Senate GOP agenda is limited, focused on 'nuts and bolts'
Senate Republican leader Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said his caucus’s agenda this year is focused on “nuts and bolts” measures.
That agenda, released Tuesday, contains three items: an expansion of the state’s automatic taxpayer refund, ensuring schools don’t lose funding because of quarantined students and helping end the public health emergency.
Bray said those measures "need to get done."
“The automatic taxpayer refund is important that we get about 900,000 more people to get the benefit of that,” Bray said.
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There are several other major issues up for debate this year, including teaching about racism in schools, COVID-19 vaccine mandates and whether school board elections should be partisan.
Bray called those issues "more controversial."
“They’re more complicated to work through and so they didn’t land on our priority list, necessarily, but they’re still important things that we’re going to have to discuss,” Bray said.
The legislation to help end the public health emergency addresses Gov. Eric Holcomb's requested administrative changes that will ensure Indiana doesn't lose access to millions of dollars in federal funding once the state ends the public emergency.
The House also has a bill with those changes, but tied it to language that effectively bans private companies from enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates – something Holcomb opposes. Bray noted that the Senate's version leaves out that controversial issue.