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March 13, 2020 9:20am

Indiana concludes 2020 legislative session

Indiana’s 2020 legislative session concluded on Thursday, March 12. This year’s session was a non-budgetary 30-day session. The Indiana General Assembly and the Kentucky General Assembly operate on opposite calendars, with Kentucky in long budget sessions on even years and short non-budget sessions in odd years. Indiana’s calendar is the opposite.

Much of the session focused on education issues, including legislation related to teacher performance evaluations and educator training and licensing requirements. The General Assembly also dealt with several issues related to health care, such as medical billing and health care pricing.

The 2020 session saw progress on two top GLI bi-state priorities.

Minimum Tobacco Age: The General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1, which raises the minimum purchase age for tobacco and vaping products to 21 in compliance with new federal law. Raising the smoking age to reduce youth tobacco and vaping usage is a major GLI priority. This will lead to a healthier regional workforce and reduce strains on our health care system. GLI is pursuing similar legislation in Kentucky in 2020.

Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Workers: Legislation to outline reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers and provide clear guidelines for employers unfortunately did not pass in Indiana’s 2020 legislative session, but the issue did show signs of progress. Two bills were filed: Senate Bill 342 (authored by Sen. Ron Alting,┬áSen. Mike Bohacek, and Sen. Ronald Grooms) and House Bill 1294 (authored by Rep. Karen Engleman). Both of these bills would have supported female workforce participation and provided important guidance for employers. GLI testified in support of Senate Bill 342 when it received a committee hearing in January. Passage of pregnant workers legislation in Kentucky’s 2019 legislative session was a major win for the regional business community. GLI will continue pursing this issue in Indiana next year.