The Big Issues
- At one time SB 261 contained language that retroactively voided all annexation waivers passed before 2003, regardless of when they were recorded. The bill gave municipalities until December 31, 2018 to record any waivers executed after June 30, 2003 and before July 1, 2018 but also imposed the 15-year expiration date on those. Further, it required municipalities to record new waivers within 30 days of execution. This language was removed in the House and replaced with a requirement to study annexation waivers and related items during the interim study committee process.
- HB 1104 is a miscellaneous property tax bill that currently contains the waiver language that was removed from SB 261.
- There was a conference committee on HB 1104. There was much discussion, but a conference committee report was not circulated. We continue to push for all waiver language to be removed from HB 1104. SB 261 was not called to the floor before the third reading deadline, so the interim study committee language did not pass out of either chamber. Our team will be working this issue aggressively in the final days of the legislative session.
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR FIREFIGHTERS
- In the final days of committee hearings, the Senate added into HB 1125 concerning language for all communities with collective bargaining for firefighters. As amended, the bill now has broad implications for municipalities with unionized firefighters or where there is a contract with an employee organization that works in part with the common interest of employees.
- We have expressed serious concerns regarding this bill. Among our many reservations, the bill will certainly result in increasing expenses to local units of government and create an imbalance in the negotiation process.
- To date, our efforts appear to be bearing fruit and it doesn’t appear this language will be move any further this legislative session. We will report the final outcome next week – as of now all signs are positive.
- During the Governor’s State of the State address in January he revealed a major initiative to overhaul the state’s workforce development system. The proposal included a new system for using ROI metrics to find areas for improvement and a way to reduce the number of overlapping workforce efforts spread across multiple state agencies.
- The session’s workforce bills, HB 1002 and SB 50, were heard in a conference committee earlier this week and legislative leadership says a compromise is near.
- We look forward to working with the state administration to ensure Indiana has the most talented workforce available to attract new businesses and expand our current business assets.
TAX INCREMENT FINANCING
- SB 242 is a large, multi-faceted bill that contains many tax-related provisions. In the House Ways and Means Committee the bill was amended multiple times, making it even broader.
- An amendment added during this process creates a mandate for redevelopment commissions to gather and provide TIF district financial data to the school boards of any school districts within said TIF district allocation area.
- Communication among taxing units is a good thing. However, this bill needs to be re-worked to give the municipal executive the responsibility for hosting these discussions. It’s likely we will not know the outcome of this issue until the final days of the legislative session.
- HB 1065, a bill aimed at gathering better data on broadband service levels was amended in the Senate with language from SB 356, creating a broadband grant program housed under the Leiutenant Governor’s purview.
- If the larger service providers can agree on language that allows smaller providers to benefit from the program and the bill proceeds, this initiative could give more Hoosiers access to high-speed internet.
- Aim and several Aim members have engaged heavily on this bill. We are hopeful that the needs of all Hoosiers to have the economic benefits that come from access to broadband will win the day.
AN AIM LEGISLATIVE MOMENT
“The conference committee process is hard to describe for someone who doesn’t live it. It is literally how the sausage is made at the end of the session….We have to be very vigilant in watching every conference committee to make sure language isn’t inserted that we otherwise would not support. We are covering literally 10 to 20 different meetings a day.”
– Matt Greller, CEO of Aim
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