Policy Successes

Definitions

Prime Supporter: Regional Chamber proposed the language used in the bill. The bill is consistent with the Policy Priorities of the Regional Chamber, which we supported with written or oral testimony, advocated (or opposed) with legislators or caucus, and was included in the board-approved legislative agenda.

Primary Supporter: Regional Chamber supported with written or oral testimony, advocated support (or opposition) with legislators or caucus, consistent with Policy Priorities, included in board approved legislative agenda.

Supporter: Regional Chamber advocated for or against, with legislators or caucus, consistent with Policy Priorities. Not specifically included in the legislative agenda.

HB 1002 (Prime Supporter)

  • The Regional Chamber was Prime Supporter as we recommended language regarding the elimination of the 30% floor of business personal property. We also supported the repeal of utility receipts taxes and staged reduction of personal income taxes.

HB 1003 (Prime Supporter)

  • The Regional Chamber is a Prime Supporter as we worked with Rep. Dan Leonard to draft language that permits certain academic institutions to increase their enrollment rate for some health care students by not more than one hundred – percent (100%).

HB 1245 (Prime Supporter)

  • The Regional Chamber was a Prime Supporter as we recommended language regarding residential sewage systems, provided written testimony, and advocated for the bill. Prohibits a local health department from refusing an application for a permit for a residential onsite sewage system solely because the residential onsite sewage system has not been used previously in the jurisdiction of the local health department or is unfamiliar to the local health department if the residential onsite sewage system has been approved for general use in Indiana by the department’s technical review panel.

HB 1318 (Prime Supporter)

  • The Regional Chamber was a Prime Supporter as we consulted on language, offered advocacy with legislators, and the bill is consistent with our Policy Priorities and our legislative agenda. The bill exempts childcare programs operated by a public or private school and provides daycare on-premises for children of students or employees of schools in the school corporation.

SB 5 (Primary Supporter)

  • The Regional Chamber was a Primary Supporter of this bill, authored by Senator Liz Brown. The bill is consistent with our Policy Priorities and will help to expand certain health care professions in Indiana. Allows an applicant with a license or certificate from another state or jurisdiction to be granted a license or certificate in Indiana.

SB 145 (Primary Supporter)

  • The Regional Chamber was a Primary Supporter of this bill, authored by Senator Travis Holdman. Requires that real property tax assessments of “self-service storage facilities” be based upon a True Tax Value-based solely on the land and improvements, less normal depreciation, and normal obsolescence, and must exclude business intangible value.

SB 408 (Supporter)

  • The Regional Chamber was a Supporter of this bill, authored by Senator Andy Zay and sponsored in the House by Representatives Martin Carbaugh and Matt Lehman. The bill amends the statute authorizing a bank or trust company to make investments in community-based economic development and authorizes investments in any community economic development entity, community development project, or tax equity finance transactions.

HB 1025 (Primary Supporter)

  • Enterprise Zone renewals for an additional five years.

HB 1238 (Primary Supporter)

  • Establish the Northeast Indiana Regional Strategic Development Commission. Provides for the appointment of Commission members.

HB 1393 (Primary Supporter)

  • Modifies the definition of Entertainment Complex from 800 seats to 600 seats.

HB 1449 (Prime Supporter)

  • Broadband Development. Amends statute governing the award of grants from Rural Broadband Fund includes terrestrial broadband infrastructure to (A) buildings used by public school corporations primarily for educating students; (B) rural health clinics; Various other changes.

SB 1 (Prime Supporter)

  • Provides Civil Immunity related to COVID Virus.

SB 3 (Prime Supporter)

  • Telehealth Matters.

SB 377 (Supporter)

  • Broadband Connectivity expands the availability of broadband connectivity.

U.S. Route 30

  • Provides for PEL STUDY to begin the process to transform U.S. 30 into a Freeway.

Purdue University FW

  • Establish three innovative programs that will benefit students and employers of NEIN.

Post-Secondary Education

  • Retain and expand student scholarships for two-year and four-year vocational and academic education.

