Holcomb signs five Next Level agenda bills

INDIANAPOLIS – Governor Eric J. Holcomb offered the following statements after signing five of his Next Level Agenda bills and one executive order.

Broadband Development – HEA 1449

Authored by Rep. Edmond Soliday, Sponsored by Sen. Eric Koch

“In the 21st century, high quality, affordable broadband is essential to the success of all Hoosiers and our state. I have been dedicated to improving internet access for years, and now COVID has only made the need more apparent. Our current $100 million Next Level Broadband Grant Program is the largest single state investment in broadband, and by expanding this innovative program more Hoosiers will have access to affordable, quality connectivity regardless of where they live, work or go to school.”

Driving Privileges – HEA 1199

Authored by Rep. Wendy McNamara, Sponsored by Sen. Mark Messmer

“A key piece of my Next Level Agenda is removing barriers for Hoosiers to reinstate their driver’s license if the suspension was for non-traffic related reasons, such as failure to pay a fines or fees. Possessing a valid driver’s license is nearly essential for Hoosiers to remain employed in today’s workforce, and the suspensions have a bigger impact on low-income populations, rural residents, and ex-offenders. Allowing Hoosiers the opportunity to get back on the road safely and lawfully by introducing productive reforms helps individuals and employers.”

Electronic Meetings and Signatures – HEA 1437

Authored by Rep. Anthony Cook, Sponsored by Sen. Linda Rogers

“The pandemic has caused everyone to rethink how business is done. By modernizing our laws to allow virtual options for the meetings of boards, commissions, and local government bodies, we grow and improve public access. This law carries forward rules under current pandemic executive orders by permanently allowing fully electronic participation in the case of an officially declared emergency with appropriate guardrails to prevent abuse and ensure transparency.”

Pregnancy Accommodations – HEA 1309

Authored by Rep. Karen Engleman, Sponsored by Sen. Ron Alting

“While I have pushed for different language to become law in each of the last two sessions, I agree with members from both sides of the aisle that voted in favor of the bill as a step forward in assisting pregnant women in the workforce. I’ll always be looking for ways to continue making progress on this and every other front when it comes to removing barriers in the workplace.”

Accommodations for Pregnant State Employees – Executive Order 21-10

In addition to HEA 1309, Gov. Holcomb signed an executive order today that applies to all executive branch state agencies.

“While state agencies already make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees, outlining expectations regarding this topic in this executive order provides greater clarity for both agency leadership and agency employees. It is not only important, but fair, to delineate clearly, and an in accessible manner, reasonable accommodations that can be implemented without undue hardship. I also want to encourage pregnant state employees to seek reasonable accommodations, and we want to guide agency management into implementing the appropriate accommodations. Strongly promoting the implementation of pregnancy accommodations will assist the state in recruiting and retaining a skilled and talented workforce.”

Telehealth Matters – SEA 3

Authored by Sen. Ed Charbonneau, Sponsored by Rep. Shane Lindauer

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hoosiers used telehealth services more than ever before, letting them receive quality care safely in the comfort of their homes. Telehealth is a win for everyone – care providers have fewer missed visits, patients reduce their travel time for care, and public health improves. Telehealth increases healthcare access and improves health outcomes, and I am proud to say that with the signing of SEA 3 these services are here in Indiana to stay.”

Click here to read more about Gov. Holcomb’s 2021 Next Level Agenda.  

You can view more details at the 2021 Bill Watch webpage.