We Helped Start the Fire (and Brought the Water)

Legislative Updates Archive

Indy Chamber-backed Township Fire Consolidation and Water Resources proposals begin the Statehouse process

With apologies to Billy Joel, our latest musical nod references the lengthy history of Indiana General Assembly legislation concerning further consolidation of Marion County’s township fire departments. In Tuesday committee testimony on HB1478, Vice President of Government Relations Mark Fisher noted the Indy Chamber’s decade of advocacy on this issue, which has repeatedly advanced and stalled.

At a time when 92% of the City-County budget funds public safety and criminal justice, it’s important for the Council and mayoral administration to have additional options to protect taxpayers and seek efficiency in the delivery of services – just as they did with the 2005 police merger. 

Thanks to continued leadership from Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer, this year’s bill moves to the entire House for consideration on or after Monday, January 26th. 

Looking ahead, water-related bills will begin to draw attention in the coming week with a committee hearing scheduled for SB473 and SB474. The Indy Chamber has been a leader in water resources policy since our 2010 study on Central Indiana’s water supply and is grateful for Sen. Ed Charbonneau’s commitment to the matter through sponsorship of these bills and chairmanship of the Senate Environmental Affairs committee.

In other news…

  • Senate President Pro Tem David Long and House Speaker Brian Bosma spoke extensively to the media Thursday afternoon. From standardized testingand the redistricting process to ethics reform and gaming revenue, the leaders shed light on where most of the major issues are heading in the first half of session.
  • SB298 (Sen. Amanda Banks) regarding voluntary employer policies to give hiring, promotion and retention preference to veterans will likely receive a vote by the full Senate Monday, January 26th.
  • Rep. Tom Dermody filed HB1624, which will serve as the Sunday alcohol sales proposal most likely to advance in the House Public Policy committee he chairs.
  • Major tax bills SB423 and SB438 were scheduled for a Wednesday, January 28th hearing before the Senate Tax & Fiscal Policy committee.
  • SB259 would establish a dual credit STEM associate degree pilot program and will be up for a vote in the Senate Education & Career Development committee Wednesday, January 28th.

Indiana’s state legislature is one of the most accessible in the nation. If the bills mentioned above caught your interest, check the committee and floor schedules and view live debate here! 


Join the conversation on Twitter @IndyChamber! For questions regarding the Indy Chamber’s advocacy efforts, please contact Vice President of Government Relations Mark Fisher at [email protected] or 317.464.2291.


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