The Big Issues


  • HB 1290 is a technical cleanup bill from HEA 1002-2017, last year’s major road funding bill.
  • Due to modifications in the revenue sources there will be a reduction in the MVH percentages to locals, however, these changes will actually result in a minor increase of local funds.
  • The most concerning part of HB 1290 to local units of government is the removal of maintenance from allowable uses for the 50% portion of restricted MVH funds. HEA 1002-2017 provided a 40% increase in MVH funds in 2018, so the overall amount of funds available for maintenance will be similar to 2017. This change requires new revenue to be dedicated to construction and reconstruction. We are working towards modifying this section of the bill to provide language that narrows the definition of maintenance in order to retain this use.


  • In reaction to the small cell structures legislation that passed in 2017, multiple bills (SB 258 and HB 1050) have been filed this session to further restrict local ordinances and give some recourse for impacted property owners.
  • SB 258 will preempt the underground utility area designations that were included in SEA 213 while adding additional oversight by the IURC. HB 1050 will narrow the parameters of the designations to residential zoned areas.
  • Both small cell bills were heard in committee this week, with votes scheduled for next week. Compromises are being sought from all stakeholders. Aim will continue to work towards a fair, long-term solution.


  • Many annexation bills have been filed this session (SB 261, SB 268, SB 171, HB 1023, HB 1129). This week, limiting annexation waivers dominated the annexation discussion at the statehouse.
  • SB 261 cleared the Senate Local Government Committee on Wednesday. Among the bill’s restrictive provisions include the voiding of all waivers older than 15 years, the voiding of all waivers younger than 15 years if they weren’t recorded within 180 days, and a requirement that municipalities record new waivers within 30 business days.
  • Regarding SB 261, Aim has talked with lawmakers about our serious concerns. We have also expressed frustration that continuing to chisel away at municipal annexation authority will result in stagnating the growth of our state’s economic engines.


  • Sen. Michael Bohacek filed SB 10, a bill that dials back the conflict of interest law that prohibits municipal employees from serving on the councils of their employing community.
  • SB 10 eliminates the conflict of interest in communities of less than 2,500 in population in an attempt to help smaller communities address problems finding enough interested and eligible people to serve on their governing bodies.
  • Despite the Aim legislative team sharing our concerns with lawmakers about watering down transparency in this previous Aim initiative, the bill cleared committee 7-1.


  • SB 269 contains an Aim initiative to require notification to affected units when a Regional Sewer District (RSD) plans to expand its territory. This communication will allow municipalities to engage in better planning of their own sewer service territories.
  • On Tuesday, the Senate Homeland Security and Transportation Committee heard SB 269. A vote will be taken on the bill during the committee’s next meeting.
  • The bill also includes language that would require INDOT to consult with the local unit before doing work on a state highway or bridge that would cause a detour. Increased collaboration will allow local units to offer input on traffic, maintenance, safety, and other concerns.


“Bills on small cells were heard in both the House and the Senate … I think the important thing for our members to know right now is that we have protection mechanisms in both bills, on both sides. And there seems to be an agreement that that has to be in whatever final bill is produced as the legislature winds down here in a couple months.”

– Matt Greller, CEO of Aim

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