Vehicle Bills

I’ve had a couple of people ask me over the past couple of months what “vehicle bills” are in the General Assembly. For example, SB 38 is currently listed as a “vehicle bill” introduced by Senator Long.

The text says:

SECTION 1. IC 36 is amended concerning local government.

It was referred to the Rules Committee of which Sen. Long is the chairman.

These bills are basically place holders that act as a sort of safety valve to get around filing deadlines where the leadership sees a need. If Senator Long believes or another Senator persuades him there is a need for legislation that did not get introduced before the filing deadline; the blank vehicle bill can be brought up in committee and amended to include the desired language. It can then be voted out of committee and then work its way through the process in the usual manner.


  1. Paul K. Ogden says

    I think the vehicle bills are actually put into the Rules Committee. When they are amended with substantive language they are moved out of Rules to the appropriate standing committee.

  2. Soapbox0916 says

    Vehicle bills are also often used to fix glitches in the rule language, update citations across rules, update references, re-codify, and make technical corrections in rule languages.

    I work in local government now, but I used to be a Indiana Administrative Code rulewriter and contributed to many vehicle bills to “clean up” existing rule language that is not meant to change content, but either update or clarify.

    Vehicles bills can be used for more general things, but there are several reasons why it goes to the Rules Committee.

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