Weekly Indiana Statehouse update: Senate GOP budget, 'Don't Say Gay' changes, TANF increase
Indiana lawmakers addressed the state budget, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and welfare expansion.
Senate Republicans unveil their proposed state budget. Indiana’s version of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill clears the Senate after significant changes. And the first welfare expansion in three decades heads to the governor’s desk.
Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.
The Senate GOP budget diverges sharply from the House version over school vouchers. House Republicans want to dramatically expand the program; the Senate proposes maintaining the status quo. There’s also still an open question of how the new budget, HB 1001, will fund public and mental health care – whether through standard general fund dollars, a cigarette tax increase or cell phone fee, or some combination thereof.
Changes to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, HB 1608, mean a school must notify a parent – but not seek consent – when a child requests a change to their name or pronouns. The Senate also removed language that allowed teachers to use their religion as reason to refuse to call a student their preferred name or pronouns.
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For the first time in decades, the state is set to increase the income limits for people to access the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, program. Legislation awaiting the governor’s signature, SB 265, also raises the program’s monthly cash payments.
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