[R74] Ellspermann Edition: Back to Work and Moving Forward (1/13/2012)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Start Date: 1/13/2012
End Date: 1/13/2012

The Indiana House is back to work and full steam ahead.  After a four-day extended caucus by our Democrat colleagues, the House is moving forward on all cylinders to complete our work during this short session.  The House Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee voted to support the Right to Work bill which now moves into the House Chamber for second reading where amendments will be considered.  The Senate Committee has also voted this bill through and will hear it in their Senate Chambers.   This has become a contentious statewide issue as opponents and proponents try to ensure their support and concerns are heard.  I continue to hear from many on both sides of this issue and will continue to work towards a fruitful outcome.   

The Committee on Economic Development, Small Business and Commerce heard testimony on a bill I am authoring, House Bill 1241 Rural Entrepreneurship Areas. Rural Entrepreneurship Tax Increment Financing (RETIF) would allow rural counties to retain the state income tax of new businesses and their employees for a 10 year period up to $500,000 per year.   These funds could then be used for small business services, revolving loan or venture capital funds, an incubator or business accelerator or specific incentives offered to qualifying small businesses.  Counties would be required to apply to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation with a plan of how their RETIF funds would be used.  Job creation and economic development remain my highest priority as your state legislator.  Jim Dinkle from Dubois County Areas Development Corporation, Indiana Economic Development Association, and Elevating Ventures spoke in favor of this bill.  I will keep you posted on this bill as it moves forward.
We do expect to hear the Smoking Ban bill in the House next week.  The House passed a bill with some limited exceptions last year.  However, it failed in the Senate.  There is a stronger desire each year by Hoosiers to have Indiana join the 27 states with statewide smoking ban.  Further, along with the Super Bowl’s big party atmosphere, there are some unseemly practices which most Hoosiers would not accept.  One that has been brought to legislators’ attention is human trafficking, that is, transporting a person for and/or forcing a person to participate in a sexual act or prostitution.  This bill has already moved through the Senate and is expected to be heard in the House next week so it can be signed by the governor into law prior to the Super Bowl in early February.

Thank you for your patience through the unusual start of this Legislative Session.   Be safe and warm during this first round of winter and blessings on your upcoming week.


Ellspermann Edition, Back to Work and Moving Forward, 1-13-12.doc