[r63] Messmer Report: Cutting costs and providing up-to-date technologies for Hoosiers

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 1, 2012

My colleagues and I in the General Assembly have taken the initiative over the past several years to cut costs and redundancy in our state and local governments. Two pieces of legislation passed this year that will assist our local emergency services by saving them money on equipment and better allowing our local utilities to invest in up-to-date technology.

The first, House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1052, allows local units of government, including fire departments, law enforcement agencies and emergency medical service agencies, the ability to save money when purchasing emergency services equipment. They will be able to enter into quantity purchase agreements with the Indiana Department of Administration, which is a method currently used by many local government units to purchase items such as road salt, copy paper and other goods that are purchased in large quantities.

This is a completely voluntary process for local government units, but there is a real chance for them to save money if they choose to enter into the quantity purchase agreements. I hope to see many of them taking advantage of this process since it will help them cut costs.

The second, HEA 1112, will help to eliminate redundancy between state and federal code. The federal law concerning telecommunications was amended.  Legislation was created to allow the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to maintain that every Hoosier will have access to necessary telephone communication services. Most importantly, the reduction in regulations will reduce the burden on some telephone communication companies who continue servicing old technology when they could be investing in new technology.

The market is quickly moving towards wireless devices as fewer homes per year have installed wired telephone service. This will help to remove unnecessary burdens from providers so that they may make investments in up-to-date and current technologies. Carriers will now have the ability to invest in the types of networks that their customers want rather than continually having to maintain outdated technology.

Both of these pieces of legislation are going to be very positive for Hoosiers. Our local governments have worked diligently to cut costs while still providing us with top quality service. I appreciate their efforts and thank them for it. I look forward to taking further steps to help strengthen our communities.