As always, throughout the legislative process, I welcome your input and having an open dialogue. I seriously consider the constituents of District 75 and the impact these bills will have on the community. The first bill that I am authoring deals with Warrick County directly.
According to the 2010 census, the Warrick County population has grown by almost 10,000 people in past ten years, making it one of the fastest growing counties in Indiana. The attractiveness of our region has spurred economic
development and consequently more work for city judges. House Bill 1061 allows the judges of the Warrick County circuit and superior courts to jointly appoint a magistrate. City judges will be held accountable for their work by the magistrate, creating a higher level of efficiency within the judicial system.
Another piece of legislation that I am authoring addresses storm water fees and taxes. In these growing economic times, it has become more difficult for retired or disabled citizens to keep up with increasing utility expenses while their income remains the same. House Bill 1062 states that subject to the approval of the county executive, the board of directors of a department of storm water management may exempt property that is owned by certain individuals from the assessment and collection of storm water fees. This will require the board to establish a procedure for applying for an exemption.
I have a bill addressing the manufacturing of pseudoephedrine as well. I am very passionate about this topic given the struggle our region has faced in addressing this epidemic. While serving as the County Coroner, I was able to see, firsthand, the effects of the abuse of this drug. I am joined in a bipartisan effort to tackle this issue that effects too many of our communities throughout the state.
My colleagues and I believe that not only does improper use affect the life of the pseudoephedrine abuser, it also affects the lives of those around them, such as children. House Bill 1063 will make it a Class C misdemeanor for a person to knowingly or intentionally purchase drugs containing more than 28.8 grams of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, or both, in a one year period. This amount is equivalent to a four month supply per individual. This legislation will allow a local government unit to adopt an ordinance that provides that a retailer may sell a drug that contains the active ingredients.
Tying in with the abuse of drugs is House Bill 1064. The impact of this legislation will add the chemicals ammonium chloride, potassium iodide, and calcium chloride to the list of chemical reagents and precursors for proposes of criminal laws concerning unlawful possession or sale of chemical reagents or precursors. This means that the three chemicals which are found commonly in ice packs will be added to the list of monitored ingredients used in the production of crystal meth. People caught with these chemicals will no longer be protected by having cold packs if they are questioned by police.
As always, my thoughts are with the communities of Indiana and how I can help improve the lives of Hoosier families. These bills address key issues within our local communities as well as our state. I will keep you up to date on the happenings at the Statehouse and the progress of these bills throughout the 2013 legislative session.