What to Expect from the 2021 Indiana Legislative Session
The 2021 legislative session kicked off last week and is sure to be full of twists and turns. After much consideration over the summer, the Legislature has a plan for safely meeting that includes the House meeting at the Indiana Convention Center and several other COVID precautions to protect members and staff.
2021 is a long session and will run through mid-April. Two main tasks for the Legislature this year include passing the two-year budget and redistricting based on the 2020 census data.
VGTS for Indiana will be working closely with lawmakers this session to ensure our message that Hoosiers win with VGTs is understood. 2020 was a hard year for service organizations, bars and taverns, and the revenue generated by VGTs would be an important step in keeping the doors of these small businesses open for both 2021 and the future.
The parties in both chambers have pledged their legislative agendas for the session, including:
"My caucus members and I are prioritizing a handful of items that we believe are at the top of the minds of Hoosiers as we continue to evaluate the impact COVID-19 has had on our state," Bray said. "Maintaining a balanced budget; offering liability protections to businesses, health care entities and individuals; and supporting our schools by fully funding students who are virtual due to COVID-19 are a few of the items on our agenda that we believe will be critical to supporting our communities across the state." -Indiana Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray
The Democratic Caucus agenda will consist of four main tenets: Raise the minimum wage so that all Hoosiers can earn a living wage; Boost workers’ compensation benefits that haven’t increased in over five years; Support the IBLC justice reform agenda, especially banning no-knock warrants and chokehold maneuvers; Expand access to voting by allowing no-excuse absentee voting and ballot drop boxes.
"We're focused on continuing to navigate this pandemic and helping Indiana bounce back stronger than ever before. It's critical we get more Hoosiers back to work, businesses open again and our economy firing on all cylinders. This session, our legislative priorities focus on helping small businesses and Hoosier workers, expanding rural broadband, improving public health, and supporting students and law enforcement. I look forward to working with our Senate colleagues and Governor Holcomb, and having a safe and productive legislative session." -House Speaker Todd Houston
State Representative Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis) released her legislative priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session. She plans to focus on reforms to the criminal justice system, Indiana elections and housing. “For too long, we have had communities disproportionately impacted by the harmful systems currently in place,” Pryor said. “We need to ensure that they start working for all Hoosiers. Improving our criminal justice and election systems and making sure long-term homeowners can stay in their homes will take hard work this session, but it will create a more fair and more just Indiana."
Learn more about how you can help bring VGTs to Indiana at www.VGTSforIndiana.org.