Weekly Ind. Statehouse update: Expanding voucher program, constitutional amendment to bail eligibility
Republicans push a constitutional amendment to keep more people in jail without bail. Lawmakers debate a step towards a universal school voucher program. And the state Supreme Court weighs the future of abortion rights.
Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.
Indiana’s constitution only allows judges to deny bail for people charged with murder or treason. A proposed constitutional amendment – SJR 1 – cleared a Senate committee this week would allow judges to deny bail for any crime – if the person is a “substantial risk to the public.” Proponents say it’s about public safety. Opponents worry it will worsen existing racial disparities in the justice system.
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A Senate panel discussed legislation to expand a voucher program to cover any private school student in the state. The education savings account program was created last year for students with disabilities. This year’s proposed bill – SB 305 – would cap the program at $10 million but remove any eligibility guidelines.
And a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Indiana’s near-total abortion ban got a hearing before the state Supreme Court. The justices pushed back against arguments from both abortion care providers and the state. There’s no timetable for a ruling.
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