2018 Legislative Session
Aim is united by one common cause – advancing the state by empowering its cities and towns. We’re going to take a longer-term approach to our legislative efforts; this will allow us to get involved earlier in the process and collaborate more on key initiatives that will empower Indiana municipalities.
Our priorities for 2018 focus on finding ways to make governance work better for the benefit of all Hoosiers.
2018 Legislative Priorities
Resolve Statutory Conflicts
Aim members have identified three places within Indiana Code where clarification is needed. These three items are straight forward “statutory clean-up” initiatives.
First, in two separate places within the code, there are differing standards for the amount that can be charged for writing a bad check — $20 and $27.50. Aim plans to seek legislation to make these amounts consistent.
Second, in the public projects statute, there is a dollar threshold that determines when a project is subject to the public bidding process or when it is sufficient to get quotes for the job. There is a discrepancy in the way the statute is drafted in such a way that it is indeterminable as to what process (bid vs. quote) should be followed. Aim plans to seek legislation to resolve this discrepancy.
Third, in a statute dealing with transfer of property after it is acquired by a unit, the statute provides two different ways in which the property should be titled. Aim plans to seek legislation to clarify the required wording for titling a property under statute.
Remove Onerous Requirements
Aim members have identified three places within Indiana Code where onerous and unnecessary local government requirements exist.
First, in the statute dealing with Police Pension Board meetings, the current statutorily-dictated meetings dates are unnecessarily specific requiring the board and members to meet on certain days in February. Aim plans to seek legislation that will give more flexibility in setting these meeting dates.
Second, under the park board statutes, the municipal executive is required to make appointments to the board taking into account a person’s party affiliation. In most cases, it is difficult to get individuals to serve on the park board and the requirement (usually viewed as irrelevant) for the individual to be from a certain political party makes it even more difficult. Aim plans to seek legislation that will remove the party affiliation requirement from park board appointments.
Third, local units are required to publish their “Annual Financial Report” in the local newspaper. Aim plans to seek legislation that would require this report to be published on Gateway versus the local newspaper to be consistent with the requirement for publication of local budgets.
Promote Greater Inter-local Communication
Often times, a city or town sewer service area is surrounded by a service territory that is governed by a Regional Sewer District (RSD). For planning purposes, it is critical that municipal officials know when an RSD plans to expand its service territory. Aim plans to seek legislation that will require an RSD to notify affected municipalities when it plans to expand its territory.
Ensure Safety of Vacant Properties
When a property is sold at tax sale, occasionally a buyer who purchases the property does nothing to improve it and bring it into compliance with minimum safety standards. Aim plans to seek legislation that would allow municipalities to attach “orders to repair” to a tax sale purchase, so that a tax sale purchaser has notice that the property must be brought up to the minimum standards within a reasonable time after purchase.