Lawmakers expect special session to be short

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana General Assembly will go back into session May 14.

Gov. Eric Holcomb issued the proclamation today, calling for a special session of the 120th Indiana General Assembly. Holcomb also announced his list of items he expects the Legislature to resolve.

“I’m calling lawmakers back to take action on the critical issues of school safety and federal tax conformity,” Holcomb said this morning in a press release. “And, with sharp focus, I’m confident they can finish this work in a single day.”

Despite having five specific items on the list, legislators still expect the special session to be very short.

“The ultimate goal is to be done in a day,” State Rep. Shane Lindauer said this morning. “There are rules that can be waived to make the process go faster. So as far as I know, that’s still the goal.”

Sen. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, said in March that Senate President David Long told senators to keep the week of May 14 open. May 15 is already on the General Assembly’s calendar as a day for fixing technical corrections.

“This should not be a long drawn-out affair,” Messmer said.

Holcomb wants legislators to approve his request for additional money for the Indiana Secured School Fund. He is requesting $5 million now and for the 2019 fiscal year. He also wants legislators to approve legislation to allow school corporations to get funding advances of up to $500,000 for school security equipment and capital purchases and provide Muncie schools a one-time, $12 million loan to cover the district’s operation expenses and needed capital improvements.

Legislators will also work on federal compliance matters. That includes updating the conformity date to Feb. 11, 2018. Indiana’s current conformity date, which is in state statute, is Jan. 1, 2016. If the state’s conformity date is not updated, taxpayers will calculate their taxes twice to file — once under 2018 rules for federal taxes and once under 2016 rules for state taxes, Holcomb said in the release. The Legislature is also expected to comply with new Internal Revenue Service rules to protect federal taxpayer information and assure access to federal tax data.

The Indiana Constitution states that the governor may call a special session at his discretion if he believes public welfare requires it.

The regular legislative session ended March 14, which is mandated by state statute, without these matters being resolved.




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