Working for you through meaningful reform

Posted by: Kathryn Frakes  | Friday, April 17, 2015

As the long session starts to come to a close, I wanted to take a moment to update you about some bills I have moving through the chambers at the Statehouse. Currently, I have authored or sponsored six pieces of legislation that are making their way through the legislative process.  At the beginning of this session, I set goals to help teachers cover the costs of classroom supplies; help local government and citizens alike, deal with the property tax appeals; fix legal loopholes that criminals, past and future, could use to their advantage; try to eliminate old laws and rules that are no longer needed; and support the second amendment of the United States Constitution. 

Working towards these goals, I authored House Bill (HB) 1005 to provide teachers that purchase classroom supplies with a $200 tax credit. Too many times teachers, who purchase school supplies with their own money, do so without getting reimbursed.  These are funds that should be going into their pockets or to their families. While $200 might not cover the total amount they spend, this is a step in the right direction.  I am currently fighting very hard to keep this legislation alive, and I will keep doing so until the very end.

HB 1603 is my bill that will notify local units of government about property tax appeals and will make it quicker and easier for them to refund over payments to property owners.  It will also help protect homeowners, farms and businesses from increased tax rates when huge companies file frivolous appeals.

Another bill that I have been working very hard to get passed is Senate Bill (SB) 522. I sponsored this legislation to increase public safety by preventing serious sex offenders from entering a school. It is hard to believe that this was not already illegal.  Under SB 522, anyone considered a serious sex offender would be charged a felony for entering school property. 

I am also cosponsoring SB 94 which is another bill to increase public safety. This legislation extends the statute of limitations on a specific level of rape, which is currently only five years. This bill would extend the timeframe to the discovery of DNA evidence, an admission of guilt or from the acquisition of audio, video or digital evidence. These actions will not only extend the statute of limitations well into the future, but also increase the likelihood that those who commit these crimes are brought to justice.

HB 1601, works to increase efficiency by cleaning up obsolete, expired or superseded provisions impacting the Department of Workforce Development.  Eliminating old laws and rules is important to keep our law books from uncontrollably growing.

Finally, I sponsored SB 98, which prohibits someone from suing or maintaining a lawsuit against a law-abiding firearms or ammunition manufacturer, when a criminal uses their product to commit a crime.

If you have any questions about these efforts, or any other issue related to our community or state, please contact my office at 317-232-9648 or email h52@iga.in.gov.

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