Moving Forward with Important Legislation
The House Democrats finally returned to their seats this past week after boycotting the start of the 2012 legislative session. They failed to show up for work at the beginning of the legislative session in protest of the controversial Right to Work Bill, which passed the House and has now moved to the Senate for their consideration.
Today, we were able to pass Senate Bill 4 the Human Trafficking bill out of the House. It was imperative that this legislation be passed in time for the Super bowl which will take place in Indianapolis in a few weeks. This is the first bill that has passed both the House and the Senate and will now move on to be signed by Governor Daniels. This bill states that it is a Class B felony to force or recruit individuals to partake in prostitution, servitude or any sexual conduct that promotes human trafficking of a child under 16. It makes it a Class A felony to knowingly force a minor to participate in sexual conduct. This bill will help protect minors from being forced to participate in sexual conduct, especially with the imposing threat of human traffickers that are expected to accompany the presence of the Super Bowl in Indiana this February.
Legislation I presented regarding cemetery access passed the House today by a vote of 90 to 2 and will now move onto the Senate for their consideration. This bill reduces the liability of the property owner of a private cemetery that allows visitors. Upon its final passage, it will hopefully increase the accessibility of these private cemeteries to the public so that they are able to visit them more often while protecting the property owners associated with the property.
Additionally I have filed a bill that pertains to the employment of returning veterans. The bills calls for a $750 tax credit granted to employers who hire a returning veteran within a year of the veteran’s return from active duty. It is important that we do everything that we can to help our returning veterans find jobs to support their families as they and their families have given their sacrifice and service to our nation. This bill was assigned to the committee on Ways and Means for their review and I will update you on its progress.
Many of the other legislative issues that are important are currently being discussed in various committees, including bills that concern healthcare and local government. I hope to see these bills move swiftly through their respective committees, so that we may vote on them on the House floor and get them enacted into law. I will update you on the progress of these bills as move the House.
On another note, I would like to address an issue that was recently brought to my attention. I have been told that it was reported in the Town Crier that I was absent from my legislative duties on Tuesday, January 17th. I want to make it very clear that I have been present on the House floor every day since the commencement of session. I take my role as your representative very seriously, and have provided official documents showing my presence on that day.
As the session begins to pick up pace, I will keep you updated on the progress of my bills. It is my hope that both sides will be able to address all of the issues facing this short session.
Rep. Davisson serves District 73, which includes Crawford, Dubois, Perry, Washington, Harrison, Jackson, Clark, and Scott counties. For the 2011 legislative session, Rep. Davisson is the vice-chairman of the Public Health Committee, and a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, and the Family, Children, and Human Affairs Committee.