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Republicans, Democrats clash over scope of House inflation and family financial supports bill

Representative Gregory Porter speaks at a microphone in the Indiana House chamber. There is wood paneling behind him and he wears a dark suit with a pink tie.
Ben Thorp
/
WBAA
Rep. Gregory Porter (D-Indianapolis) suggested several amendments. These included one that would award tax exemptions to products such as diapers, formula and cribs.

Republicans and Democrats in the House clashed Thursday over the scope of a bill that includes family financial supports and offers inflation relief to Hoosiers.

The bill proposes a $225 check for eligible Hoosiers – but the majority of the more than 20 amendments considered focused instead on what kinds of support families and children should get.

Rep. Chris Campbell (D-West Lafayette) introduced legislation to give tax incentives to employers for providing family and medical leave. She said if abortion restrictions pass, parents will need time to recover after a pregnancy.

“A lot of people in poverty are returning to work too soon, causing a higher rate of complications and issues leading to death or serious injuries,” Campbell said.

READ MORE: Senate panel advances family financial supports, inflation relief legislation

In response to Campbell’s amendment, and many amendments put forward, bill sponsor Rep. Sharon Negele (R-Attica) argued it was beyond the intended scope of the legislation.

“Again, this bill is focused on an automatic taxpayer refund and funding and additional appropriations specifically for moms and babies,” Negele said.

Rep. Gregory Porter (D-Indianapolis) suggested several amendments. These included one that would make products such as diapers, formula and cribs exempt from state gross retail tax.

Porter argued that the state should be using some of its extra money to pay for exemptions like this – especially one with limited financial impact.

“I just find it so interesting that we as a body in general continue to say no to the least of these,” he said. “To the least of these. To the least of these.”

Porter’s suggested amendment failed largely along party lines.

Several amendments did pass, including one concerning an advisory board for doulas and another that would place signage at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles directing questions about pregnancy, adoption and foster care to IN.gov.

A third reading for the bill is expected on Friday.

Contact reporter Violet at vcomberwilen@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @ComberWilen. Follow WBAA's Ben Thorp at @sad_radio_lad on Twitter.