Bacon's Legislative Thoughts
Welcome to the first edition of my weekly report from the Statehouse.
Tuesday, January 12, was the deadline to file bills for this legislative session, so I thought I would use this inaugural report to highlight a few bills filed this week, as well as a few of my own.
The health of Hoosiers is very important to me. As a result, I wrote a bill dealing with organ donations and the criteria for brain death, and I wrote another bill that take a student athlete out of a game if he or she got a head injury until they could be checked out by a doctor.
Currently, state law says that the possession of an illegal drug is a felony, but it says nothing about actually ingesting an illegal substance. To that end, I filed a bill that would account for ingesting a controlled substance and make it a felony as well.
A big part of our district is agriculture, and a bill I filed this week is intended to help out the agriculture industry in not only our district, but statewide. It would allow the state to deem areas of agricultural land that are not the most desirable for development as economic revitalization areas (ERA). This would allow local tax breaks for redeveloping the land and for new farm equipment and help ease the financial burden on farmers.
In addition to the bills I filed, this week there were six bills that fit directly into the Republican Caucus' Strengthen Indiana plan. These bills would help bring Hoosiers more jobs, prevent tax increases, expand Indiana's education programs, and increase governmental transparency.
On Tuesday, the governor gave his annual State of the State address. He laid out his legislative priorities for the year. Gov. Daniels has a great understanding of Hoosiers' problems and has many creative and reasonable ideas for solutions.
He spoke about education reform, government spending, job creation and remaining competitive in our modern international world. I am pleased the governor and I share many opinions of how the state should be managed: passing a balanced budget, reforming education, not increasing taxes, and maintaining and improving Indiana's business friendly environment.
Also this week, Illinois raised their taxes and have placed an unreasonable burden on their taxpayers. This is very good for Indiana because we have lower taxes than Illinois, and offer lower property taxes. This is an opportunity for Indiana. Our community is close to Illinois, this may have a tremendous positive effect on us. Potentially, many good jobs may be created soon.
I am very excited to serve my district and see how the 117th General Assembly develops, and I will be sure to keep you all updated on events through this weekly report.
Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler)