Ind. Gov. Eric Holcomb to call for special legislative session

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana lawmakers will meet for a special legislative session this May, Gov. Eric Holcomb said Monday morning. 

When the regular session ended last week, there were still topics left at the table, such as boosting school safety funding, regulating self-driving cars, and the possibility eliminating handgun license fees. 

"We were seconds away and we should not bring new items to the table in a special session," he said.

Holcomb said the issue self-driving cars can wait, since it's not an urgent issue that needs to get done right away.

Holcomb could not give an estimated cost to the taxpayers for the special session, saying it depends on how long it goes. But it's expected to cost about $30,000 per day.

"It depends on the duration," he said. "Hopefully we can this done as fast as possible. Whatever the cost, it's dwarfed by the cost of inaction."

The "unfinished business" Holcomb wants to get done include:

  • Increase funding for school safety
  • Allow schools to get money for security equipment
  • Provide Muncie Community Schools with $12 million loan
  • Update state's conformity date per federal tax reform
  • Comply with IRS rules on taxpayer information

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce released the following statement: 

“The Legislature failed to pass the bill (House Bill 1316) with the state’s response to the major federal tax reform changes that occurred in December. That’s a big problem to not have that reconciled – because state taxes are based on federal adjusted gross income – and would put an unnecessary burden on every Hoosier business.

“It’s evident Governor Holcomb and lawmakers did not want to see the state fail to update its Internal Revenue Code, but that’s where we ended up.  
“If no action is taken, each company – small and large – would have to calculate their federal adjusted gross income twice. Once to conform with federal law and once for state law. For smaller-sized businesses, that could mean another $1,000-$1,500 and for the larger ones, considerably more for internal staff time and/or outside accounting expertise. In total, the compliance cost could easily be north of $100 million.

“On top of that, the required quarterly tax estimates become guesses and ultimately become planning and cash flow issues. 

“This bad situation had to be fixed and the Chamber applauds Governor Holcomb for making the tough, but correct decision, to call a special session. 

“Since legislators will be back for the day, we encourage them to also take up other key measures – on school safety and various tax matters – that would have passed had the clock not run out. They should use this opportunity to pass these bills that were ready to be voted on in the waning hours of the legislative session.”

Senate President Pro Tem David Long released the following statement: 

“As I have said before, the decision to call a special session is one only the governor can make. Gov. Holcomb has determined, after thoughtful deliberation, that there are items that require action by the legislature. The Senate will support his decision and work diligently to complete the tasks he sets out for us. We will be efficient and focused, and are committed to collaborating with our colleagues in the House and with the governor to act in the best interest of Hoosiers.”

House Speaker Brian Bosma released the following statement:

“I concur with the governor’s assessment that several critical issues require further legislative action. This special session will be limited to those important issues which remained on the table at the close of the regular session. We will continue to work closely with the governor and our Senate colleagues, and we are committed to keeping this session extremely focused and efficient in terms of scope and time.” 

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