The Big Issues
- Crawfordsville Senator Phil Boots has filed an aggressive anti-annexation bill that has several damaging provisions aimed at curbing what little annexation authority remains, including voiding annexation waivers, and eliminating future annexation settlement agreements.
- Aim will strongly oppose this latest attempt to curtail an already limited economic development tool.
- The bill, SB 94, has not been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Local Government Committee, where Kokomo’s Jim Buck remains as Chairman.
- Aim’s government efficiency bill, authored by Rep. Mike Karickhoff of Kokomo, is assigned to the House Government and Regulatory Reform Committee.
- HB 1116 contains six different measures that will make operating city and town government easier and more efficient for municipal officials and taxpayers.
- Currently contained in the bill are provisions to allow executive sessions for selling property, remove partisan affiliation requirement on local boards and commissions, eliminate residency requirements for city attorneys, allow locals to use electronic bidding processes, allow more flexibility in determining note repayment dates, and allow fiscal officer to appropriate funds received for damaged property. A summary of each provision can be found here.
- A bill from previous sessions has emerged once again. Rep. Tony Cook of Cicero seeks to force local redevelopment commissions to convert their current school board member from a non-voting to a voting member, in HB 1166.
- While the bill does allow for the executive to provide a tie-breaking vote, Aim opposes the bill and encourages you to talk with your lawmakers. Last year’s HEA 1242 provided even more requirements for local officials to communicating with school systems. The new law, coupled with existing reporting requirements and the current mandate that each RDC have a non-voting school board member on the commission, make this new proposal unnecessary.
- The bill has been assigned to the House Government and Regulatory Reform Committee where it hasn’t yet been scheduled for a hearing.
- Lizton’s Rep Thompson included Aim’s language regarding controlled projects in HB 1034.
- A controlled project is one payable by property taxes and is subject to either the petition and remonstrance process or the referendum process. Aim seeks to remove road and street projects from being a controlled project. Further, Aim seeks to remove the annual controlled project dollar amount cap and adjust the dollar amount thresholds in a way so that cities and towns are not negatively affected.
- HB 1034 was heard in the House Ways and Means committee on Wednesday, January 9 and will be back on the committee’s agenda for a vote at a future meeting.
WATER AND SEWER ROW
- Aim is concerned about SB 193, a bill that severely changes local decision making authority relative to water and sewer connections in the public right of way.
- Authored by Sen. Bohacek of LaPorte, the bill’s troubling provisions include allowing a property owner to access the public right of way to connect to another unity’s water or sewer utility, and allows the unit that owns and operates the system being connected to waive the remonstrance waiver mandate for connecting.
- Aim testified against the bill in the Senate Local Government Committee on January 10. SB 193 will be back on the committee’s docket during the week of January 13 for a vote.
AN AIM LEGISLATIVE MOMENT
“Most importantly, (investment hubs) will allow us to compete for that talent, for that quality-of-place type amenities in our communities, where we are really falling behind our peers on a national level. Everyone is doing good work and as much as they can, but we have to have more resources to be able to compete with our peers on a national level. And this really gets us to that point.”
– Aim CEO Matt Greller
Our Legislative Summary Sponsors
Please click on the logos below to learn more about our sponsors.