STATEHOUSE- We are now coming to the last few days of the 2010 legislative session. Many bills from the Senate have now been heard and voted on in the House.
Next week, conference committees will meet and allow the House and Senate members to work out the final details of bills that were amended when they switched chambers. Once an agreement is met by all four caucuses, the bill will go back to each chamber for a final vote.
Before we progress any further, I want to discuss a few of the bills that passed through the House on final reading.
Jobs for Indiana: Senate Bill 382
Indiana is facing one of the toughest economic times we have seen in years. Indiana needs an environment that will create jobs for Hoosiers. SB 382 authorizes, but does not require, a public-private partnership to build the Illiana Expressway as a toll road.
The plan will build the Illiana Expressway between Interstate 65 in Indiana and Interstate 57 in Illinois with about 10 miles being built in Indiana. This legislation has the potential to be one of the biggest job creators for the state's future, especially for construction workers by creating thousands of construction jobs.
Under the legislation, the state would have the ability to contract with a private developer for the design and construction of the Illiana Expressway at no cost to Hoosier taxpayers.
Manslaughter and Pregnancy: Senate Bill 71
SB 71 increases the penalty to involuntary manslaughter for operating while intoxicated (OWI) accidents resulting in the death of a fetus. The bill passed out of the House by a unanimous vote and now needs the governor's signature to become law.
Involuntary manslaughter resulting in the death of a fetus is a Class D felony and punishable by a six months to three years in prison.
Families should not be torn because the death of a family member was caused by a drunk driving. An unborn child is still a part of that family and the loss of a child can be devastating. Hopefully, stricter laws on those who drive under the influence will deter them from making that choice.
Military and Veterans Matters: Senate Bill 102
SB 102 changes eligibility requirements for service members and their dependants to receive assistance from the Military Family Relief Fund (MFRF). Currently, only those service members who served after September 11, 2001 and during a national conflict or war are eligible.
This bill would allow for service members to receive MFRF benefits under the following conditions:
SB 102 also would grant authority to an individual designated on a United States Department of Defense form as being second in authority to decide disposition of remains for a deceased human. They would fall second to the person designated in a funeral planning directive.
Keep In Touch
As always, the Statehouse is your house too, so feel free to come by and watch session. Also feel free to contact me by phone, e-mail or standard mail. I am honored to continue representing you during the 2010 legislative session.
Mail: 200 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204