March 4, 2022

Republican leaders say school curriculum bill language 'highly unlikely' to return

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Some Senate Republicans thought House Bill 1134 was not good policy, while others felt it didn't go far enough. - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Some Senate Republicans thought House Bill 1134 was not good policy, while others felt it didn't go far enough.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Republican leaders in the Indiana General Assembly don't see eye to eye on the future of a controversial school curriculum bill. Some lawmakers at the Statehouse want to resurrect parts of the bill, while others say it's all or nothing.

House Bill 1134 met pushback every step of the way this legislative session, and was changed significantly after passing the House to address some of the concerns brought by Hoosier parents, teachers and students. The bill died on the Senate floor ahead of a key legislative deadline, after lawmakers in that chamber couldn't agree on the language in it.

Following the bill's demise, senators — including Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) and bill sponsor Sen. Linda Rogers (R-Granger) — said they would look at options to pass some pieces of the bill as part of other legislation.

But on Thursday, House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said House Republicans were satisfied with the bill as they passed it, and it's highly unlikely they'll support passing smaller pieces of the bill instead.

"My caucus feels really good about what 1134 was, and I'm not sure that we're willing to accept anything that's less than what the Senate might be comfortable with," Huston said.

In response, Bray said the bill's "chances do not look good at this time."

Bray added that the contents of Senate Bill 17 are not part of that discussion, despite the language being included in the House's version of HB 1134. But he isn't sure what the fate of that proposal looks like for now. SB 17 would have removed a legal defense for schools and libraries if they were accused of sharing harmful material with minors.

"We passed Senate Bill 17 out of here, it's been over the House and didn't move," Bray said. "I can't tell you what the future of that one is at this point."

Senate Bill 17 author Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville) and House Education Committee Chair Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) have both said they are still looking at options for that proposal.

Session will end no later than March 14.

Contact reporter Jeanie at or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz.

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