Rep. Arnold: Addressing challenges facing southern Indiana this session

Posted by: Peter Hoffman  | Friday, January 6, 2017

As the General Assembly convenes at the Statehouse to begin the 2017 legislative session, the House of Representatives will be focused on policies to continue moving Indiana forward. In addition to the big-ticket items such as road funding and education, I am authoring a set of bills that aim to address some of the challenges facing southern Indiana.

One of those bills focus on public safety and hits very close to home for our area of the state. While off-road vehicles such as ATVs are used for both work and play, it’s important to remember these are still vehicles that can cause serious injury or death. Safety concerns should be a top priority, especially when children are involved. My legislation would help enhance the safety of minors riding off-road vehicles by requiring those under the age of 18 to wear a helmet and eye protection, such as a helmet face shield.

There are two main goals of this bill. One is to educate children and parents about the precautionary measures that should be taken when riding an ATV. The other goal is very simple: to reduce the number of ATV-related accidents and deaths among Hoosier children. These accidents have caused more hardship and heartache than any parent should ever have to endure. Finding a commonsense solution this session is one of my top priorities.

Another piece of legislation I plan to author addresses alcoholic beverage quotas. Currently, the total number of local retail alcohol permits is based on the population of the respective location, whether it be a city, town or unincorporated area. For more rural areas, this can seriously constrain the number of permits available, which can hamper economic development and tourism opportunities. My legislation would base those quotas on the county population as a whole. It would also create new economic development quotas which are based upon the average yearly visitor population to an already created economic development area or historic district.

House District 74 is full of incredible sights, attractions and tourist destinations. These reforms would more accurately reflect the flow of visitors through southern Indiana. My goal in authoring this legislation is to spur economic growth by fostering more business and tourism in our area of the state. It’s hard for communities to prosper if business has its hands tied. Of course, this would apply statewide and benefit all Hoosier communities.

These are just two of the bills I plan to carry this session. I have several others that address issues such as retired veterans’ income and changes to the state tax code. I am eager to work on your behalf as we begin this session.

I encourage you to contact me with any questions or input at 317-232-9793 or by email at h74@iga.in.gov. Learn more about the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/h74.

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State Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents House District 74, which includes portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.

A high-resolution photo of Arnold can be downloaded by clicking here.