Uncategorized Key bills unresolved as session’s final days approach

Key bills unresolved as session’s final days approach

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The 2012 session of the Indiana General Assembly is drawing to a close, however a number of key bills are still under consideration. Below is a breakdown of some of the legislation still being considered.

Bill Number     Senate Vote      House Vote    Current Bill Status

EH1005              30-19                70-26    Passed House/Senate; Sent to governor

NEPOTISM: House Bill 1005, a bill aimed at deterring nepotism and conflicts of interest in local government, has returned to the House for consideration. HB 1005 would prohibit public workers from hiring family members. In addition, the proposal would prevent firefighters, police officers, park officials and other municipal employees from serving in an elected position on a county council or board of commissioners that sets agency budgets and salaries. The bill stipulates that upon election, public officers would have to resign their employed position to serve in the elected office.

EH1134               48-2                   92-2         In conference committee

SCHOOL FUNDING OF TRANSPORTATION: House Bill 1134 prevents school corporations from charging a fee to parents or students for transportation to and from school. The bill also provides that parent supplemental transportation contracts do not apply to transportation provided by an educational service center.

EH1136              40-10                   91-1        In conference committee

CHILD CARE MINISTRIES: If enacted, House Bill 1136 would require the Division of Family Resources to establish a child care ministries advisory committee.  The bill had been recommended by the Committee on Child Care and has been the subject of controversy.

UPDATED:

EH1141               50-0                    94-0   Passed House/Senate; Sent to Governor

HOME ENERGY COSTS: Home energy costs would be more affordable for low income families if House Bill 1141 were approved by the Indiana General Assembly. The legislation would repeal the sales tax exemption for home energy acquired through the federal low income home energy assistance block grant program (LIHEAP). The exemption would be offset with funding from the federal mortgage robo-signing settlement reached earlier this year.

UPDATED:

EH1149                29-21                 62-35        Scheduled for final vote

SMOKING BAN:  House Bill 1149, the statewide smoking ban bill, currently exempts gaming facilities; bars and taverns; cigar and hookah bars; fraternal, social and veterans’ clubs; tobacco stores; bingo parlors; nursing homes and mental health facilities. The bill’s authors are in negotiations and the final status of the bill is still to be determined.

EH1189                48-2                    82-14       In conference committee

MULTIPLE COUNT DAYS FOR ED FUNDING: If enacted, House Bill 1189 would provide for a count of students attending a particular school in both the fall and spring. Adding a second count day would more accurately track the movement of students between schools and provide school funding that reflects that movement. The bill would also convert the school funding formula from a calendar year formula to a state fiscal year formula and provides a transition grant to some schools.

EH1269                 37-13                    62-35      In conference committee

HEALTH CARE COMPACT: House Bill 1269 , which has been controversial, would allow states to join together to create a health care compact in an effort to regulate health care. HB 1269 would require the consent of the U.S. Congress before the state legislature of each member state could have the primary responsibility to regulate health care in the member state’s jurisdiction. The legislation would allow member states of the compact to supersede all federal laws, regulations, and orders concerning health care that are inconsistent with the laws and regulations adopted by the member state under the compact. Opponents expressed numerous concerns about the bill including a potential cost of $10-15 billion to implement the legislation.

EH1376                  44-6                      96-2       In conference committee

EXCESS RESERVE FUND USAGE: Effective January 1, 2013, House Bill 1376 would change how the state would handle surplus revenue.  The bill would make the trigger for use of excess reserves 14 percent (rather than 10 percent under current law) of general revenue appropriations for the state fiscal year. The proposal also specifies that if the amount of the excess reserves is less than $100 million, all of the excess reserves shall be transferred to the Pension Stabilization Fund; and if the amount of the excess reserves is $100 million or more, 50 percent of the excess reserves shall be transferred to the Pension Stabilization Fund and 50 percent of the excess reserves shall be used for the purposes of providing an automatic taxpayer refund. In addition, HB 1376 includes additional compensation for victims of the 2011 Indiana State Fair tragedy, and additional funding for full-day kindergarten

SB 1                   45-5                  74-24  In conference committee 

RIGHT TO RESIST UNLAWFUL POLICE ENTRY: Senate Bill 1 would establish guidelines under which a person may lawfully use force against unlawful police entry into a person’s home. SB 1 is in response to Barnes v. Indiana, a state Supreme Court decision handed down in 2011.  In Barnes, the Court ruled 3-2 that Indiana will not recognize the ‘Castle Doctrine,’ which is the common-law right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers into a citizen’s residence. Public outcry over the ruling prompted lawmakers to review current law regarding this issue. Concerns have been expressed on how the law may be interpreted by citizens that could lead to dangerous situations for both the citizens and law enforcement officers.

UPDATED:

SB 18                  49-1             67-28     In conference committee

CHILD SUPPORT: If enacted, Senate Bill 18 would cut off child support at the age of 19. SB 18 provides that the duty to support a child, which does not include support for educational needs, would cease when the child becomes 19 years of age. Under current statute, child support payments must be paid until children reach the age of 21. The legislation would not affect parents currently providing child support. SB 18 would become effective July 1, 2012.

UPDATED:

SB 175         40-10                   95-0  In conference committee

ABSENTEE BALLOTS: Senate Bill 175 would require the Election Commission to modify the absentee ballot application form to request that a voter provide the last four digits of the voter’s Social Security number or state that the voter does not have a Social Security number. Further, the bill provides that a voter’s failure to provide the requested information would not affect the voter’s ability to receive an absentee ballot. Also, SB 175 urges the Legislative Council to assign to a study committee during the 2012 legislative interim the topics of ballot security for an absentee ballot transmitted to and from a voter by mail and connection of the statewide voter registration list and files maintained by the Department of State Revenue.

SB 293          50-0                     80-17 In conference committee 

INHERITANCE TAX PHASE-OUT: The House-approved version of Senate Bill 293 would provide for a 10 year phase-out of the state inheritance tax beginning in 2012. SB 293 would reclassify a number of beneficiaries, increase the inheritance tax exemption amount and completely phase out the inheritance tax over a ten-year period.