Audio Audio: Senate Democrats push for jobs bills in Senate

Audio: Senate Democrats push for jobs bills in Senate

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Today members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, including Senator Tim Lanane, Senator Bob Deig, Senator Sue Errington, and Senator Vi Simpson, held a press conference introducing a series of legislative amendments today aimed at protecting Hoosier jobs and encouraging businesses to rehire laid off workers.

Listen to the full press conference below:

Senate Democrats push for jobs bills in Senate

Series of amendments proposed to protect Hoosier jobs; encourage rehire of laid off workers

INDIANAPOLIS – Members of the Senate Democratic Caucus proposed a series of legislative amendments today aimed at protecting Hoosier jobs and encouraging businesses to rehire laid off workers. The senators say they continue to hear from constituents that the priority for state leaders must be job creation and economic development.

“What we are proposing is a series of straight-forward, common sense ideas to help protect Hoosier jobs and encourage businesses to bring back unemployed workers,” said Senate Democrat Assistant Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson).

State Senator Bob Deig (D-Mount Vernon) will propose an amendment to allow for the recovery of local property tax incentives.  The amendment requires a business to pay back all or part of the property taxes saved as a result of the property tax deduction for rehabilitating or redeveloping real property if the business closes during the deduction period or fails to employ the number of individuals promised in the application for the deduction. This language was originally authored in Senate Bill (SB) 218 and will be called as an amendment to SB 239.

Deig will also offer an amendment to give Hoosier preference to public contracts. The amendment makes a recommendation to public works divisions to Indiana employers when signing new contracts. Similar language was authored in SB 219 and will be proposed as an amendment to SB 188.

State Senator Sue Errington (D-Muncie) will offer an amendment to SB 35 that requires the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) to submit a comprehensive report of an ongoing local food grant program’s impact and findings to the General Assembly. The findings would provide information on how the state could work with local farmers and grocers to expand local and organic food production and distribution. Errington authored similar language in SB 194.

Errington will also propose an amendment to SB 35 to reinstate the requirements of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Program under the Indiana Board of Animal Health. The recent budget cuts of $1 million in state general funds and resulting loss of $1 million in matching federal monies threatens 134 locally owned state-inspected meat processing facilities as well as an estimated 1,600 jobs in those processing facilities. Hundreds of small family farms depend on the facilities and inspectors for the processing of their products.

State Senator Vi Simpson (D-Ellettsville) will propose an amendment to SB 236 to provide a tax credit for Indiana employers that rehire laid off worker from a place of employment located in Indiana. The credit would be funded by an already established training fund and not require a new state appropriation. Simpson says the measure would provide an incentive to small business owners to take the risk of bringing workers back. This would only apply to workers hired back to the same employer. The amendment comes from language already authored in SB 352.

Simpson also called for the immediate release of all state appropriations for building and renovation projects at state universities and colleges. Simpson said over $300 million is awaiting approval by the State Budget Committee, and if released, would provide immediate work and jobs in local communities.

For more information on the Senate Democratic Caucus or other business before the Indiana State Senate call 1-800-382-9467 or visit the website at www.senatedemocrats.in.gov.

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