By law, the Indiana General Assembly had to adjourn by 11:59 p.m. on March 14, 2018. Unable to work through major differences within their own party, the House and Senate Republican supermajorities attempted to move several pieces of legislation with only a few minutes left until the clock ran out. After a motion from the governor’s office to extend session into the next day was ruled out of order for legal reasons, the House and Senate had no choice but to adjourn the 2018 session with several pieces of legislation left on the table. The bills that failed to move include:
- House Bill (HB) 1230 – A bill to provide more money for school safety after the Parkland, Florida school shooting
- HB 1316 – A tax overhaul bill that would bring Indiana into compliance with changes made to the federal tax system
- HB 1341 – A bill to allow for autonomous vehicles on Indiana roadways
- HB 1315 – A bill that would drastically change the criteria for a state takeover of a school corporation
- HB 1104 – Department of Local Government Finance agency bill dealing with local and state tax matters
- HB 242 – Another tax bill that deals with state and local administration.
The governor of Indiana, in powers provided to him by the state constitution, can call the legislature back for a special session for any reason. This option exists so members of the General Assembly can address important issues that were not handled in time during a regular session. On March 19, 2018, Governor Holcomb announced his intention to recall the legislature to address some, but not all, of the issues that failed to pass by the March 14 deadline. There has not been a special session since the budget-writing session in 2009, at the height of the recession, and there has not been a non-budget special session since 2002.
As of today, no exact date or dates have been announced for the upcoming special session. However, the governor and legislative leaders have indicated this will take place around the time of the annual “Technical Corrections Day,” a day typically reserved to correct any minor issues with recently passed legislation (this post from a few years ago sums up a typical Technical Corrections Day). Legislators have been asked to keep May 14-18 open as an option to reconvene, but no other details have been provided to members of the General Assembly as of today (April 2).