14 Feb IBA Gears Up for the Short Session, We’ll Need Your Help
The Indiana General Assembly officially began their “short-session” on January 6 and they are scheduled to wrap up their work by March 14, 2020. The term “short-session” is used for off-budget years when the Indiana General Assembly meets due to a 1970 constitutional amendment that authorized the General Assembly to meet annually instead of biennially.
Most of the bills that will be introduced in the General Assembly in 2020 will be released the first week or two of session and committee hearings begin almost immediately. It can be a fast and frenetic process during the short-session as lawmakers are up against the clock to get bills assigned to committees, schedule committee hearings and begin the legislative process of moving a bill out of their respective chamber within the first month.
Many committees will only have 1 or 2 hearings during the first half of the session, which doesn’t leave a lot of time to get issues resolved and move a bill out of its respective committee and on to the floor for further consideration. Bills that are controversial or receive a lot of pushback from varied interests often languish in committee or die due to the compact schedule the short-session operates under.
This is why it is critical to have a strong grassroots advocacy organization like the Indiana Builders Association. Legislators like to hear from their constituents and they take their concerns to heart when weighing the pros and cons of a particular piece of legislation. As a member organization representing nearly 3,000 member companies across the state, our voice can be loud if we exercise our right to be heard by our elected officials.
IBA’s Governmental Affairs Team works on a myriad of issues each session, some issues take longer to resolve than others. Assistance from the membership in making sure our voice is heard is critical to the success of our mission, which is to “educate and advocate for the construction industry to positively impact legislative, regulatory, and legal issues that affect housing affordability.” The home building industry is impacted by so many layers of government that your governmental affairs team doesn’t have the luxury of only covering one specific type of committee.
Our legislative guide is included in this issue of the Indiana Builder News and I encourage all of our members to familiarize themselves with the issues that we anticipate we will see in 2020. I would also encourage every member to read the IBA Legislative & Regulatory Report that is sent out every Friday during session.
The Legislative & Regulatory Report is a great resource to stay updated on bills/rules that impact the home building industry as they move through the process and we will send out periodic “Calls to Action” from our VoterVoice system that allows you to contact your State Representative and/or State Senator on a particular issue. This grassroots advocacy tool is simple to use and you can reach your State Representative and State Senator on a bill with a couple of clicks of the mouse. It should only take a couple of minutes of your time.
The Indiana Builders Association was founded in 1952 for the purpose of giving home builders a unified voice at the Statehouse. The foresight of our founding fathers back in 1952 has allowed the industry to engage in making Indiana a great place to call “home”. But we cannot rest on the success our state has enjoyed keeping housing affordable. Market forces and government overreach continue to add to the cost of housing, making homeownership unattainable for many.
Thank you in advance for your participation in the legislative process. The 2020 session will be fast and furious and then we get to prepare for the 2020 elections, which are shaping up to be one of the most interesting election seasons in memory.