We have been off to a fast start here at the Statehouse. Debates, bills, amendments, committee meetings and more are happening each day. Amongst the hustle and bustle of the Indiana General Assembly, Governor Pence delivered his first State of the State Address on Tuesday, Jan. 22. As he spoke about how honored he is to serve the state of Indiana, I reflected upon how honored I am to serve the people of District 63. As Chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development I am able oversee bills that will help the Indiana economy grow and I would like to take the opportunity to highlight some of them for you.
Eleven bills were passed out of the House this week. House Bill 1170 was one of those bills and also came through the Commerce Committee. This bill would allow for worker retraining programs that existing employers need to retrain their existing employees with a new certification or skill, to qualify for a retraining grant from the IEDC. New companies are often the focus of many of our job’s incentive programs. This bill would help to make our existing companies more productive and competitive, in addition to being able save jobs in their companies. It passed out of the house 96-0 and now goes on to the Senate.
Another one of my bills passed out of committee recently. House Bill 1065 was approved in the Committee on Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development by an 11-0 vote. It will now be sent on to the Committee on Ways and Means for review of impact to the state’s budget. This bill would allow a multi-county technology park (similar to Crane West Gate) to structure their tax recapture agreement with the IEDC to allow their current recapture limit of $10 million to be met by all three counties sharing an overall cap of $10 million. The cap is not dependent on which county the credit comes from.
Lastly, House Bill 1064 is not a bill that I am not a part of, but is one that I strongly support. This bill is authored by Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler), Rep. Ben Smaltz (R- Auburn) and Rep. Rebecca Kubacki (R-Syracuse). This legislation adds the chemicals ammonium chloride, potassium iodide, and calcium chloride to the list of chemical reagents and precursors that are used in the creation of illegal chemical reagents or methamphetamines. This will aid law officials to help fight the growing problem of meth abuse in our district.
These are just a few bills that I am focused on this session. Of course, all bills are important to the General Assembly and I personally consider every day a privilege. I’ll continue to keep you up to date with the ongoings of the 2013 legislative session by highlighting important bills that we are working on for you in District 63.