January 15, 2021
The Big Issues
Image Source: Vecteezy
PERSONAL DELIVERY DEVICES
- HB 1072 would create a framework to allow the use of personal delivery devices – delivery robots – to operate on Indiana’s sidewalks throughout the state.
- Aim is working with bill authors and other stakeholders to ensure that there is sufficient ability for local units to regulate how and where these devices are deployed to maintain public safety and the integrity of local infrastructure.
- HB 1072, authored by Representative Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville), was heard in the House Roads and Transportation committee on Tuesday and was held for further amendments at a later meeting.
- SB 95 would remove the ability of municipalities to complete annexations without at least 51% of the property owners in the proposed annexation territory (or owners of 75% of the AV) signing a petition agreeing to be annexed. Only voluntary and super-voluntary annexations would be allowed were SB 95 to pass into law.
- Annexation is a valuable tool for growing communities. Changing to a fully voluntary system would disrupt long term planning and the ability of cities and towns to grow. In light of the significant reform of the annexation statute in 2015, Aim opposes SB 95’s attempt to further limit our ability to grow and develop through annexation.
- SB 95, authored by Senator Phil Boots (R-Crawfordsville), passed Senate Local Government committee on Thursday 6-2. It now goes to the Senate floor.
REEVALUATING MVH RESTRICTIONS
- SB 207 would require 40% (instead of 50% under current law) of Motor Vehicle Highway (MVH) funds to be spent on construction, reconstruction, and preservation for communities that have adopted a wheel tax during 2022 and 2023. During that same period, snow removal activities (including salt and deicing) would be considered “preservation” for communities that have adopted the wheel tax.
- Increasing flexibility for the restricted portion of the MVH funds is a session priority for Aim, especially as communities experience reduced MVH distributions caused by pandemic restrictions and low gas prices. We will continue talking with the bill’s author, Senator Blake Doriot (R-Syracuse), and other fiscal leaders in an effort to ensure this bill meets the needs of all Indiana communities.
- SB 207 passed the Appropriations Committee on Thursday with a vote of 9-2. It will now be considered by the full Senate.
- HB 1006 is a police reform bill that would define chokeholds as deadly force for police officers and mandate de-escalation training statewide.
- It also creates a process for decertifying officers from being an officer anywhere in Indiana if the state Law Enforcement Training Board determines there was sufficient misconduct, and requires departments to share officer personnel files and disciplinary histories with one another when considering new officer hires.
- HB 1006, authored by Representative Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon), passed the House Courts and Criminal Code Committee on Tuesday with a vote of 11-0. It was recommitted to the House Appropriations Committee, where it will be heard next week for an amend and vote.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT ACTION APPEALS
- SB 5 would create a new appeals process for any enforcement action taken by a local health board in response to a declared disaster emergency by the governor. Under SB 5, these actions could be appealed to the unit’s council or commissioners and be overturned by that body.
- This comes from legislators concerned about the lack of oversight of appointed local health boards, who believe these enforcement decisions should ultimately be in the hands of local elected officials.
- SB 5, authored by Senator Chris Garten (R-Charlestown) and co-authored with 34 other senators, will be heard next week in the Senate Public Policy Committee.
AN AIM LEGISLATIVE MOMENT
“Concerning business personal property… there’s a pretty significant bill, Senate Bill 336, that has been scheduled for a hearing next week. We’ll be looking at it in a more macro way. I do suspect that it will be paired down. I hope it would be paired down some, if not completely. It’s certainly an issue that looks like it is here to stay and it’s something that we will need to address in a meaningful way.”
– Matt Greller, Aim CEO
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