1/12 Committee Schedule

January 12, 2010

House Committees


8:30 AM


Room: 156 D

HB1154 Marion County magistrates. (Pryor)

HB1167 Placement of children outside Indiana. (Moses)

HB1193 Juvenile, education, and law enforcement matters. (L. Lawson)

 Labor and Employment

Room: 156 A Note: Note addition of HB 1008 and deletion of HB 1105

HB1008 1977 fund purchase of out-of-state service credit. (Soliday)

HB1050 Return of 1977 fund member contributions. (Crouch)

HB1205 PERF and TRF COLAs; 13th checks. (Niezgodski)

10:30 AM

 Government and Regulatory Reform

Room: 156 A

HB1030 Local government reorganization. (Riecken)

HB1075 Public access issues. (Stilwell)


 Local Government

Room: 156 D

HB1061 County identification security protection fee. (V. Smith)

10:30 AM

 Ways and Means

Room: 404

HB1026 PERF board membership. (Niezgodski)

HB1059 Property tax billing. (VanDenburgh)

HB1145 Property tax exemption application filing. (Herrell)

Senate Committees


8:30 AM

 Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters

Room: 233

SB0025 Firearms in locked vehicles. (Nugent)

SB0027 Habitual offender filing deadline. (Head)

SB0071 Unlawful termination of pregnancy. (Paul, M. Young)

SB0147 Law enforcement issues. 

SB0148 Corrections and developmental disabilities. 

SB0178 Custody and parenting time matters. (Steele)

9:00 AM

 Tax and Fiscal Policy

Room: 431 Note: If HJR1 has been received by the Senate, the committee will take testimony and vote on HJR1 during this meeting.

HJR0001 Circuit breakers and other property tax matters. (Crawford, Kenley, Miller, Hershman)

9:30 AM

 Homeland Security and Transportation & Veterans Affairs

Room: Senate Chamber Note: Note: SB 186 removed

SB0073 Railroad flaggers and vehicle operation. (Wyss, Arnold)

SB0074 Federal regulation of commercial driver’s license. (Rogers, Wyss)

SB0102 Interment of service members’ remains. (Wyss)

SB0103 Military matters. (Paul, Wyss, Arnold)

SB0128 Emergency management. (Wyss, Arnold)

SB0187 Indiana intelligence fusion center. (Wyss, Arnold, Charbonneau


Indiana News Update

October 14, 2009

Middlebury school officials join lawsuit against state
Middlebury school officials are not happy with state government. Now lawyers are involved. At its Tuesday meeting, the Middlebury school board voted 5-0 to join Hamilton Southeastern School Corp. in a lawsuit to challenge the state formula for funding school corporations.  “We have talked this problem to death with no positive results,” school Superintendent Jim Conner said, later adding that it doesn’t appear the problem will be solved by the Legislature.   “So our only recourse available is to start cutting staff and activities or be aggressive and become involved in this lawsuit,” he told the school board.

Coalition wants to restore personal touch to welfare
With a state decision expected this week on whether to continue a $1.34 billion contract to modernize welfare, a coalition of advocates for people who use those services say it’s a costly failure that needs to be scrapped.  The Indiana Home Care Task Force said Tuesday it will seek legislation in the 2010 General Assembly to keep modern technology but restore the personal touch with a statewide network of caseworkers who meet with clients.

Governor Daniels appoints chairman of Indiana State Fair Commission
Governor Mitch Daniels announced his appointment of Andre Lacy as chairman of the Indiana State Fair Commission today.  Lacy’s term is effective immediately and the term expires Sept. 30, 2010, according to a press release.  He has previously served as chairman of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Indianapolis 500 Festival Association, according to the release. He is also a former president of the Indianapolis Public Schools.

Treasured bits of Indiana history at mercy of roof leak
Rainy days aren’t good news at the Indiana state archives.  The repository for some of the state’s most treasured documents is plagued by a leaky roof that has resulted in parts of the collection getting wet at least three times this year.  Officials say they’re worried about protecting the archives, which include the state constitution, John Dillinger’s prison records and the 1964 contract between the Indiana State Fair Board and the Beatles. But the state budget approved by lawmakers in an overtime session this year did not include money for repairs to the building.

