[r63] Past the halfway mark

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 14, 2014

This week consisted primarily of committee hearings as Senate bills began to move over to the House. With only four short weeks left, things are really starting to pick up. This can be a very exciting and hectic time as you will now want to keep track of House and Senate bills that continue to move through the legislative process. 

Two bills that I am sponsoring from the Senate and working on directly are Senate Bill (SB) 260 and SB 332. 

SB 260, a bill that passed unanimously out of the Senate, authorizes local units of government to provide money in direct support of a military base within the unit as well as in support of any other entity that provides services or direct support to the base.

After receiving approval from the local unit’s fiscal body, redevelopment commissions, military base reuse authorities and military base development authorities may provide financial assistance, including grants and loans. 

This money could be used for the promotion of the base, growth of the base as well as activities at the base. This will provide added assistance to Hoosier military bases which do so much for our state. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division is one of the largest employers in our state and uses taxpayer dollars to allow local companies the opportunity to expand their businesses through the “Buy Indiana” initiative.  Ensuring the success of a military base such as Crane, ensures the future success of Indiana as a whole.

A second bill that I will be sponsoring is SB 332, a bill which garnered bipartisan support. This legislation provides that investments in municipal securities (or bonds) must have a stated final maturity of five years or less.   

It also permits the State Treasurer to invest with supranational issuers. A supranational entity is formed by two or more central governments with the goal of promoting economic development for the member countries. A well-known example of this would be the World Bank. Under current law, the treasurer may only invest in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and/or the African Development Bank. 

The investment options and investment term guidelines that apply to the treasurer would also apply to a public depository, of which Indiana currently has 175 who are approved. This is important because it will provide additional investment options to state public officers which could in turn provide additional capital for state or local projects. 

I look forward to seeing these bills through the legislative process. As you may have gathered from discussions of my bills, here in the Indiana General Assembly, an overwhelming majority of the legislation is passed with support from both sides of the aisle.

I believe that ultimately this willingness to work together leads to the best possible policies, and it assures Hoosiers that their best interests are being represented in the halls of the Statehouse. As always, it is a pleasure to serve in this body and provide District 63 with a voice in our state’s capital. 

If you would like to learn more about these bills and keep up-to-date on their progress, please visit our website at www.iga.in.gov