We have reached the midway point of the 2010 legislative session. At this time, bills that have passed out of the House will switch chambers to the Senate and vice versa.
We got to work immediately and passed legislation on property tax caps and ethics reform within the first couple of weeks. Recently, bills concerning 2nd amendment rights, texting while driving and a smoking ban have all passed the House. There were 104 bills passed out of the House during the first 5 weeks of session and 135 bills passed out of the Senate.
In an effort to keep you up to speed with legislation, I want to discuss HB 1367 in more detail as well HB 1279.
Education Matters: House Bill (HB 1367)
This past week, we heard heated debate on House Bill (HB) 1367 involving education matters. This bill will now be considered by the Senate education committee. This will allow public testimony to be heard, and provide committee members the chance to make any amendments to the bill before it is heard by the full Senate.
As we continue through this session, I can assure you that I will continue to support options to reallocate dollars to fill gaps in school funding.
Texting while Driving: House Bill 1279
I joined House members last week in passing HB 1279, which would make it illegal to text while driving. The bill passed by a vote of 95-3.
The bill will make it a Class C infraction to text while driving. HB 1279 would allow for drivers to use a hand free or voice operated accessory on their cell phone. A Class C infraction is punishable by a fine up to $500. There are currently 19 states plus the District of Columbia that prohibit texting while driving.
I cannot stress enough the importance of drivers keeping their focus on the road. Many Hoosiers do not realize that while they are texting their eyes are away from the road a lot longer than they think and it puts them a great risk for an accident. People want to know they are traveling on safe roads, and this bill gives them some reassurance.
Stay Connected During Second Half
I look forward to begin hearing bills that have passed out of the Senate such as school start date, immigration, redistricting and a tax delay for businesses on unemployment insurance.
To follow the proceedings of the Indiana General Assembly visit www.in.gov/legislative and click on "Watch Indiana General Assembly Live."
To track legislation visit www.in.gov/legislative and under Session Information you will be able to follow bills by bill number or subject matter.