A look at major legislation in the Indiana General Assembly
— STATE SPENDING: A new two-year, $30 billion budget plan would increase
school spending by 2 percent the first year and 1 percent the second year
for a total of about $330 million. State and local roads funding increases
by $400 million, with another $400 million for major highway expansions
over the biennium.
— TAX CUTS: Budget plan will cut the state's personal income tax rate by 5
percent in two steps — from the current 3.4 percent tax rate to 3.3
percent in 2015, then to 3.23 percent in 2017. Gov. Mike Pence had sought
a 10 percent cut. Plan also repeals the state inheritance tax retroactive
to Jan. 1 of this year; legislators last year had approved a 10-year phase
out of that tax.
— SENTENCING OVERHAUL: Bill approved revamping criminal sentencing laws
starting in July 2014, requires those convicted of the most serious crimes
to spend more time in prison and send more low-level felony offenders to
work release and other local programs.
— SCHOOL SECURITY: The state will offer schools up to $50,000 a year in
grants to help hire police officers and buy safety equipment to better
secure their buildings. Lawmakers dropped a proposal that would've
required all public schools to have an armed employee, possibly a teacher
or principal, on hand during school hours.
— ABORTION REGULATIONS: Approved tightening regulations on distribution of
the abortion pill and on the clinics that provide only drug-induced
abortions, which the bill's opponents say will affect only a Planned
Parenthood clinic in Lafayette.
— ONLINE SALES TAX: The Senate turned aside a House-approved plan to
require Amazon.com and other online-only retailers to start collecting
Indiana's 7 percent sales tax this summer. Amazon is to start collecting
that tax in January, but other online retailers don't face any
— GAY MARRIAGE: House and Senate leaders delayed until next year votes on
a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, saying they
wanted to wait until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on similar bans in
— SUNDAY ALCOHOL SALES: A bill that would have lifted Indiana's ban on
Sunday retail alcohol sales died when a House committee chairman didn't
hold a vote on it. Bills seeking to end the ban have been filed the past
several years, but it received a committee hearing for the first time this