Sam Turpin – Indiana Governmental Affairs

Indiana News Update

October 7, 2009

Statewide food drive collects 138 tons
Sen. Dick Lugar says a statewide food drive has collected nearly 138 tons of food for Indiana food banks.  Lugar said Monday that the food drive began after food banks across the state reported that the demand for food had increased more than 30 percent over last year.  The Indiana Republican contacted grocery retailers Marsh, Kroger and Wal-Mart and asked them to work together on a statewide food drive. Their stores set up Hoosiers Fighting Hunger displays with pre-bagged food items for purchase at $3, $5 and $10 levels.

FBI ID kits being sent to 162,000 Indiana children
Indiana officials are distributing more than 162,000 child identification kits to kindergartners and first graders across the state to help authorities locate the youngsters if they go missing.  Gov. Mitch Daniels and others announced Tuesday that the state is joining the National FBI Child ID program.  The ID kits have parents record the physical characteristics and fingerprints of their children on cards that are then kept at home. If ever needed, the kit will help investigators in their search.

Committee looks at summer timing, end for schools
Most people probably aren’t thinking about summer now that the cloudy, rainy days of free-falling leaves are upon Indiana.  But at least one group is taking a break from autumn to consider summer vacations: the state legislature.  The Interim Study Committee on Education has been soliciting input and ideas on school summer breaks. The committee, which met last week and meets once more at the end of October, is looking at the length of the school year, when summer break should end and who should set the dates — the state or the local district.

Sam Turpin – Indiana Governmental Affairs

Indiana News Update

October 6, 2009

Tougher smoking ban to be enforced at Indiana Statehouse
Put those cigarettes out or move on. That’s the message state officials are sending by stepping up enforcement of a smoking ban on the grounds of the Statehouse and Government Center complex in Indianapolis.  A memo sent to all agency heads and state employees says the smoking ban put in place by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2006 has been violated continually. Many people have been smoked just outside the Statehouse and Government Center buildings since the ban took effect. The memo says that from now on, State Police who see people smoking on the grounds will ask them to extinguish their cigarettes or get off the campus property.

Indiana’s lottery profits drop 17.5 percent
Indiana’s lottery proceeds dropped by more than 17 percent in the past fiscal year, marking one of the sharpest decline in profits nationwide.  The state’s proceeds from the Hoosier Lottery fell by nearly $40 million, as profits dropped from $217 million in the 2008 fiscal year to $178 million in fiscal year that ended June 30.  It’s unclear whether new slot machines at the state’s two horse racing tracks have cut into lottery sales. Lottery officials told The Indianapolis Star that the decline is caused in part by the recession and a lack of big jackpots.  Frequent wins may be good for players, but they prevent huge jackpots that draw more ticket sales. The lack of big jackpots is why Rob Vondersaar, 53, bought cigarettes but no lottery tickets when he stopped at a downtown Indianapolis gas station.

Report: Tax savings to rise in 2010-11
Property owners in Indiana are expected to save more than $70 million more on their tax bills in the next two years than originally predicted because of caps on property taxes, according to a new analysis released Monday.  The Legislative Services Agency said estimates based on new data show the caps will save property owners $441 million next year, an increase from the $392 million, or 12.5 percent, predicted in March. The caps in 2011 are expected to cut bills by $470 million, up from the $443 million, or 6.1 percent, predicted earlier.

Sam Turpin – Indiana Governmental Affairs

Indiana News Update

October 1, 2009

Parents urge pushing back start date for school year
Beth Wyrick, one of several parents who urged lawmakers Wednesday to push back the beginning of the school year, said she’s never met a parent or child who likes school beginning in August.  But that same consensus might be lacking among lawmakers.  Sen. Dennis Kruse, the Auburn Republican who is chairman of the legislative Interim Study Committee on Education, said he doubts legislators will agree on recommending changes to the school calendar when they meet again Oct. 26.

