lawmakers dropped new beats on current bills, remixing the Statehouse
soundtrack as the last few weeks of session loom ahead. There were major changes to the gaming bill,
the Capital Improvement Board (CIB) revenue plan and economic development
policy. If that wasn’t enough, the
Senate released its version of the budget Thursday morning.
To quote the
Beatnuts, “Watch out now!” With heavy
committee action and more bills getting shuffled to the floor and the
Governor’s desk, if you blinked you might miss something. Here’s our take.
We like our
old school hip-hop references here, but this session definitely has a “new
school” spin: Top fiscal leaders like Todd Huston and Ryan Mishler are guiding
their first budgets, and school funding – as usual – is a top issue.
each iteration of HB1001
has upped the ante on state tuition support: The Senate amendment nudges the
numbers a little higher, for a 4.9% biennial bump for K-12 funding (versus 4.3%
from the House and 4% originally proposed by the Governor). Taking a closer look:
depends on next week’s updated revenue forecast and how funding matches up with
the final version of SB563 (economic
development), but we’d certainly prefer more investment in entrepreneurship and
passed the Appropriations Committee, and after new revenue data is presented by
the State Budget Agency next week, we’ll have a good idea of the positions and
parameters that will shape the fiscal negotiations to come.
The CIB Scoreboard
the Ways & Means Committee made significant changes to SB7, the Capital
Improvement Board funding bill, which then passed third reading on Thursday.
legislation removes a proposed Hilton development at Pan-Am Plaza from the PSDA,
including other downtown hotels to provide longer-term funding (on a sliding
scale) for a convention center expansion and upgrades to Bankers Life
Fieldhouse and other facilities.
debate downtown room capacity adjacent to the Convention Center and the Pacers deal
looks to be a slam dunk at today’s CIB meeting, the Indy Eleven franchise has
quietly dribbled towards their goal: Funding potential for a new $150M soccer
stadium stayed in the bill, minus a requirement that the team join the MLS by a
Means also dealt a new hand to casino operators by amending SB533 earlier in
the week. They halved (from $100 to $50M)
a fee imposed by their Policy Committee colleagues for Spectacle Entertainment
to consolidate Gary riverboat licenses into a major inland casino. They also revived a competitive process for a
newly-created casino license in Terre Haute (which had been earmarked for
Spectacle) and provides ‘hold harmless’ funding for the French Lick/West Baden
hotels as the competitive landscape shifts.
also legalizes (and taxes at 9.5%) sports wagering at casinos and satellite
locations (amid a continued debate over mobile betting), potentially boosting
the gaming revenue stream (now a fairly modest contributor to the general
The rest of the week: Economic development, school efficiency and more…
SB563 was also
marked up in committee and passed third reading this week, updating economic
development incentives to support high-tech growth and creating a redevelopment
tax credit to bring new investment to vacant or environmentally-compromised
properties. The amended bill tweaks the
certified tech park statute and specified public health as a factor in choosing
qualified redevelopment sites.
roundup of what else got remixed, rebooted or read forward in the process: