Last week, the Indiana General Assembly concluded the 2022 special session where we passed legislation to protect life, support mothers and babies, and return money to taxpayers

Protecting Life
With the passage of Senate Enrolled Act 1 (ss), Indiana improved on its pro-life stance by limiting abortions to instances of rape, incest, to protect the physical health of the mother or in the case of a lethal fetal anomaly. 

SEA 1 (ss) does not criminalize women seeking an abortion, hinder the medical treatment of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, or limit access to contraceptives. 

This legislation falls short of adequately protecting the lives of our unborn children, but it is a stepping stone toward further developing Indiana’s pro-life framework. I am determined to continue to support pro-life values and advocate for those who can’t speak for themselves, and I plan to work diligently to make sure young women are provided the services to assist them in making healthy choices for themselves and their babies.

Supporting Mothers and Children
Additionally, in anticipation of more babies being born in Indiana, the General Assembly passed Senate Enrolled Act 2 (ss), which provides $87 million for various wraparound services and tax cuts to support expectant and new mothers and their families.

SEA 2 (ss) allocates $42 million to programs like the Nurse Family PartnershipChild Care Development FundSafety PIN programSafe Haven baby boxes and Real Alternatives. An additional $45 million is allocated to the newly created Hoosier Families First Fund, which allows the state the flexibility to add funds to programs that help support healthy pregnancies and families. SEA 2 (ss) also provides financial incentives to help Hoosiers who are adopting children.

Providing Financial Relief, Paying Down Debt
Lastly, to relieve the pressures of inflation on Hoosiers, SEA 2 (ss) returns $1 billion to taxpayers through a second automatic taxpayer refund. Hoosiers who filed an income tax return in 2021 can expect to receive an additional $200 per filer in addition to the $125 automatic taxpayer refund authorized in the 2022 regular legislative session.

Indiana residents on Social Security who did not qualify for the $125 taxpayer refund triggered in 2021 because they did not have to file a state tax return by the end of calendar year 2021 can qualify for the new $200 refund if they file their tax year 2022 income tax return in calendar year 2023.

SEA 2 (ss) also provides that if the state ends the current fiscal year on June 30, 2023 with excess reserve funds, up to $1 billion of that surplus would go toward paying down obligations to the pre-1996 Teachers’ Retirement Fund.

The new law also caps the sales tax on gas so it cannot exceed 29.5 cents.

To learn more about these bills from the 2022 special session, click here

Article provided by Senator Stacey Donato’s office