[r63] Messmer Report: Creating stronger charities, more jobs and standing up to Washington, D.C.

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 8, 2011

We are rolling right along in the House and making progress on the Senate bills that were sent over for our consideration.  Our goal to strengthen Indiana by creating jobs and standing up to the federal government concerning health care is being accomplished one step at a time. A bill that I authored, House Bill 1007, to promote job creation is being heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

HB 1007 will help attract new businesses to Indiana by:

  • Allowing individual counties the option to exempt personal property from the property tax.
  • Allowing individual counties the option to exempt new investment in personal property.
  • Allowing municipalities to pay hiring incentives for new employment.
  • Allowing municipalities to utilize a point system to enhance abatement schedules for both new and existing businesses.
  • Reducing the age limit for the property tax deduction for rehabilitated property from 50 years to 25 years.
  • Removing sunset date on the ability of municipalities to exempt enterprise information technology.

The bill will help put more Hoosiers back to work by giving local governments the tools they need to encourage economic development in their communities.

This week a charity gaming bill, Senate Bill 340, that will change certain regulations was passed through the House Public Policy Committee unanimously.  SB 340 will:

  • Authorize a qualified organization to use volunteer ticket agents under certain specifications.
  • Establish a charity gaming study committee this summer.
  • Authorize a qualified organization to accept credit cards for certain sales at allowable events.
  • Excludes certain revenue from charity activities at an allowable event from the determination of a qualified organization's license renewal fee.
  • Increase the number of days that a qualified organization can conduct charity gaming under a festival license from four to five days.
  • And will allow under certain circumstances a worker at a charity bingo event may participate as a player.

 We want to ensure that charities are able to benefit those they are working for to the best of their ability, and feel that these changes in regulations will help them accomplish their goals.

 Finally, an important amendment was made this week to SB 461 that will change the laws regarding Medicaid. The House Public Health Committee passed an amendment that will ban state agencies from enacting provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

 Indiana previously signed onto a lawsuit created by a federal judge stating that the federal health care act is unconstitutional and that an individual cannot be required by the federal government to purchase insurance. This amendment falls into line with that lawsuit. The main provisions of the amendment are:

  • A state agency may not implement or prepare to implement the federal health care act.
  • A resident of Indiana may not be required to purchase a health plan.
  • An insurer that is doing business in Indiana is not required to comply with the medical loss ratio requirements under Section 2718 of the federal public health care act.

 SB 461 passed the House Public Health Committee by a vote of 8-4 and it will now go onto the full House for further amendments and discussion.

I am optimistic about the progress we made this week. We are working quickly and will continue to do so in order to avoid a costly special session this summer. I welcome your continued feedback and hope you have a wonderful week.

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Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper)