Difference between revisions of "Indiana General Assembly"

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
(Salaries)
m (Text replace - "As of December 2012, [[" to "As of May 2013, [[")
Line 25: Line 25:
 
}}{{TOCnestright}}The '''Indiana General Assembly''' is the [[state legislature]], or legislative branch, of the state of [[Indiana]]. It is a [[bicameral]] legislature that consists of a [[lower house]], the [[Indiana House of Representatives]], and an upper house, the [[Indiana State Senate]]. The state legislature meets in the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.
 
}}{{TOCnestright}}The '''Indiana General Assembly''' is the [[state legislature]], or legislative branch, of the state of [[Indiana]]. It is a [[bicameral]] legislature that consists of a [[lower house]], the [[Indiana House of Representatives]], and an upper house, the [[Indiana State Senate]]. The state legislature meets in the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.
  
As of December 2012, [[Indiana]] is one of 24 Republican [[state government trifectas]].
+
As of May 2013, [[Indiana]] is one of 24 Republican [[state government trifectas]].
 
==Sessions==
 
==Sessions==
 
[[Article 4, Indiana Constitution|Article 4 of the Indiana Constitution]] establishes when the General Assembly is to be in session.  Section 9 of Article 4 states that the General Assembly will begin its regular session on the Tuesday following the second Monday in January of each year.  However, Section 9 allows the starting state for the session to be changed by law.  This has happened in Indiana in 2010, as the General Assembly's session convened on January 5th instead of the constitutionally designated date, which was January 12th. The session must adjourn by April 29 in odd numbered years and March 14 in even numbered years.<ref>[http://www.in.gov/legislative/2353.htm IN Legislature FAQ]</ref>   
 
[[Article 4, Indiana Constitution|Article 4 of the Indiana Constitution]] establishes when the General Assembly is to be in session.  Section 9 of Article 4 states that the General Assembly will begin its regular session on the Tuesday following the second Monday in January of each year.  However, Section 9 allows the starting state for the session to be changed by law.  This has happened in Indiana in 2010, as the General Assembly's session convened on January 5th instead of the constitutionally designated date, which was January 12th. The session must adjourn by April 29 in odd numbered years and March 14 in even numbered years.<ref>[http://www.in.gov/legislative/2353.htm IN Legislature FAQ]</ref>   

Revision as of 07:29, 13 May 2013

Indiana General Assembly

Seal of Indiana.png
General Information
Type:   State legislature
Term limits:   None
2014 session start:   January 15, 2013
Website:   Official Legislature Page
Leadership
Senate President:   David Long (R)
House Speaker:  Brian Bosma (R)
Majority Leader:   Brandt Hershman (R) (Senate),
William Friend (R) (House)
Minority leader:   Vi Simpson (D) (Senate),
B. Patrick Bauer (D) (House)
Structure
Members:  50 (Senate), 100 (House)
Length of term:   4 years (Senate), 2 years (House)
Authority:   Art 4, Indiana Constitution
Salary:   $22,616.46/year + per diem
Elections
Last Election:  November 6, 2012
25 seats (Senate)
100 seats (House)
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Redistricting:  Indiana Legislature has control
The Indiana General Assembly is the state legislature, or legislative branch, of the state of Indiana. It is a bicameral legislature that consists of a lower house, the Indiana House of Representatives, and an upper house, the Indiana State Senate. The state legislature meets in the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.

As of May 2013, Indiana is one of 24 Republican state government trifectas.

Sessions

Article 4 of the Indiana Constitution establishes when the General Assembly is to be in session. Section 9 of Article 4 states that the General Assembly will begin its regular session on the Tuesday following the second Monday in January of each year. However, Section 9 allows the starting state for the session to be changed by law. This has happened in Indiana in 2010, as the General Assembly's session convened on January 5th instead of the constitutionally designated date, which was January 12th. The session must adjourn by April 29 in odd numbered years and March 14 in even numbered years.[1]

Section 9 also gives the Governor of Indiana the power to call special sessions of the General Assembly.

Bills may be pre-filed in the Senate thirty days prior to the start of the session.[2] House filing begins on the opening day of the session.[3]

2013

See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the General Assembly will be in session from January 7 through April 29.

Major issues

As Republicans flex their new super-majority, the main topic of discussion will be a new two-year state budget. Gov. Mike Pence (R) is seeking to reduce the state's income tax.[4]

2012

See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the General Assembly was in session from January 4 through March 14.

Major issues

Main issues included "Right-to-work" legislation, a statewide smoking ban, a tax raise to finance a mass transit system, and eliminating the state's inheritance tax.[5] The issue at the heart of the matter was "right-to-work" legislation that Republicans long said would be their top priority in 2012. The legislation sought to ban companies and unions from negotiating a contract that requires non-union members to pay union dues. Republicans argued the move would bring jobs to the state while Democrats said it would lead to lower wages.[6]

2011

See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the General Assembly was in session from January 5 through April 29.

Session highlights

In the 2011 session, the Indiana legislature reduced the corporate income tax from 8.5 to 6.5 percent, spread over four years. [7]

Clerical error

On June 30, the state's largest agency, the Family and Social Services Administration, was accidentally eliminated, due to a major clerical error during the drafting of legislation related to the Family and Social Services Administration. The Administration helps more than a million people access Medicaid and food stamps in Indiana.[8]

According to the AP, "Senate Bill 331 was intended to repeal a provision already in law that would have automatically eliminated (the Family and Social Services Administration) - called a sunset. The sunset language was set for June 30. The bill that repealed the sunset provision went into effect July 1, so technically, FSSA was eliminated minutes before the bill intended to save it went into effect."[8]

The mistake was noticed days after the new law went into effect, and caught many welfare recipients and legislative leaders off guard. On July 7, Governor Mitch Daniels signed an executive order on Thursday, July 7, to correct the mistake.[8]

2010

See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the General Assembly was in session from January 5th to March 12th.

Structure

Salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Indiana legislature are paid $22,616.46/year. Additionally, legislators receive $152/day per diem tied to the federal rate.[9]

Pensions

Indiana legislators created a 401(k) plan for themselves in 1989, becoming the first in the nation to do so. Lawmakers who took office after April 1989 were ineligible for the traditional pension plan, receiving the individual retirement account instead.

Legislators pay 5% of their annual salary into the 401(k). In 2007, they voted to include per diem allowances, expense payments and leadership stipends into the calculation, thus raising their retirement accounts.[10]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Indiana legislators assume office the day after their general election.


Role in state budget

Main article: Indiana state budget

By January of every other year, the General Assembly of Indiana receives an biennial budget proposal from the Governor. The biennial budget proposal is for the next two fiscal years, which begin on July 1st. The Legislature then revises this budget over the course of the next couple of months. The General Assembly votes on a budget. For a budget to pass, a majority of legislatures must vote in support of it [11]

Indiana's General Assembly has failed to pass balanced budgets, having to draw upon reserves in the process. Indiana saw 1st Quarter FY 2010 state revenues drop $254 million, 8%, below forecast as announced by [Mitch Daniels|Gov. Mitch Daniels] on October 8, 2009. State budget officials estimate the FY 2010 budget could have a $1 billion deficit by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2010 if the trend continues. "Thank goodness we have built up reserves. And thank goodness we didn't spend them, or lots of them, as some people wanted to do," said Gov. Daniels. The state ended the last fiscal year with $1.3 billion in reserves. About $300 million of those reserves are slated to be used in the current budget.[12]

Senate

The Indiana State Senate consists of 50 members elected to 4-year terms without term limits. Each member represents an average of 129,676 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[13] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 121,610.[14] The Lieutenant Governor, currently Becky Skillman, presides over the senate while it is in session and casts the deciding vote in the event of a tie. The current Senate Pro Tempore is Sen. David Long of Fort Wayne.


Party As of August 2014
     Democratic Party 13
     Republican Party 37
Total 50


House of Representatives

The Indiana House of Representatives consists of 100 members elected to 2-year terms without term limits. Each member represents an average of 64,838 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[15] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 60,805.[16]

Party As of August 2014
     Democratic Party 31
     Republican Party 69
Total 100


External links

References