[R 76] Rep. McNamara: House bills move to the Senate (2/7/2012)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Start Date: 2/7/2012
End Date: 2/7/2012

Last week signified the halfway point for the 2012 legislative session.  All bills have now switched chambers and we will turn our focus to the discussion of Senate bills. We spent many hours vetting legislation to ensure we were able to send our bills to the Senate by the deadline.  

One bill which received much debate and discussion was House Bill 1007, which sets up a pilot program in three counties to test for the use of controlled substances by an individual who receives public assistance. The other key provision of this bill sets up an identical program to drug test members of the General Assembly. The drug testing of legislators was added in by an amendment to ensure that we hold ourselves to the same accountability standards as we hold to those that elect us. This bill passed out of the House with bipartisan support of 73 to 23. 

House Bill 1005 was sent over to the Senate and had bipartisan support with a vote of 70 to 26.  This legislation is aimed at reducing nepotism and conflict of interest among local government employees, which has been increasingly problematic at the local level, particularly within township government. The bill affects who can be in a direct line of supervision and specifies that local government employees may not be elected into a legislative or fiscal body overseeing the unit for which they work. Currently there are no laws in place that address these issues.  

Another piece of legislation, House Bill 1197, will update our laws to keep up with new and emerging technologies.  The bill will improve the safety of roads across the state of Indiana by establishing guidelines and requirements for those who operate mopeds.  This bill will resolve many issues that have arisen due to moped accidents. The bill passed by a vote of 77 to 29 and requires that a moped operated on a highway must be titled, registered and that the operator have an identification card or driver's license in their immediate possession.

These are just 3 of the 108 bills that we have sent over to the Senate.  The Senate has sent 140 bills over to us, so we will begin hearing their bills in committees and on the House floor. Thus far, we have had two bills signed into law by the Governor. Both chambers have much work to accomplish in the remaining weeks of the 2012 legislative session.