Priority Issues

Legislative Updates Archive

When the Indiana General Assembly convened on January 7, 2014 the Indy Chamber advocacy team hit the ground running, lobbying on behalf of issues impacting the Indianapolis region’s business community. Through the typical ups and downs of a sometimes-contentious session, the Indy Chamber remained steadfast in its mission to boldly advocate for policies helping Indianapolis remain the best place to live, work and do business.

With the legislature adjourned until next January, learn how our five priority issues fared and check out what’s yet to come for these important matters.

Mass Transit

SB176 - Outlines a funding formula of local revenue, rider fares and private sector investment to expand our regional transit system in six Central Indiana counties.

The Indy Chamber has been a leading advocate of robust mass transit for the Indianapolis region for several years, and the 2014 session brought unprecedented progress. This session marks the first time the legislature passed a bill giving local officials, businesses and voters the choice to invest in connected neighborhoods and better access to jobs and healthcare in their communities. SB176 passed with strong bipartisan votes in both chambers and the support of all four caucus leaders and now awaits Governor Mike Pence’s signature.

Marriage Amendment

HJR-3 – Amended to remove a provision that would put domestic partnership benefits for same-sex and unmarried couples at risk.

The Indy Chamber came out against HJR-3 last year following concerns it would distract the legislature from addressing critical economic development issues. While it is disappointing HJR-3 advanced in any form, we are grateful the general assembly spared our state from a divisive referendum in 2014. The Indy Chamber will remain steadfast in its efforts to ensure HJR-3 does not continue to shift focus from vital issues like education, workforce development and job growth.

Early Childhood Education

HB1004 – Provides for a limited, $15 million preschool pilot program and summer studycommittee into the feasibility of expanded, statewide early childhood education.

While it’s always difficult to generate support for additional spending in a non-budget session, the Indy Chamber is pleased the legislature found creative, last-second funding for an initial preschool program. With additional study coming this summer, it is clear consensus is building for the importance of early childhood education in putting children on the path toward success. Later in 2014, the Indy Chamber will lead a coalition of community organizations and business leaders studying the economic impact of early childhood education in the Indianapolis region.

Water Resources

SB271 – Assigns a summer study committee topics concerning Indiana’s water resources.

The advocacy team always monitors summer study committee action and will give special attention to this one during the 2014 interim. The topics assigned include the potential creation of a water management authority and the effect of water availability on state and regional economic development decisions and are in keeping with the Indy Chamber’s call for responsible use and allocation of water resources.

Local Government Funding

HB1225 – Would have provided that an individual working or owning a business in a different county than where he/she lives would pay a tax to the county of employment at a rate one-fourth that of residents and receive an equal credit against tax imposed by his/her county of residence.

Although this bill did not advance, the Indy Chamber will continue to urge the General Assembly to take a comprehensive approach to ensuring equity in local government funding.

Learn more about our legislative priorities and other projects at www.indychamber.com/advocacy.

Green = Success, Yellow = ProgressRed = No Progress

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