[r18] Legislation to streamline small government passes (1/30/2012)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Start Date: 1/30/2012
End Date: 1/30/2012

STATEHOUSE—Legislation authored by Rep. Dave Wolkins (R-Winona Lake) calling for smaller government passed through the Indiana House today unanimously.

House Bill (HB) 1002 was created in response to Speaker Brian C. Bosma’s (R-Indianapolis) call upon the members of the Select Committee on Government Reduction for a leaner, more efficient state government. During the interim, the committee met to take a detailed look at hundreds of state boards, commissions and committees to determine what is duplicative, unnecessary, outdated or inefficient.

As a result, Rep. Wolkins—Vice-Chairman of the select committee, along with the Chairman Rep. Chet Dobis (D-Merrillville)—found 25 boards, councils and commissions to eliminate, in addition to reducing the net number of gubernatorial, legislative and administrative appointments by at least 283 people.

“HB 1002 addresses the fact that Indiana has too many boards and commissions that are duplicative, outdated and/or unnecessary,” said Rep. Wolkins. “Many haven’t even held a meeting in years.

“However, our recommendations to eliminate these groups are in no way reflection of how we perceive the subject matter in which they deal with.”

In addition to cleaning up boards and commissions, the committee also included numerous provisions that will help modernize several state agencies. For example, streamlining the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s (IEDC) reporting requirements will allow its staff to spend more time attracting new jobs to Indiana and less time preparing and submitting duplicative reports.  

“IEDC is currently required to submit multiple reports at various times throughout the year, rather than allowing all reporting to be done in one annual report,” said Rep. Wolkins. “Minimizing that paperwork will greatly benefit the agency and will, in turn, benefit the state.”

The following commissions, boards and committees are included in HB 1002 to be eliminated:
• Office of Community and Rural Affairs Advisory Council
• Tobacco Farmers and Rural Community Impact Fund
• Indiana Arts Commission Trust Fund Board
• Council on Library Automation and Library Advisory Council
• Affordable Housing and Community Development Fund Advisory Committee
• Indiana Tourism Council
• Indiana Health Informatics Corporation
• Ohio River Bridges Project Commission
• Veterans' Home Advisory Committee
• Mental Health Corrections Quality Advisory Committee
• Distressed Unit Appeal Board
• Department of Local Government Finance Rule Adoption Committee
• Natural Resources Advisory council
• Courthouse Preservation Advisory Commission
• Rural Community Water Supply Loan Program
• Water Shortage Task Force
• Water Resources Task Force
• Corporation for Educational Technology
• Educational Technology Council
• School Air Quality Panel
• Building and Trades Advisory Committee

HB 1002 now heads to the Senate for further discussion. If passed into law, HB 1002 will take effect upon passage.