STATE HOUSE--You likely won’t hear anything from the state legislature this coming year about abortion. But, you might hear at least some discussions about decriminalizing marijuana, and helping provide some relief on property taxes.
You may be paying a lot more in property taxes as home valuations have gone up. Still, state government has limitations on what it can do to help.
“In a way it’s a good thing, right? Because people’s property values are going up. So, that’s encouraging,” said Sen. Rod Bray, a Republican and Senate president pro tem. “But, the impact that it has on people and the bill they have to pay twice a year can be really challenging.”
Speaker of the Indiana House Todd Huston, a Republican, said the House will have a discussion about it.
“No property taxes go to state government. It’s all local government and we’ll work with our local government partners to figure out how we can provide relief,” he said.
Bray also said the Senate will look at it, but warned that state lawmakers have to be careful because any changes impact schools, which rely on property tax dollars.
Both men talked to reporters during “Organization Day”, which happens every November at the Statehouse ahead of January’s legislative session.
During this summer’s special session lawmakers passed abortion legislation that essentially bans most abortions in Indiana, with discussion about additions or modifications in 2023. Broth Bray and Huston say the issue likely won’t be brought up, though.
“First of all we worked super hard on that over the summer and, not dying to go back there,” said Bray. “But, we’ve got the Supreme Court that’s taking a look at that issue (it’s on hold) and it wouldn’t be wise at all for us to take a crack at any changes until we know what that ruling’s going to be.”
Both Bray and Huston also seemed more open when talking about whether marijuana decriminalization or legalization would be up for debate in 2023, following a summer study committee, where testimony was heard about medical and economic benefits.
“I personally remain skeptical. But, I recognize that people want to have that conversations and we’ll see what our committee chairs decide,” he said. “I’m saying anything’s possible.”
Bray said he believes the Senate will “talk about it” this legislative session.
“What exactly we’ll end up doing I’m not prepared to say just yet. It does make some sense to begin to put in some infrastructure including like Delta 8 for instance, to try to outline what that would look like and to try to have some regulation on it.”
Gov. Holcomb has been unmoving in his stance that as long as it remains illegal federally, he does not want to see it legalized in Indiana.
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