A "blizzard" of a week
It has been an interesting week here at the Statehouse. The big snowstorm that hit central and northern Indiana shut down the General Assembly on Tuesday and Wednesday, but we were still able to have productive sessions on Monday and Thursday.
On Monday, we passed House Bill 1450, which is a very important piece of legislation, as it will allow the Indiana government to begin to repay the nearly $2 billion owed to the federal government and close loopholes in the current system. HB1450 would change the requirements that an unemployed individual must meet in order to begin receiving benefits and would ensure that the state does not pay out more in benefits than it receives from the business premiums.
Also, this bill will save Hoosier employers nearly $150 million this year and over $1.5 billion over the next ten years through the various changes made to the system. Now we will just have to wait and see what happens with it in the Senate.
Last year, the House passed a law that required everyone, regardless of age, to show their identification when purchasing alcohol. HB1325 would not require a person to show their identification if they appear to be over 40 years old. This bill would repeal that and now goes to the Senate for further discussion and approval.
I also wanted to give you an update on one of the bills I wrote. I mentioned in my first weekly update a bill I authored that would allow the state to deem areas of agricultural land that are not the most desirable for development as economic revitalization areas (ERA), and in turn give local tax breaks to farmers for redeveloping the land and for new farm equipment. I am pleased to say that the bill will be heard in the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee next Tuesday for discussion. If it passes the committee it will move on to the House floor for further consideration, so I'll be sure to keep you updated on its progress.
Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler)