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Recap: Here's where Indiana bills stand halfway through the legislative session

Here's a look at where bills on some hot-button topics stand halfway through the legislative session.

INDIANAPOLIS — Lawmakers filed nearly 850 bills during this short session. So far, about 30% of bills survived and are now being reviewed by the opposite chamber. Here's a look at where bills on some hot-button topics stand.

COVID

Lawmakers met in 2021 to start working on bills to end the public health state of emergency. One in the House and another in the Senate advanced. The least controversial appears to be SB 3, which does not limit workplace vaccine mandates. Still, Democrats voted "no" because the bill does not protect enhanced SNAP benefits for Hoosiers.

A handful of bills that would have prevented vaccination mandates or banned "vaccination passports" failed as well.

Schools

Two bills inspired by critical race theory debates made headway. Senate Bill 167 died after a controversial comment from a lawmaker saying teachers should be neutral even when teaching about Nazism. However, HB 1134, which is sometimes called a "twin" bill, advanced despite opposition from teachers, the teachers union and Black community leaders.

Supporters argue the bills advocate for more parent input. However, opponents fear the bills will add more work for teachers and have a chilling effect on the teaching of sensitive moments in history including slavery.

The Senate also is open to debating a House bill that would keep transgender girls off women and girls' sports teams. Opponents argue it will negatively single out transgender children. Supporters argue the bill will make sure women and girls compete on an even playing field.

Republican lawmakers filed five bills focused primarily on ending nonpartisan school board elections. HB 1182 did receive a hearing but did not make it out of committee.

RELATED: Controversial school bill referred to committee as opponents call on lawmakers kill the bill

RELATED: Indiana lawmakers consider bill to keep transgender students off girls' sports teams

Violence

Lawmakers also targeted violence in Marion County and Indianapolis. The Senate advanced five bills that will change bail standards and even requirements for judges. SB 8 would limit The Bail Project and other nonprofits that help bail poor people out of jail.

Taxes

Republicans advanced a bill to put surplus funds back into taxpayer's wallets. Hoosiers who file their 2021 taxes could see up to $125.

Marijuana

Democrats championed pushing forward marijuana legislation at the beginning of the year, but GOP leadership killed all 13 marijuana bills without hearings.

RELATED: 275 bills filed at Statehouse on first day of legislative session

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