Rep. Cook: 2016 Session Halftime Report

Posted by: Devan Strebing  | Friday, February 12, 2016 10:20 am

We have officially passed the halfway mark for the 2016 session. Legislators in the House of Representatives approved 116 proposals, sending them to the Indiana Senate for consideration; while Senators approved and sent 150 bills to the House for consideration. Main topics of the session include funding roads and curbing illegal drugs.

House Republicans have been committed to passing a responsible, comprehensive and sustainable plan to address our state’s road and bridge funding needs with House Bill 1001. This bill focuses on three principles: fiscal responsibility, data-driven metrics and sustainability. It would also provide for personal income tax rate reductions that would be phased through 2025. Indiana’s transportation infrastructure affects every sector of our economy as well as helping to drive economic development. I am committed to supporting a safe and efficient transportation system without creating long-term debt for future generations.

Another proposal that passed through the House is HB 1110, which would provide local governments with nearly $550 million. This proposal would provide for a special distribution from each county’s local income tax trust account. A majority of the local income tax revenue held in reserve by the state would be returned to local governments to be used at their discretion. Grant County would receive about $3.7 million. Locals may choose how to utilize the funds as they see fit, like investing in roads, bridges and infrastructure.

Another bill that passed through the House works to curb the production of meth in Indiana. Indiana’s illegal drug epidemic is wreaking havoc on our communities and creating problems for law enforcement while straining the criminal justice system. Under HB 1390, consumers would be allowed to purchase medications containing PSE without a prescription if they have a prior relationship with a pharmacy or purchase a smaller dose. A prescription would only be required in the small number of cases where a person does not have a pre-existing relationship with a pharmacy and refuses a smaller dosage or a tamper-resistant option. House Republicans are committed to reducing illegal drug use in Indiana and will continue to support legislation that will protect and keep Hoosier families safe.

As these proposals for new laws move through the legislative process, please contact me with questions or input at H32@iga.in.gov, or (317)232-9678.

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Rep. Cook represents Tipton, Hamilton, Grant, Madison, Delaware and Howard counties.