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Indiana lawmakers have 400 bills at session's halfway mark

Indiana lawmakers are entering the second half of the legislative session with more than 400 bills still alive, covering issues including teacher pay, gambling and hate crimes.

Posted: Mar 4, 2019 4:01 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers are entering the second half of the legislative session with more than 400 bills still alive, covering issues including teacher pay, gambling and hate crimes.

The Indiana House was on Monday considering Senate-approved legislation, while the state Senate was evaluating proposed laws endorsed by the House. Measures that are approved by both chambers will then be considered by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb.

One bill would provide $611 million for education. While the bill doesn't specify how school districts must use the funds, lawmakers hope officials will use the money to fund teacher pay increases.

"Having the legislature tell the school districts exactly what to pay teachers is problematic so we are trying to come up with other creative ways to help," Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray said.

Another proposal would legalize sports wagering, including on mobile devices.

"What we are doing in this bill would allow us to capture part of that market that already exists," Holcomb said. "I'm not quick to walk away from that."

Another key piece of legislation set for review is a hate crimes law. Holcomb made a public appeal regarding the bill after the state Senate removed a list of specifically protected characteristics, including sexual orientation, gender identity and race.

"The list is an important statement," said Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane. "We all have a race. We all have a color, a sexual identity."

Opponents argue that the government shouldn't regulate what people think. Others are pushing for the bill to include additional protections for political beliefs and involvement in national groups.

Bills that didn't clear either chamber could still be amended into surviving legislation.

There are two months remaining in the budget-writing session. The Republican-dominated Legislature must draft a new two-year budget to fund school districts, universities and state agencies before the session ends in late April.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 707111

Reported Deaths: 13216
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion963501718
Lake51613944
Allen39106671
Hamilton34449405
St. Joseph33979539
Elkhart27255432
Vanderburgh22060394
Tippecanoe21765212
Porter17945298
Johnson17507374
Hendricks16786310
Clark12681190
Madison12338337
Vigo12204244
Monroe11443166
LaPorte11118204
Delaware10341184
Howard9652211
Kosciusko9114114
Hancock7964139
Bartholomew7880155
Warrick7681155
Floyd7555176
Wayne6895198
Grant6837171
Boone6541100
Morgan6390138
Dubois6079117
Marshall5779108
Dearborn569876
Cass5683102
Henry5572100
Noble540683
Jackson493069
Shelby478495
Lawrence4338118
Gibson427989
Harrison427670
Clinton418653
Montgomery417786
DeKalb409184
Huntington378680
Whitley377939
Miami372465
Knox365989
Steuben364457
Putnam352560
Jasper350146
Wabash347678
Adams337952
Ripley334568
Jefferson312980
White308154
Daviess289299
Wells286281
Decatur278792
Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268533
Scott261053
Clay253244
LaGrange252470
Randolph235280
Washington230731
Spencer227631
Jennings224747
Fountain208445
Sullivan207742
Starke203952
Owen192156
Fulton191439
Jay186029
Carroll185720
Perry180236
Orange177253
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130234
Pulaski113645
Newton103534
Brown100040
Crawford97614
Benton96713
Martin82615
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55711
Unassigned0408

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