2011 General Assembly's Legislative Highlights
There were many issues facing the Indiana General Assembly when I showed up on January 5th to begin my first legislative session. The issues ranged from ways to spur economic development to cell phone laws. I along with my House Republican colleagues worked hard to ensure the legislation passed was right for Indiana and all issues received a fair hearing.
One of our top focuses from the beginning has been to create a better economic climate for Hoosiers to live in. We completed this promise through a few key economic development bills.
I coauthored one of these bills, which will make Indiana more desirable to businesses that are looking to relocate or expand here.
House Enrolled Act 1004 will lower the corporate tax credit from 8.5% to 6.5%.
The current tax rate for corporations was seen as a hindrance to businesses looking to relocate to Indiana because it was the highest in the Midwest. Indiana will now be more competitive and be more attractive to businesses looking to move to the Midwest. This bill will bring more companies to Indiana thus creating more jobs.
The bill clarifies the attribution rules of intangible income under the corporate income tax and will clarify and streamline the tax protest and warrant process.
An important aspect of the bill restricts the exclusion of interest on state and local bonds to those issued in Indiana from income taxes beginning with bond purchases on January 1, 2012 and eliminates the ability to carry back net operating losses effective that same date.
The bill also increases transparency within the Indiana government budget, allowing Hoosier taxpayers to see how their money is being spent. This bill will utilize the technology available to us to provide greater transparency for Hoosiers.
Another significant piece of legislation passed this session will make our roadways safer. House Enrolled Act 1129 addresses cell phone use while driving and no longer allows a person to use a cell phone to send or read a text message or email while driving.
I think we can all agree that distracted driving is a problem and should be avoided at all costs. This legislation will make drivers more focused and less distracted by their cell phones. It is my hope that this legislation will also continue to bring awareness to the dangers of distracted driving.
Another issue concerning cell phones is House Enrolled Act 1273. This bill will allow Indiana residents using a cell phone to place their number on a do-not-call list. Several Hoosiers now are using cell phones as their main means of communication and forgoing the traditional land line phone.
This legislation will allow us to avoid the hassle of solicitors, who are now contacting people on cell phones. It only makes sense to have a do-not-call-list for cell phones too.
These were just a few pieces of legislation we passed this session. So much was accomplished this year and I feel strongly that the bills enacted this session will lead to a better future for Indiana.
Many issues were facing the General Assembly just four months ago, but I feel that needed legislation was passed for Indiana and that Hoosiers across the state will reap the benefits of this year's passed legislation for not just months or years but for generations to come.