2013 Legislative Summary
May 6, 2013
You Win Some, You Lose Some
The recent end of the 2013 legislative session marked the beginning of much needed action on issues that impact the Indianapolis business community. The Indy Chamber made great strides in advocating for issues impacting the community, improving opportunities for workforce development, immigration, reentry and much more.
While efforts on transit stalled this session, we remain optimistic and will continue to educate and inform the public on the importance of improved transit options. The Chamber appreciates the support we have gained for transit this session and will work with our leaders in the General Assembly during the summer study committee to iron out the details on transit issues including governance and financials. We remain steadfast in our mission to bring this issue to the public and will not waver in our efforts to do so.
Check out our 2013 legislative wrap-up to find out how bills fared in the 2013 General Assembly.
April 29, 2013
Like It or Not, That's a Wrap!
The Indiana General Assembly wrapped up work on “the people’s business” during the 2013 legislative budget session with a series of victories and strategic investments in our state’s economic development and workforce initiatives, while leaving other issues unsettled and ready for future fights.
On Thursday, the House and Senate leadership joined Governor Mike Pence in announcing a deal on a fiscally sound $30 billion biennial budget that included over $1B in tax cuts for Hoosiers over the next four years, while restoring funding for K-12 & higher education as well as state and local transportation infrastructure. Some highlights of the budget bill include:
• $25 million for a BioScience Research Institute (a perfect fit for 16 Tech)
• $20 million for the 21st Century Technology Fund
• $25 million for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s Skills Enhancement Fund to
train new and incumbent workers
• $375,000 to fund the Indiana Career Council
• $6 million for the Indiana Works Councils
• $42.6 million for the State’s Public Mass Transportation Fund
• $215 million per year for state and local roadwork and $200 reserve fund for future roadwork
While the Indy Chamber is disappointed the Senate chose to send the Central Indiana transit bill (HB1011) to a summer study committee, we are committed to working with the legislature this summer to help them better understand the governance and financing structures that have been thoroughly vetted by the private sector and local transportation planning professionals.
Note: This update was submitted before the official end of the legislative session, be sure to keep an eye out for a complete legislative wrap-up later in the week.
April 22, 2013
Tick. Tock. Transit.
Time running out for vote on Central Indiana Transit Initiative
As we reported earlier this month, the Central Indiana transit bill has hit a road bump on its way to passage through the Indiana Senate. The current legislation is being sent to a summer study committee for further review which means no vote for a 2014 referendum will happen this legislative session…unless you make your voice heard.
This issue is about quality of life, economic opportunity and workforce mobility in your community! A recent study found that phase one of the Indy Connect plan for Central Indiana would deliver 7,000 jobs and $1.5 billion in worker pay in its first 10 years alone.
It’s not too late! Contact your legislator TODAY and tell them Central Indiana cannot afford to wait on this issue. We deserve a vote on transit!
Who is My Legislator?
Sen. Jean Breaux (District 34): 317.232.9534
Sen. Tim Lanane (District 25): 317.232.9527
Sen. David Long (District 16): 317.232.9416
Sen. Jim Merritt (District 31): 317.232.9533
Sen. Patricia Miller (District 32): 317.232.9489
Sen. Greg Taylor (District 33): 317.232.9576
Sen. Brent Waltz (District 36): 317.234.9426
Sen. Mike Young (District 35): 317.232.9517
Speaker Brian Bosma (District 88): 317.232.9657
Rep. Tim Brown (District 41): 317.232.9650
Rep. Christina Hale (District 87): 317.234.9218
Rep. Scott Pelath (District 9): 317.232.9629
Rep. Greg Porter (District 96): 317.232.9875
Rep. Cherrish Pryor (District 94): 317.234.9294
Rep. Jerry Torr (District 39): 317.232.9677
April 15, 2013
The Deadline Dash
Legislative scramble to fine-tune, resurrect or kill bills begins
Today marks the final day for a bill to pass the House on third reading, thus beginning the legislative free-for-all known as conference committee time, or as the statehouse interns know it, “Death Watch.”
What is a conference committee? A conference committee occurs if substantial changes are made to a bill in the second chamber from what was passed out of the chamber of origin. The author of a bill has the opportunity to agree or disagree to the changes. If the author disagrees, the bill is sent to a conference committee, where four legislators, one from each caucus, come together to hash out the details of the final bill. Provided they reach consensus, the bill is sent back to both the House and Senate for a final vote.
While this may sound like a clear cut process, the reality is that the normal rules of engagement are often times thrown out the window. Legislators will take action to ensure that previous work on these issues by the legislature was not for waste. Bills that died earlier in the session find their ways back into conference committee reports, poison pills are amended into bills to kill them on final votes. Bills that may face a tough time on their own are merged into what is affectionately called “Christmas Tree” bills (you can hang as many shiny objects on them until the bill is finally pretty enough for a vote).
So what does this all mean for the Chamber’s priority issues such as transit and workforce development? It means that it’s not over until it’s over “Sine Die” (official end of session, no later than April 29).
We will continue to push for our issues to be acted upon and avoid any future delay. Below is a list of priority bills that we will be watching over the next two weeks as well as a list of bills that have successfully moved through the legislative process and await becoming law on July 1.
Indy Chamber Priority Bills for Conference Committee
HB 1001 – Biennial Budget
HB 1005 – Education
HB 1011 – Public Mass Transportation
HB 1137 – IURC Review of Extraterritorial Water Rates
HB 1170 – Training 2000 Program
HB 1317 – Land Banks
HB 1338 – Charter School Administration
HB 1357 – School Administrators
HB 1450 – Commuter Transportation Districts
HB 1482 – Expungement
HB 1486 – Military Trained Emergency Medical Providers
HB 1545 – Tax Credits
SB 004 – Historic Preservation
SB 091 – Motorsports Investment District
SB 162 – Economic Development Reporting
SB 177 – Tuition Rates for Veterans
SB 189 – Performance-Qualified Schools
SB 207 – Resident Tuition Rate and Other Educational Aid
SB 433 – Abandoned Property; Property Safety
SB 494 – State and Local Taxation
Current 2013 Successes
HB 1002 – Indiana Career Council
SB 115 – Combat to College Program
SB 290 – Military Trained Emergency Medical Providers
SB 465 – Indiana Works Council
SB 564 – Veterans Preference on State Contracts
April 8, 2013
Senate Puts the Brakes on Transit
As predicted last week, the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee voted to strip the Central Indiana transit bill (HB1011) and send the issue to a summer study committee without ample opportunity to present the financial analysis on the Indy Connect plan.
Despite numerous studies over the past three decades, (Recent History, Executive Summary) the move to once again study the issue of transit in Central Indiana was largely driven by Marion County’s own Republican Senate delegation.
We Need Your Help to Make Transit a Reality
We want to thank Senators Patricia Miller, Jim Merritt and Michael Crider for their continued support and sponsorship of HB1011. Contact your Senator and let them know you support enhanced quality of life, economic opportunity and workforce mobility in your community!
• Transit has been thoroughly vetted and has proven effective in competitive cities across the nation.
• Citizens deserve the opportunity to vote on this issue. This is about local control and local decision making.
• The time to act is NOW.
Find Your Senator
Sen. Phil Boots (District 23)
Sen. Rod Bray (District 37)
Sen. Jean Breaux (District 34)
Sen. Jim Buck (District 21)*
Sen. Michael Crider (District 28)
Sen. Mike Delph (District 29)*
Sen. Brandt Hershman (District 7)*
Paralysis by Analysis?
Transit Bill Faces Uncertain Future Ahead of Tuesday Hearing
Despite years of traffic studies, financial analysis, legislative study committees, three successful committee votes and a 56-39 vote out of the House of Representatives, the central Indiana transit bill (HB1011) may be derailed in the Senate by a few legislators who aren’t quite sure the issue has been thoroughly vetted.
While no amendments have been officially filed ahead of Tuesday’s hearing in the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee, rumors abound at the Statehouse of efforts to send the bill to a summer study committee, indefinitely delaying action on the Indy Connect plan.
The recent legislative success of HB1011 relied heavily on our ability to build broad support of the central Indiana legislative delegation, particularly Marion County. While the bill currently enjoys the support of many central Indiana senators, there is a distinct split in the Marion County delegation. Understandably, yet frustratingly, without a home rule system of government, we must rely on the support of non-central Indiana legislators, who are often loath to support an issue without broad support of the affected senators.
We Need Your Help to Keep HB1011 Alive
Contact your central Indiana Senator and let them know you support enhanced quality of life, economic opportunity and workforce mobility in your community!
We want to thank Senators Patricia Miller, Jim Merritt and Michael Crider for their continued support and sponsorship of HB1011.
Find Your Senator
*= Member of Senate Tax & Fiscal Policy Committee
Sen. Phil Boots (District 23)
Sen. Rod Bray (District 37)
Sen. Jean Breaux (District 34)
Sen. Jim Buck (District 21)*
Sen. Michael Crider (District 28)
Sen. Mike Delph (District 29)*
Sen. Brandt Hershman (District 7)*
Sen. Luke Kenley (District 20)*
Sen. Tim Lanane (District 25)
Sen. Jim Merritt (District 31)
Sen. Patricia Miller (District 32)
Sen. Pete Miller (District 24)
Sen. Scott Schneider (District 30)
Sen. Greg Taylor (District 33)*
Sen. Greg Walker (District 41)*
Sen. Brent Waltz (District 36)
Sen. Mike Young (District 35)
Be Informed, Make a Difference.
Opportunities to learn more about the Indy Connect plan:
Monday, April 1 (No, this is not an April Fool’s joke!)
Public Town Hall with Mike Delph (IndyCAN)
Location: Pilgrim Lutheran Church of Carmel (3650 W 106th St Carmel, IN 46032)
Tuesday, April 2
Move the City: Stop Talking, Start Playing (School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI)
Tuesday, April 9
Green Drinks Indy (Transit)
Location: Tomlinson Tap Room
Monday, April 15
Northeast Indy Transit Advocacy event (with BRAG, Millersville, others)
Location: St. Matthews
Time: 7 to 8:30pm
*Stay tuned as more details come together
March 25, 2013
Dual Track Success
Chamber Legislative Priorities, Transit & Indiana Career Council, Maintain Momentum
The Indiana General Assembly wasted little time before tackling the key issues of the Indy Chamber in the second half of the 2013 session.
The Central Indiana Transit Bill (HB1011) passed out of the Senate Local Government Committee on Tuesday by a vote of 7-2. Though we have had success thus far, it is crucial that we maintain momentum. As 1011 heads to the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee, it faces an uncertain future.
Support of 1011 largely relies on proponents building broad support of the Central Indiana legislative delegation, particularly Marion County. While the bill currently enjoys the support of many Central Indiana senators, the loss of Senator Kenley (R-Noblesville) as a bill sponsor, was a heavy blow to our efforts. For now, we do not know how he will vote when the times comes.
We expect to see amendments once this bill reaches the Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee in early April. While we have had momentous success so far, it is in the coming weeks that we discover the fruits of our labor.
The bi-partisan coordination to improve Indiana’s workforce development with the Indiana Career Council (HB1002) has met unmitigated success in the second half of the session. It passed in second reading with amendments. It is important that we continue to have bi-partisan support on this issue as it moves forward to third reading next week.
March 18, 2013
Transit Bill Set for Wednesday Committee Hearing
After three successful votes in the House of Representatives (House Transportation 11-1, House Ways & Means 20-2, House Floor 56-39), the Central Indiana Transit Bill (HB1011) is set for its first hearing this Wednesday (3/20) in the Senate Local Government Committee.
With only one Marion County Senator (Sen. Jean Breaux) and two others from the Indianapolis region (Sens. Rod Bray and Phil Boots), the bill faces an uncertain future. If successful in passing out of Local Government Committee, the bill will likely head to the Senate Tax & Fiscal Policy Committee for consideration of the financial aspect of the bill.
The bill’s success in the House can largely be attributed to our ability to build broad based support of Central Indiana legislators, who in turn clearly advocated for local control of the decision making process. While several Central Indiana Senators have signed on as co-sponsors (Sens. Pat Miller, Jim Merritt, Michael Crider, Greg Taylor and Luke Kenley), others have been very vocal in their opposition.
While it is too early to predict what final fate awaits the bill, rest assured that your Indy Chamber will continue to lead these efforts at the Statehouse and we need your help!
Let your voice be heard! Contact your legislator and let them know how transit will positively impact your quality of life and the health of your community!
Find Your Legislator
Learn More About the Indy Connect Plan
March 8, 2013
Bipartisanship: A Winning Workforce Strategy
Bipartisan Efforts at State Legislature, City-County Council Tackle Workforce Challenges
After a brief mid-session break, the Indiana General Assembly is back in the saddle and ready to work. Your team at the Indy Chamber is actively involved on a number of bills that focus on workforce issues.
Specifically, the following bills are currently making their way through the statehouse and are aligned with Indy Chamber workforce policies:
The Indiana Career Council (HB1002), a bipartisan bill carried by Speaker Bosma, Minority Leader Pelath in the House and Senate Pro-Tem Long and Minority Leader Lanane, has moved to the Senate and is a key bill for us and the state.
The Expungement Bill (HB1482) allows for additional opportunities for ex-offenders to phase back into the workforce and be self-sustaining citizens.
Training 2000 Program (HB1170) expands training assistance through the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to incumbent workers.
Additionally, the Indy Chamber is engaged in legislation that increases opportunities for veterans re-entering the workforce:
Combat to College Program (SB115)
Tuition Rates for Veterans (SB177)
Military Trained Emergency Medical Providers (SB290)
Indiana Works Councils (SB465)
Veterans Preference on State Contracts (SB564)
It is clear that when the workforce is strong, the entire community and local commerce is strengthened. We are enthusiastic about the momentum in both Chambers for these workforce issues and look for them to continue to move through this second half with success.
On the local scene, Indy Chamber Policy Director Angela Smith Jones has been an active member of the Indianapolis City-County Council Re-Entry Policy Study Commission. This Commission is focused on breaking the cycle of criminal activity by ex-offenders and re-integrating them into the workforce and community. The Commission is committed to generating solid policy recommendations to educate and foster successful transitions.
Indianapolis Public Schools
The IPS School Board has named an interim Superintendent, Dr. Peggy Hinckley. As Dr. Hinckley takes her position the search for a permanent superintendent continues. Mark your calendar for the next IPS School Board meeting: March 27, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at the Walnut Street Office.
March 1, 2013
The Fun Has Just Begun
Legislature set to Reconvene for Second Half of Budget Session
The Indiana General Assembly reconvenes Monday afternoon for the second half of the 2013 legislative budget session. After distilling down over 1,000 introduced bills, the priorities come much clearer as bills move from one chamber to the other for consideration.
Many of the Indy Chamber’s priorities managed to survive the first round of vetting including the Central Indiana Transit Bill (HB1011) which passed the House with a bi-partisan vote of 56-39, including a rare vote in support by House Speaker Brian Bosma.
As promised, the House continued their bi-partisan push to improve the coordination of the State’s workforce development efforts by approving the creation of Indiana Career Council (HB1002) 99-0. The Senate did their part by passing SB207 allowing individuals who reside in Indiana as their primary residence who were enrolled in a state higher educational institution before July 1, 2011 to qualify for in-state tuition regardless of US citizenship status.
All eyes will be on the Senate as they take up the House version of the biennial budget (HB1001). The House budget included increases in funding for education and an accelerated phase out of the inheritance tax, but did not include the 10 percent income tax cut proposed by Governor Pence, who has vowed to take the issue directly to the voters as he travels around the state. This issue could be the first sign of a newly energized legislative branch eager to reassert its standing as an equal branch of government.
