Wheeling and Dealing

Legislative Updates Archive

After two months of deliberations in committee hearings and on the House and Senate floors, this week marks the final stretch of the 2014 Indiana General Assembly session. Many bills passed their second chamber with significant changes and now face the scrutiny of bipartisan, four-person conference committees. As legislators from the caucuses work tofind compromises that can be approved by both the House and Senate, solutions to many key issues will emerge, while others will be dealt with in ensuing years.

The conference committee on SB176 met for the first time Thursday afternoon with conferees voicing concerns about light rail’s place in the proposed regional transit expansion and the level at which large corporations will invest in the project. Regardless of where deliberations on these and other issues go, this is the furthest mass transit legislation has ever advanced at the Statehouse. It is more important than ever for members of both chambers to hear from transit supporters in the coming days.

It is important to note this bill does not create new taxes and is about giving local officials, businesses and voters the choice to invest in connected neighborhoods and increased access to jobs and healthcare. Contact your representative and senator today and ask them to vote yes on the SB176 conference committee report. You can look up your legislators here to send emails in support of SB176 or call the House at 317.232.9600 and Senate at 317.232.9400 to ask for their offices.

Measures to reduce Indiana’s business personal property tax continued to advance, with legislators working towards partial adoption of previous House and Senate proposals. One approach taking shape would create the option of a so-called “super abatement,” which would allow counties to exempt new businesses from the tax for an even longer period of time than they are currently able to. The Indy Chamber is supportive of HB1001 provided that replacement revenue is found for the reduced tax.

Legislators from around the state were also appointed to iron out final versions of:

  • HB1020, which would mandate comprehensive study of Indiana’s portfolio of state and local tax incentives offered in the name of economic development;
  • SB118, which provides for increased oversight of tax-increment financing (TIF) districts and redevelopment commissions; and
  • HB1321, which offers Indianapolis Public Schools critical capabilities to partner with school management teams to spur innovation and improvement across Indiana’s largest school district.

This week will be jam-packed with conference committee hearings as the legislature works to conclude business by midnight, Friday, March 14. If you’ve yet to do so, follow @IndyChamber on Twitter to keep up with the action at the Statehouse on bills dealing with agenda items.

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