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Weekly Statehouse Update: Election security, 13th check, Medicaid transparency

The northeast exterior of the Indiana Statehouse.
Lauren Chapman
IPB News
Indiana's 2024 legislative session runs through no later than March 14, 2024.

A controversial measure purported to enhance election security heads to the governor. A Senate committee axes the 13th check. And the House approves Medicaid transparency amendments.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

HB 1264: Election security

Senate-approved legislation would provide state and local election officials more tools to potentially remove people from the voter rolls. That includes using credit information and Bureau of Motor Vehicles data on noncitizens. Critics say HB 1264 will invite litigation, as at least one similar bill in another state was halted by the courts.

HB 1004: Pension matters

Public pension retirees received no benefit enhancement in last year’s state budget — neither a cost-of-living adjustment nor an additional benefit known as the 13th check. A House-backed provision in HB 1004 to give pensioners a 13th check this year was stripped out in a Senate committee this week.

Committee Chair Ryan Mishler (R-Mishawaka) worries the 13th check would delay implementation of a long-term solution for regular benefit enhancements.

READ MORE: How do I follow Indiana’s legislative session? Here’s your guide to demystify the process

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 765-275-1120. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues, including our project Civically, Indiana and our 2024 legislative bill tracker.

SB 256: Fiscal matters

And some of the amendments added to SB 256 by the House this week require a more detailed outline on why there was a $1 billion Medicaid shortfall, and reports on how a shift from attendant care to Structured Family Caregiving affects Hoosier families.

That bill is headed to conference committee, where it’s not clear what language will survive.

Find all the bills our statewide team is covering in our bill tracker at ipbs.org/2024billtracker/.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.