Lawmaker Pushes For More Cell Phone Driving Rules

Amid a national push to curb distracted driving, an Indiana lawmaker is proposing stricter restrictions for Hoosiers using cell phones behind the wheel.  U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood hosted a summit Wednesday on dangerous driving practices, and said he would issue recommendations that could lead to restrictions on the use of some devices while driving.  State Rep. Vanessa Summers, D-Indianapolis, has tried to get legislation passed restricting the use of cell phones for the past eight years.

ISU official: IDOC ‘playing games’ on inmate education
Indiana State University on Wednesday made its pitch to continue providing post-secondary education — including associate degrees — to Indiana’s state prison inmates.  “I don’t feel very good about it,” ISU Provost Jack Maynard said after the 10-minute presentation before the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI). “It seems to me the IDOC (Indiana Department of Corrections) has made its decision and we’re playing games here today.”  SSACI wants to reduce the amount it spends on post-secondary education of prison inmates — and Ivy Tech Community College has indicated it can get the job done less expensively.

Sam Turpin – Indiana Governmental Affairs

Indiana News Update

September 29, 2009

State casino taxes highest in Midwest
Indiana casinos on average pay the highest effective tax rate in the Midwest, according to a newspaper report.  The Times of Munster reported Sunday that a state study found Indiana casinos pay taxes averaging 38 percent of revenue. Casinos pay wagering taxes of between 15 and 40 percent on money bet on the floor and pay $3 to $4 per person in admissions taxes.

Bacon eyes statehouse seat
Ron Bacon, the Republican Warrick County coroner and former Warrick County councilman, will challenge 18-term State Rep. Dennis Avery when his District 75 seat in the Indiana House comes up for election in 2010. A formal announcement is planned for noon Wednesday at the Freedom Medical store in Evansville’s Washington Square Mall, and Bacon is waiting to name his priorities and reasons for running until then.  But he said Monday he’s focused on leaving the economy in better shape for family members who will inherit Freedom Medical, which he founded in 1977 and says is now the only independent durable medical equipment store remaining in Southwestern Indiana.

Drawing of districts to be topic of hearing
Lawmakers will hold a hearing today on whether Indiana should revamp the way it draws state legislative and congressional districts. Among those testifying before the Census Data Advisory Committee will be Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, who wants Indiana to switch to an independent commission to draw the maps.  Julia Vaughn, policy director for Common Cause/Indiana, which has long backed an independent commission to draw legislative maps, said she hopes the legislative committee hearings — which will be webcast at mediaserver.ihets.org/senate233 — will ignite a public debate on redistricting that will encourage the legislature to adopt changes when it goes into session in January.

Sam Turpin – Indiana Governmental Affairs

Indiana News Update

September 21, 2009

Where will 750 jobs from Republic Airways land?
Indianapolis could have built-in advantages in a high-stakes game to lure hundreds of airline-related jobs.  At stake are 750 jobs resulting from Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings’ July acquisition of Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines and the all-but-locked-up bid for Frontier Airlines out of Denver.  Whether Republic chooses to consolidate its operations in one location — meaning a boost in tax revenue and well-paying jobs for the winning city — or keep its interests separate is the million-dollar question leaving officials scrambling to put together incentive packages.

Access counselor’s job is all about openness
 To Andrew J. Kossack, the mission of the Office of the Indiana Public Access Counselor is clear because it’s right there within the name.  “It’s public access; it’s not government restriction counselor,” he says.  That’s how Kossack plans to approach his new job as the state’s access counselor.  That doesn’t mean he necessarily will side with the citizen who files a complaint after being denied a public record or being turned away from a public meeting.

After ruling, make voter ID law better
If the Indiana Supreme Court acts quickly, as the state requests, to reverse a ruling last week by a three-judge appellate court striking down the state’s tough voter identification law, it could deny Hoosiers a needed opportunity to improve its law.  The Indiana Court of Appeals’ ruling was blasted by an angry Gov. Mitch Daniels, who called it “preposterous.”  But, was it? What the justices of the appellate court said was that to impose a mandatory photo identification requirement at the ballot box but not have that same stringent requirement at nursing homes or for absentee ballots establishes a dual standard on Indiana voters that the court held is not “uniform and impartial” as required by Indiana’s Constitution.

Sam Turpin – Indiana Governmental Affairs