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Legislative Updates Archive

As we approach the start of the second half of the 2014 legislative session, leaders in both chambers have been busy wrapping up committee hearings and approaching third reading deadlines. House amendments had to be filed and passed by January 30, meaning legislators tackled a number of the Indy Chamber’s priority issues.

HJR-3 was amended with bipartisan support last week to remove its restrictive second sentence. Regrettably, the revised one-sentence amendment passed the full House Tuesday and now heads to the Senate Rules committee. The Indy Chamber, along with fellow opponents of HJR-3, commit to remain vigilantto ensure this amendment is soundly defeated and encourage the General Assembly to focus on urgent economic issues including education, workforce development, infrastructure, and fiscal policy.
 
The Central Indiana Transit Bill, SB176, passed out of committee Tuesday as a more comprehensive transportation package, including language that would permit the City of Indianapolis to issue bonds through the Indiana Finance Authority to pay for improvements in local infrastructure including roads, streets and sidewalks. At the hearing, businesses leaders testified in support of the bill, but expressed reservations regarding the proposed corporate tax that would fund part of the regional transit system.
 
HB1321 finished its first-half journey Thursday, and the Senate will now have an opportunity to give Indianapolis Public Schools the flexibility to create innovative schools through partnerships with charter school operators and school management organizations.
 
SB91 formally pulled Indiana out of Common Core State Standards as of July 1, in keeping with a previously established deadline for Indiana to adopt its own new standards for K-12 education.
 
Two different approaches to lowering Indiana’s tax on business personal property, HB1001 and SB1, passed third reading and headed across the Statehouse. Reflecting the Indy Chamber’s support of eliminating this tax only if equitable replacement revenue is found, a coalition of organizations called “Replace Don’t Erase” met with Governor Pence to express their concerns about the impact eliminating the tax could have on local governments and public schools.
 
In other news, HB1002, which deals with the Major Moves 2020 Trust Fund, was amended Friday to provide local governments with an additional $25 million for needed street improvements. HB1215 would expand the state’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit and was amended to include language studying the effectiveness of grant programs in spurring redevelopment. HB1229 headed to third reading and paved the way for continued government modernization in Marion County through the consolidation of township fire departments.
 
As we approach this second half of session, it is important to note that anything can happen to legislation as it moves through its second chamber. Bills could look very different in a few weeks, let alone tomorrow! The legislature will not meet this Thursday and Friday, but look forward to your Business Advocacy team releasing its mid-session report on priority bills next week.

Please click here for a list of all bills the Indy Chamber business advocacy team will track throughout the 2014 session.

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