Ice Chills Big Day at Statehouse

What was shaping up to be a day of MAJOR committee hearings at the Statehouse on Wednesday fell victim to Mother Nature. Among the bills that were scheduled for debate — and we mean real debate:

  • A lengthy immigration battle was set for the Senate chambers; it has been moved to the afternoon of Feb. 9. Senator Mike Delph had promised a few weeks ago to pursue Arizona-type legislation, but word in recent days was that some of the more stringent provisions were being deleted. Either way, passions will be on display.
  • Assignment of benefits was scheduled to reappear in the House. This controversial health care billing procedure would potentially raise costs for employers and employees.
  • An education double-header was on tap. Teacher quality was to be the focus of the Senate Education and Career Development Committee in the afternoon, following the House Education panel tackling reform initiatives in an early gathering in the House chambers.

All these issues may end up on committee agendas next Wednesday, or some special meetings may be arranged.

Some legislators were scattering for home on Tuesday after General Assembly activity was cancelled. Ice in Central Indiana and massive snow in the north did not make for a good combination. We would expect activity to resume today but some legislators, particularly from the north, may not be able to return if indeed they vacated earlier in the week.