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Special Session Goal: In and Out in One Day

Bosma says leaders hope to make public final texts of bills before session officially convenes in May

(INDIANAPOLIS) - House Speaker Brian Bosma says he'll seek to wrap up the upcoming special session in a single day.

Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says legislators won't consider anything new. They'll limit the agenda to "critical" issues where they'd agreed on what to do, but ran out of time to vote before a midnight deadline. Governor Holcomb has asked legislators to confine themselves to increased school safety funding, an emergency loan to the Muncie Community Schools, and adjustments to Indiana's tax code to bring it in line with federal tax changes resulting from President Trump's tax-reform bill.

Bosma says there's no reason that should take more than a day. He says majority Republicans will make public the final texts of bills in advance of the session, so legislators and voters already know the contents before the session officially convenes.

It's the same template legislators followed in a one-day session in 1987 which passed Governor Robert Orr's education reform plan, a tax hike to pay for it, and a new state budget. 

Completing the entire legislative process in a single day requires suspending the House and Senate's usual procedural rules. Republicans have the votes to do that without Democratic support, but Bosma says he'll confer with Democratic leaders before the start of the session and hopes they'll endorse the approach.

Bosma dryly describes the chaotic finish to the regular session as "arguably unglamorous." "Let's just say it wasn't perfect," he says.

Half a dozen bills died when the House couldn't get them to the floor in time. Bosma says there were "distractions" in the session's final days. He's previously questioned the Senate's decision to adjourn at mid-afternoon on the next-to-last day, and devote more than two hours on deadline day to the traditional resolutions honoring retiring senators. 

And Bosma says some first-time negotiators didn't realize agreements essentially need to be complete by about seven p-m to have enough time to get them to the floor before midnight.

House Minority Leader Terry Goodin (D-Austin), Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) and state Democratic Chairman John Zody have ripped Republicans for "mismanagement" in failing to pass the most urgent bills despite supermajorities in both chambers. They note even a one-day special session will cost the state 30-thousand dollars. 

Goodin and Lanane quickly announced they'd donate their pay for the special session, and Zody challenged Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) to do the same. Both say they will. Bosma accused Zody of trying to "make political hay" out of the special session, and fired back with a dare of his own, challenging Zody, Goodin and Indianapolis Star editorial page editor Tim Swarens to match his $1,500 donation -- the equivalent of 10 days of special-session pay.

At least 19 legislators have said they plan to donate their pay.ors have said they plan to donate their pay:

  • House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) - $1,500 to the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy
  • House Minority Leader Terry Goodin (D-Austin) - veterans and at-risk children's charities
  • Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) - foster children
  • Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) - Military Family Relief Fund
  • Rep. Carey Hamilton (D-Indianapolis) - Metropolitan School Districts of Washington Township and Lawrence Township
  • Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour)
  • Rep. Dan Forestal (D-Indianapolis)
  • Sen. Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) - Military Family Relief Fund
  • Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) - Military Family Relief Fund
  • Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport) - Military Family Relief Fund
  • Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne) - Military Family Relief Fund
  • Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) - Military Family Relief Fund
  • Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen) - Military Family Relief Fund
  • Sen. Sue Glick (R-LaGrange) - Military Family Relief Fund
  • Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) - Military Family Relief Fund
  • Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville) - Military Family Relief Fund
  • Sen. Chip Perfect (R-Lawrenceburg) - Military Family Relief Fund
  • The Indianapolis Star reports Reps. Ed DeLaney and Justin Moed (D-Indianapolis) will also donate their pay.

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

 

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