[R31] Committees play an essential role in the legislative process (2/24/2014)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Start Date: 2/24/2014 Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 2/24/2014

With just three weeks left in the 2014 legislative session, bills are moving rapidly through the process. Committees are an integral part of the legislative process. They receive public testimony and work out the details of proposed legislation before it is heard on the House floor. The Speaker has always said that the committees are the workhorse of the institution, and as our committee report deadline approaches on Tuesday the 25th, we continue to see how hard our committees work. As chairman of the Government and Regulatory Reform Committee, I have been part of a variety of bills, a few of which I would like to share with you.

House Bill (HB) 1198 calls for the Department of Workforce Development, the Secretary of State and the Department of Revenue to work together on the creation and upkeep of a commerce website that will serve as a single point of contact between businesses and state agencies. Business owners will be able to access several important elements of their business that are required by law including licenses and permits. The intent of the bill is to ease and simplify the burden of regulation on Indiana’s commerce. I think this website will have a crucial streamlining effect on interactions between Indiana’s businesses and government agencies.

Senate Bill (SB) 260 authorizes local governments to provide direct financial support for military bases. The aim of this legislation is to protect bases that might be impacted by the federally administered Base Realignment and Closure Commission. By allowing local units to work with federal representatives on creating a financial plan, there is a greater possibility that there will be reconsideration regarding closures. Local military bases bring employment and related commerce into communities, as well as, in many cases, local stability and crucial emergency relief.

HB 1141 calls for the Indiana State Police to maintain a list of methamphetamine contaminated residences. Doing so will ensure that no one will be harmed by the dangerous chemicals in these properties. The contaminated property must also be removed from publically available lists. Additionally, homeowners will be required to disclose if a property has been used for the manufacture of methamphetamine. This bill stipulates that when a property is authorized as clean, the certified inspector who clears it must notify police so that the property can be removed from a list of polluted areas. Meth contamination has been a persistent problem in Indiana, but HB 1141 provides a way to keep our public safe and informed in the face of this epidemic.

I am pleased that each of these bills passed unanimously out of committee, and I am hopefully about their passage in the General Assembly as well. I appreciate the diverse range of subjects that our recent legislation has covered. We are continuing to work to reduce bureaucratic red tape in Indiana and make our state the best place to live, work and raise a family.


Mahan GC 2.24.docx