will be watching to see if an amendment is added that provides for payday expansion since the bill in the Senate has not moved yet.

HB 1203, Qualified egg banks, has been assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Rod Bray (R – Martinsville), chair of the committee has not yet decided if the bill will be heard. Senate committees have until March 1 to hear and move bills. HB 1203 will allow women to select ova from around the county to create embryos in order to have a child.  IVF is an immoral procedure and expansion of it, in particular the selection of ova from around the country is commodification of human beings; it is like shopping for a child. ICC opposes the bill.

SB 11, Eligibility for SNAP, is still being considered by House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee. Although the fiscal is small, that is what appears to holding up the decision.

SB 123, Newborn safety devices at fire departments, is under consideration by Representative Gregory Steuerwald (R – Danville), chair of House Judiciary Committee. A decision should be made in the coming week whether he will move the bill.

In addition to the Update, one can obtain more detailed information regarding the bills, as well as detailed information about the legislative process and the Indiana General Assembly by clicking here.  You can also access the archived I-CAN Updates, ICC positions and other background information at the ICC website www.indianacc.org



(Past updates here)

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