STATEWIDE — Week five of the 2023 Indiana legislative session has come to an end. Hoosier lawmakers have a busy week six ahead.
Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston says over 40 bills will be heard next week, but that’s not the only piece of business, especially for his Republican party.
“It’s hard to believe but next week we’ll have the House Republican budget,” says Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston on IndyPolitics. Speaker Huston says both Democrats and Republicans have been busy working on dozens of bills. Among those is House Bill 1008. The Republican-backed bill would limit fiduciary capabilities and limit banks from getting involved in investment processes, specifically when it comes to judging an investment based on Environmental, Social, or Governance (ESG) standards.
President and CEO of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Kevin Brinegar says those kind of limits would cost the state about 7 billion dollars over the next 10 years.
The bill still needs some work says Huston, “you’ll see an amendment that tightens up some language that I think clarifies what the intent is, which is to maximize returns without getting into political or social issues.”
House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta isn’t sure what amendments could actually do to avoid the potential multi-billion dollar loss. He had hoped to keep “culture war social issues” out of the 2023 legislative session.
“My concerns going into this, look this is a budget year. We have higher priorities that we should be focusing on with regards to fully funding public education, Pre-K, a big healthcare initiative. So, we have a lot more important things to work on than some of these things that are starting to come up,” GiaQuinta explains to IndyPolitics.
Despite the roadblock that is House Bill 1008, some other bills are making progress with support from Rs and Ds. House Bill 1005 has moved along with bipartisan support. The bill deals with housing issues and helps establishes the residential housing infrastructure assistance program and residential housing infrastructure assistance revolving fund. Speaker Huston says that bill is near and dear to him, as he wants to assist Hoosiers in meeting their housing goals.
Off topic from the Statehouse activities, GiaQuinta was asked about his experience at President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.
“Now, I will say this, sometimes I felt like I was at a Fort Wayne Comets hockey game with all the hooting and hollering,” says GiaQuinta, “you know, we don’t do that here with the State of the State. I don’t think they should be doing that. I was well-behaved, sir, so I think the members should be as well.”
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