Indiana Legislature

State lawmakers Wednesday heard a lot of support and a few fears about the local impacts of short-term housing rentals through platforms such as Airbnb.

Commerce and Economic Development Study Committee members say they want any future regulations on the issue to protect property rights – for both hosts and their neighbors.

Indiana manufacturers hope the 2018 legislative session will hone in on workforce and education reforms to help fill jobs.

The state’s top business sector wants lawmakers to realign $1 billion in existing workforce spending and create incentives to attract new workers.

Eighty-four percent of Hoosiers have broadband internet access. Those that don’t live mostly in rural places – where poor connectivity is an economic problem.

The state legislature heard a range of ideas to fix that problem Thursday in their first of three study committee meetings on rural broadband.

Rep. Dave Ober (R-Noble County) says flat or shrinking populations make for tricky economics that will demand multiple solutions.

July 1 Marks Tax, Fee Increases For Hoosiers

Jun 30, 2017

About 45 tax and fee increases take effect in Indiana July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

Most of the tax and fee hikes the legislature passed this year are pretty routine, says John Ketzenberger, president of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute. The exceptions are tied to road funding – chiefly, a 10 cent-per-gallon gas tax hike.

“Gosh,” says Ketzenberger, “It’d been almost 20 years since we raised the fuel taxes, so it is unusual, and we talked about it for a couple of years before we did it.”

 

Indiana House lawmakers passed a bill Monday requiring doctors to inform women their drug-induced abortions could be reversed – and also to say there’s no scientific study to support that claim.

The vote for the measure, authored by Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Boonville), came over bipartisan opposition.

The Senate Local Government Committee will wait to vote on a bill that would require law enforcement to clear protesters from roadways by “any means necessary.”

The proposal raised alarm with lawmakers and members of the public Wednesday at its first hearing.

The bill, from state Sen. James Tomes (R-Wadesville), would require a mayor or other public official to dispatch all available law enforcement within 15 minutes of a report of a mass traffic obstruction.

State of Indiana / http://in.gov/

Indiana’s sales tax revenues have under-performed this fiscal year, and a new revenue forecast predicts the state won’t collect as much as previously predicted. 

That has Republican legislative leaders looking at the causes and effects.

Sales tax collections are down more than 3 percent from expected levels through nearly half of the fiscal year. 

Robert Carr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/myconstructionphotos/1525875787/

Communities across Indiana would receive more than $400 million for road and bridge projects under a plan unveiled Thursday by State Senator Brandt Hershman. 

The Republican from Buck Creek wants to give back to municipalities and counties some of the local income tax dollars the state holds in reserve.

Typically, local governments only get those dollars if the reserve balance exceeds 50 percent of annual collections.

The balance is currently around 25 percent. But Hershman says he wants to give locals that money, about $418 million, for roads.

ISTEP, Smoking And More To Be Studied By Legislature

May 29, 2015
MilitaryHealth / https://www.flickr.com/photos/militaryhealth

ISTEP testing, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and redistricting are among more than 40 topics assigned to legislative study committees this summer. Legislators will review some topics they started to address in this year‘s session, including needle exchange programs, and some they deliberately put off for more study, like replacing ISTEP with a shorter test. House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the ISTEP review will be of particular interest.

Indiana Becomes a Right-To-Work State

Feb 1, 2012

Indiana is now the 23rd Right-To-Work state in the country.

The Senate signed off on the bill Wednesday just two days after it was approved in the House.

Governor Mitch Daniels put the final stamp on the measure.  He signed it into law Wednesday afternoon.

Bill sponsor Carlin Yoder says despite challenges in getting the bill through, he thinks it’s the right move for the state.

The law prohibits unions and companies from requiring dues from non-members.

The Senate passed the measure by a 28-to-22 vote.  Nine Republicans joined Democrats in opposing it.

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