2024 State Legislative Session Takeaways: Indiana

By Costa Costidis

The Indiana Legislature adjourned the 2024 legislative session on March 8. In even-numbered years, the legislature meets for a shorter session and, while the legislature was constitutionally required to adjourn by March 14, legislators were able to complete their work earlier than anticipated. Going into the 2024 session, lawmakers did not plan to have an active or aggressive session and instead opted to tackle bigger issues during next year’s longer session. In total, 739 bills (excluding resolutions) were filed and 172 were passed by the legislature.

Here’s what you may have missed:


Governor Eric Holcomb’s (R) main priority in the 2024 legislative session was education and literacy. These topics were the first ones addressed in the governor’s Next Level Agenda for 2024 after test results showed that 20% of Indiana’s third graders were not reading at a level consistent with their grade. The governor also highlighted his goals for education policy during his State of the State address. All three of the education initiatives that he highlighted passed during the session.

SB 1 was introduced and passed to address the youth literacy issue in the state. The bill requires schools to administer the state’s IREAD test in second grade rather than third grade to give students time to get the support they need to retake the test and achieve outlined standards. A controversial provision in the bill also passed and requires schools to retain students who fail the IREAD test. The second education policy item addressed by the legislature at the request of the governor was contained in HB 1243. This bill requires high school students to complete computer science instruction, beginning with the cohort graduating in 2029. The final issue was public university accessibility, which the legislature addressed in SB 8. The bill requires institutions of higher education to study the feasibility of structuring baccalaureate degree programs to be completed in three years rather than four to allow students to complete their studies and enter the workforce a year earlier.

Biomarker Testing Coverage

The legislature passed SB 273, which was signed by Governor Holcomb on March 11. The measure requires a health plan, which includes a policy of accident and sickness insurance, a health maintenance organization contract, the Medicaid risk-based managed care program, and a state employee health plan, to provide coverage for biomarker testing for diagnosis, treatment, appropriate management, or ongoing monitoring of an enrollee's disease or condition when biomarker testing is supported by medical and scientific evidence. Indiana joins fifteen other states who enacted similar legislation in recent years, including California, New York, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. The Florida legislature also passed a bill that provides coverage of biomarker testing under certain plans in March 2024. It is awaiting consideration by Governor Ron DeSantis (R).

Looking Ahead to 2025

While the Indiana Legislature had a quieter 2024 legislative session, 2025 is shaping up to feature some contentious discussions. Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray (R) stated the session could be “monumental.” The Indiana State and Local Tax Reform Task Force will submit its policy recommendations before the start of the 2025 legislative session and could lead to the legislature making major changes to the state’s tax landscape. The next legislative session will also be the first for a new governor as Governor Holcomb is term-limited and cannot seek reelection in 2024. The leading gubernatorial contenders are U.S. Senator Mike Braun (R) and former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick (D). Primary elections will occur on May 7.

To stay up to date on all primary elections that will impact state and local governments next year, please visit: https://www.stateside.com/election.