(INDIANAPOLIS) – This year’s legislative session ain’t necessarily over when it’s over.
Normally, state law would have ended the session in April. Because the census was late delivering data for redistricting, legislators passed a bill giving them until November 15, the day before the new session starts.
The House approved new legislative and congressional districts Thursday, and the Senate is expected to finalize the maps next Friday. That’s the only still-pending business, but President Pro Tem Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) says he’s still considering whether to adjourn. He says there’s the possibility of a legal challenge to the maps.
There’s another complicating factor: Governor Holcomb is suing the General Assembly over a new law which lets legislators call themselves back into session to review a governor’s emergency declaration. If legislators never go out of session to begin with, that battle stays on the back burner until the end of the 2022 session in March.
Holcomb’s public health emergency declaration is scheduled to expire a day before the Senate redistricting vote, but the governor has repeatedly renewed it for a month at a time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last March.
House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) says he hadn’t thought about whether or when to gavel the session to a close. The House isn’t currently scheduled to meet again, but is on standby to reconvene Friday if the Senate makes any changes to the new maps, which would require House approval.