[r31] Jobs haven't been forgotten (2/11/2011)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Start Date: 2/11/2011 All Day
End Date: 2/11/2011
When I was campaigning for the opportunity to be your state representative, I listened to what the residents of our district were saying. To no surprise, jobs were one of the biggest issues on the minds of most Hoosiers. It's been on my mind too.

Rest assured that I'm still listening to our residents, and job creation is still a top priority.

We've seen unemployment numbers slowly decline, but we have yet to see real relief. Jobs are necessary to keep our economy going. They provide the resources families need to live. However, creating jobs isn't as simple as one might think.

It is not the government's function to create jobs, but rather to create a job-friendly environment in order to attract jobs. That is what we aim to accomplish this session with several pieces of legislation that are currently making their way through the House.

I'll touch on a few of those bills that are up for debate. If you'd like to follow their progress or learn more about them, you can also visit www.in.gov/legislative.

As I've said before, our community is lucky to have manufacturing and agriculture industries. However, part of having a manufacturing industry sometimes means those companies leave our communities when demand for their product decreases. When this happens, the buildings that they once called their homes can become eyesores in our communities. These buildings can cause the value of surrounding property to decrease and further inhibit economic development.

If we want to bring jobs to our community, we need to do all we can to make it attractive - not only economically, but visually as well.

House Bill 1005 would focus on incentivizing the use of those unused, existing facilities to help revitalize communities hard-hit by the changing economy. To do this, it would create an Industrial Recovery Tax Credit, also known as a Dinosaur Building tax credit, to provide incentives for companies to invest in facilities in need of major rehabilitation. 

House Bill 1005 was heard in the House Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee on Thursday morning and should be heard on the House floor within the week.

Not only is it important to improve the facilities available to businesses, but we're also proposing ways to streamline the process of starting a new business.

New business owners are often overwhelmed and confused by the amount of forms and applications that they have to fill out. Most small businesses don't have the legal knowledge and manpower large firms have, but they still have to register with multiple state agencies and fill out their forms.

House Bill 1006 would streamline the process for businesses to register and obtain necessary licenses and permits. The bill would also provide a much-needed push for more entrepreneurial programs, which would provide young Hoosiers with the necessary skills needed to start their own businesses.

The bill was also heard in the House Commerce Committee on Thursday morning and should also be heard on the House floor within the week.

Indiana is starting to see a manufacturing-based economy be replaced with a new economy that requires more education and training. If we foster an environment that will produce a highly educated workforce, we can fill the jobs that are being created and brought to our state.

Gov. Daniels said it best when he said "Hoosiers are resourceful people who don't like to wait, when we can act." We need to keep thinking of creative ways to help Indiana continue to grow. 

As always, I encourage you to share with me any feedback you have, whether it's by email at H31@IN.gov or by phone at 1-800-382-9841. It's my job to represent you, so don't hesitate to join the conversation.