It is still very early in the process and even proposals that did not survive the first round have a way of being resurrected as amendments in the second half. Your Indy Chamber lobbyists will continue to advocate for policies to ensure Indianapolis and central Indiana remain a leader in job growth and quality of life.
February 22, 2013
Legislature set to Wrap-up First Half of 2013 Budget Session
Half-time of the 2013 Legislative Session is just around the corner and the General Assembly moved quickly last week to advance bills out committee. The goal is to get the bills on to the floor of the House and Senate to meet this week’s deadline for final votes out of a bill’s chamber of origin.
As we approach this nail-biting half-time we will be watching votes on a few key bills: The Budget Bill (HB 1001) which will certainly pass out of the House and move on to the Senate for further debate and discussion. The Transit Bill (HB 1011) will be called down for third readings on Monday as the House wraps up their last day of the first half.
These will be long days on Monday and Tuesday, but then the brief “spring break” begins for the legislators and we expect the end of this week to be quiet. We will then gear up for the second half of action.
Haven’t contacted your legislator in support of the Transit Bill? What are you waiting for?! Be sure to contact your state representative and let them know you support HB 1011!!
February 15, 2013
A Green Flag for the Region’s Future
Legislature considers several bills with long-term impact on regional success
The Indiana General Assembly kept up the fast pace last week addressing a myriad of issues that will have a significant impact on the long-term success of our state and region.
First, the House Ways & Means Committee voted overwhelmingly to send the Central Indiana transit bill (HB1011) to the full House for consideration by a vote of 20-2. The bill, which would allow residents to vote via referendum to implement the Indy Connect plan, will be eligible for amendments on the House floor early this week. Provided all goes well, the bill should see broad-based, bi-partisan support on its third reading.
On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved a measure that will allow the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to make long-term strategic investments further strengthening the state’s position as the Racing Capital of the World and creating benefits for economic development in the tourism, hospitality and motorsports industries. The bill, SB91 authored by Sen. Michael Young (R- Indianapolis), would create an Indiana Motorsports Investment District that will capture state sales, income and corporate taxes at the commercial property that includes IMS for future investment including:
- installing lights for night events
- the addition of high-definition video boards, LED scoring and information boards
- technological upgrades designed for increased fan communication
- structural renovations to stands, upgrades to seating and restrooms
- infrastructure improvements to parking, tunnels, gates and fan access points
Read more about the project here.
Finally, the House Government & Regulatory Reform Committee heard a bill that could significantly impact efforts to reduce abandoned and unsafe housing that plagues several of our City’s neighborhoods. Led by Reps Ed Clere (R-New Albany) and Justin Moed (D-Indianapolis), HB1317 provides the flexibility to local governments to address the blight of abandoned and unsafe properties by authorizing the establishment of a municipal corporation known as a land bank to manage and improve the marketability of distressed property.
The quick pace of this legislative session is sure to continue as the deadline for bills to receive committee hearings or perish; quickly approaches.
Thank you for your continued support of the Indy Chamber legislative efforts!
February 1, 2013
When We Work Together, Our Workforce Works!
Trio of bills renew bi-partisan focus on workforce training, mobility and re-entry
All of the talk about focusing on workforce as a driver of economic development turned to action last week as a trio of bills moved through House committees with overwhelming bi-partisan support.
The first to move was HB1002 establishing the Indiana Career Council. Sponsored by House Speaker Brian Bosma (R- Indianapolis) and House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath (D- Michigan City), the Indiana Career Council would bring together leaders from Business and Labor, Economic and Workforce Development, K-12 and Higher Education to aggressively address workforce challenges affecting our State’s economic development efforts.
On Wednesday, the House Roads & Transportation Committee overwhelmingly passed HB1011, the Central Indiana Transit bill in a bi-partisan 11-1 vote. Unfortunately, the only no vote came from Indianapolis Representative Mike Speedy. The bill moves to the House Ways & Means Committee for consideration of fiscal matters.
Later that same day, HB1482 was passed out of committee 11-1. This bill is authored by Rep. Jud McMillin (R- Brookville) and Rep. Greg Porter (D- Indianapolis) addresses the expungement and restrained access to criminal records after 10 years of no additional offenses and other requirements. This is a critical step in ensuring our ex-offenders are able to secure and maintain gainful employment, thus reducing the risk of recidivism.
After three tense years of partisan battles, it is refreshing to see such bi-partisan support for critical issues. It is only January, but we’re hopeful the spirit of cooperation lasts through the end of April!
January 24, 2013
Transit on the Move
House Committee hears testimony on transit bill
Government, business and community leaders testified last week in front on the House Roads and Transportation Committee in favor of the transit bill (HB1011). A diverse group of well over 40 individuals testified in front of a packed House Chamber in support of the transit bill in a committee hearing that lasted over four hours (only two people testified against the measure).
Among them, Indy Chamber President and CEO Scott Miller and 2013 Board Chairman John Thompson voiced their support for the transit bill noting its significant impact on the future of economic development and talent attraction to Central Indiana.
Also testifying among the diverse group of transit supporters were: healthcare professionals, students, regional elected officials, young professionals and more!
Weren’t able to make it to the Statehouse hearing? No problem, let your voice be heard by contacting your legislator or signing the IndyConnectNOW petition.
Tell your Central Indiana members of the House Roads and Transportation Committee that you support HB1011!
Rep. Mike Speedy (R-District 90)
Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D-District 94)
Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-District 86)
Rep. Dan Forestal (D-District 100)
January 18, 2013
TRANSIT: Are you on board?
Legislature Wraps up 2nd Week
The Indiana General Assembly wrapped up its second week of the 2013 legislative session with a flurry of over 600 bills being filed addressing a wide range of issues. Check back next week for a complete list of bills and how they can impact you.
On Monday, January 14, the state celebrated the inauguration of Governor Mike Pence, Indiana’s 50th Governor. On his second day in office, Gov. Pence introduced his first biennial budget proposal which included increases for K-12 education and transportation.
Also, among the first bills to be addressed by the House is a requirement that all cost benefit analysis prepared by the Office of Management and Budget for proposed administrative rules include a private sector employment impact analysis. This comes on the heels of Governor Pence’s third executive order (13-03) imposing an immediate moratorium on any rules or regulations not submitted before January 14, 2013 as well as a cost-benefit analysis of all existing administrative rules.
Transit Hearing Set for Wednesday
On Wednesday, the first hearing on the Transit Bill (HB1011) will commence at 3:30 p.m. in the House Chamber.
Is your voice being heard? ACT NOW by joining the Indy Connect NOW initiative to move transit forward.
Sign the petition
Contact your legislator
Voice your opinion
The time to act is NOW.
Use the link below to find and contact your legislator:
January 11, 2013
Ready for TRANSIT-ion
Legislature Reconvenes, Readies for Pence Era
The Indiana General Assembly reconvened for the 2013 legislative session which will continue through April 29
House and Senate are controlled by a Super Majority of Republicans ensuring no walks outs (business will continue)
During this session, Legislators will craft the states’ biennial budget as dictated by state constitution
Leaders of both the House and Senate have stated that the budget, jobs and the economy will be priorities this session
There is wide spread recognition that, while Indiana is the fiscal envy of the nation and has created a great “sandbox”- an environment conducive for investment through sound fiscal management (low and predictable tax climate), infrastructure investment (Major Moves), low cost of energy and low regulatory burden, we must be much more proactive in developing our incumbent and emerging workforce in order for our state to continue to be a leader in economic development
In Central Indiana, Rep Jerry Torr (R-Carmel) will lead efforts to create and fund a regional transit system to enhance economic development, workforce mobility and quality of life in central Indiana - an issue that the Indy Chamber will be leading at the statehouse
What to look for:
Will the legislature begin to exert more autonomy and proactive leadership on issues?
How will leadership manage super-majority caucuses and the large numbers of freshman legislators?
Will newer legislators begin a new era of bi-partisan cooperation?
Check back next week for a list of priority bills and issues that affect you, your business and your community!
Find Your Legislator: http://district.iga.in.gov/DistrictLookup/