2012 Session Highlights
The 2012 Legislative Session has concluded and even though this was a short session year, we accomplished many of our goals. We streamlined government processes by reducing the number of committees, commissions and boards, increased funding for full day kindergarten and State Fair victims and, most importantly, have incentivized economic development through various tax credits and public works projects. I think all legislators would agree that it was a productive session with needed and important legislation passed that will help Hoosier families.
It was especially important for us this session to provide help for Hoosier Military families. Many of our soldiers return from duty and need help to get back on their feet. To provide relief, a Military Relief Family Fund was created in 2007. Military families are eligible to apply for the grants from this fund that can be used to pay essential family expenses. This year’s bill has extended from one year to three years the time that a military service family may be eligible to receive assistance from this fund.
In anticipation of severe weather and because severe weather has hit the Midwest in both recent years and in recent weeks, the Indiana General Assembly passed a bill that will protect Hoosier families from “storm chasers,” those who come into the state after storms and take advantage of vulnerable homeowners. These fly‐by‐night companies tell homeowners that they will agree to pay their insurance deductible if the homeowner will sign a contract with them that day.
Unsuspecting homeowners have no idea what if anything their insurance will cover. Many times, the homeowner ends up being on the hook for the entire contract. House Bill 1237 gives homeowners 3 days to cancel a contract after receiving written notice from their insurance company that part of the claim or contract is not a covered loss.
This session, we also passed a bill to phase out Indiana’s inheritance tax. An inheritance tax hurts Hoosiers with small businesses who want to pass those businesses onto family. Indiana is one of the few states remaining that has an inheritance tax. Another big accomplishment was passing human trafficking legislation before the Super Bowl so that those guilty of these horrific crimes could be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Helping Hoosiers families will remain my top priority as a State Legislator. Legislation passed this session will make Indiana an even better place to live.