March 8, 2024

Legislative leaders say 2024 session more substantive than planned, but much more to come in 2025

Article origination IPB News
Lawmakers ended the 2024 legislative session nearly a week ahead of their deadline.  - Brandon Smith/IPB News

Lawmakers ended the 2024 legislative session nearly a week ahead of their deadline.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Prior to 2024, Republican legislative leaders called for a return to a normal session, with an agenda focused on small tweaks to existing policies.

Where it ended up was with bills far more substantive than many had imagined.

House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) touted measures to expand state education programs, ban antisemitism in higher education and provide benefit enhancements for public pension recipients.

All, Huston said, while starting the session later than usual and ending it nearly a week early.

“Got a lot of things done and saved the Hoosier taxpayers money by not having to pay us to be around,” Huston said.

House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) said Republicans dropped the ball by continuing attacks on local government and not stopping Medicaid cuts to families with medically complex children.

Still, he said his caucus helped stop some bad bills, including education provisions he deemed “anti-labor.”

“If we can solve problems and recognize that we do have things to work on and stop what we feel are bad bills, we feel like it’s a pretty good session for us,” GiaQuinta said.

READ MORE: Perception of bipartisanship in Indiana legislature often doesn't match reality



Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 765-275-1120. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues, including our project Civically, Indiana and our 2024 legislative bill tracker.

Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said lawmakers did a little more “heavy lifting” in 2024 than he thought they would. And he acknowledged that lawmakers punted a lot of issues to 2025, from health care to road funding to tax reform.

“We tried to stay away from some of those things because it’s a non-budget year. It’s a short session,” Bray said. “We were looking to be a little lower impact.”

Still, Senate priorities that reached the finish line included a measure to hold back thousands of students in a bid to improve reading proficiency and legislation that loosens some child care regulations to help improve access.

Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said 2024 was about missed opportunities.

“We had an opportunity this year to actually provide some relief to families from the high cost of child care,” Taylor said.

Instead, Taylor said, Republicans advanced bills to loosen or roll back regulations on child care and child labor — measures Taylor argued will endanger children.

All the leaders acknowledged that lawmakers this session set themselves up for major work in 2025.



Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Copyright 2024 IPB News. To see more, visit IPB News.


Support independent journalism today. You rely on WFYI to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Donate to power our nonprofit reporting today. Give now.


Related News

Free election support hotline available to Indiana voters at 866-OUR-VOTE
2024 Election Coverage
Indianapolis City-County Councilor La Keisha Jackson is Indiana's newest state senator