(STATEHOUSE) Feb. 19, 2008 - Rep. Randy Borror (R-Fort Wayne) successfully moved three bills through the General Assembly today. Senate Bill 250 that would improve veterans' homes, House Bill 1159 would lead to greater access to Indiana government for Hoosiers and House Bill 1164 would provide property tax deductions for model residences, and Senate Bill 250 transfers the responsibility for the Indiana Veterans' Home from the State Health Commissioner to the Department of Veterans' Affairs today.
"Many Hoosier veterans have made tremendous sacrifices, and they deserve the highest level of support we can provide them," said Rep. Borror. "Transferring responsibility is a logical switch that will greatly benefit veterans, bringing them additional funding and support."
Under the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the veterans' homes will be eligible for state and federal funding, allowing them to receive more funding, providing the patients with better care. The state health commissioner supports the transfer.
The bill will also require the veterans' home to post a notice that patients may request information with the names of all personnel or direct-care staff on duty.
The bill has passed the House and the Senate, and now moves to the governor's desk for his signature. If he signs the bill, bill takes effect July 1, 2008.
House Bill 1159
House Bill 1159 requires the Office of Management and Budget to coordinate a study with various state agencies to identify information and referral services. They will report the results of the study to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, 2-1-1 service providers and the General Assembly no later than Dec. 31, 2008.
"2-1-1 will help Hoosiers contact the appropriate government agency when they need assistance," said Rep. Borror. "The service will be very similar to that of 4-1-1."
Additionally, state agencies that use 2-1-1 must enter into an agreement with the service provider to establish the terms and amount of compensation to the recognized 2-1-1 service provider.
House Bill 1164
House Bill 1164 would provide property tax deductions for model residences, allowing a 100-percent deduction for up to three model residences per owner for four consecutive years, so long as the property was never a residence.
"Model homes allow potential residents to tour multiple floor plans, when looking to purchase or build a home," said Rep. Borror. "This is a luxury many consumers enjoy, but is hard for many developers to keep this going at a time when the real estate industry is so slow. The deduction will hopefully help the industry and consumers."
Upon passage, the deduction would be retroactively effective as of Jan. 1, 2008.
HB 1159 and HB 1164 were approved by the House, then amended and approved by the Senate. They will now move to the House for concurrence.