HB 1004 (Supporter)

  • Small Business Restart Program; Establishes Hoosier Hospitality small business restart program. 

HB 1008 (Supporter)

  • Student Learning Recovery Grant Program ($150 million from the general fund).

HB 1009 (Supporter)

  • TANF Program; provides income earned by a certain individual pursuing a post-secondary degree, workforce certificate, pre-apprenticeship, or apprenticeship may not disqualify a TANF eligible family from receiving benefits.

HB 1190 (Supporter)

  • Make certain changes to the maximum gross vehicle weight limit.

SB 2 (Supporter)

  • Funding for virtual instruction in public schools.

SB 29 (Primary Opposition)

  • At the request of Agribusiness members, we opposed it would have discouraged agribusiness in rural counties.  The Senate Committee did not hear the bill.

SB 44 (Opposed)

  • Workshare, the Committee on Pensions and Labor did not call the bill.

SB 303 (Primary Opposition)

  • Offered written testimony and encouraged the governor to veto.  He did as this bill would have damaged rural investment and harmed the rural economy.

SB 384

  • Professional Sports and Convention Development Area in Allen County.           

HB 1065

  • Authored by Rep. Heine includes the language that we needed to make technical changes to the Workforce Attainable Housing Bill (SEA 566) that we passed in 2019. Sen. Holdman Sponsored the bill in the Senate and inserted our language as an amendment. It is currently in a conference committee that includes Reps. Thompson and Porter, Sens. Holdman and Melton.

SB 350

  • Authored by Sen. Holdman subsequently sponsored by Rep. Timothy Brown, Chair of Ways and Means became a Pilot for Central Indiana.  We did all we could to influence its outcome but, in the end, settled for having our RDA grandfathered.  There is nothing to really aid Northeast Indiana at this time, but nothing hurt us either.  Most importantly, it did not include any funding source for RDAs and without a funding source, the bill will have very little impact.  We will continue to work to impact the future development of this as an opportunity for the future. 

HB 1331

  • A bill that we were asked by several of our members to discuss. It had provisions that many considered to be harmful to their business venues which are focused upon quality of place assets. We did weigh in and support their viewpoint and impacted the bill. Ultimately, it was passed by the House Committee but was not heard by the full House.

SB 101

  • Increased the aggregate damages cap for a wrongful death action from the current $300,000 to $700,000. We did not oppose raising the damage but did oppose such a significant increase in one action. We prefer that it be raised in increments over a reasonable amount of time and that it be indexed in a manner consistent with an appropriate metric from the DOL or another independent vehicle. The bill did not pass but there is an effort to insert some of the language into another bill during the conference committee process.

HB 1112

  • Authored by Rep. Dan Leonard and subsequently sponsored by Sens. Holdman and Kruse refer to the Skills Enhancement Fund. It provides that an increase in wages with a participating employee or group of participating employees negotiated by agreement regardless of timing qualifies as an increase of wages for purposes of eligibility for a grant from the Skills Enhancement Fund. Greater Fort Wayne was a Primary Supporter, and the Regional Chamber was a contributing supporter.

SUPPORT NORTHEAST INDIANA

  • Right-to-work law provides that no employer, labor organization, or any person may require an individual to become or remain a member of a labor organization, or pay dues, fees, or assessments (or charitable donation substitutes) as a condition of employment, new or continued
  • Early Childhood Development Pilot & Expansion Program

REVITALIZE NORTHEAST INDIANA’S DOWNTOWN AREAS

  • Moves administration of credit from DNR to the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA)
  • Introduced in HB1215, passed in SEA367

GROW AND PROMOTE NORTHEAST INDIANA

  • HEA1039 Indiana Grown
  • Establishes Indiana Grown initiative to market and promote Indiana produced agriculture products
  • Provides the Department of Agriculture to develop, administer, and market

ALLEN COUNTY SINGLE COUNTY EXECUTIVE

  • HEA1346 allows for Allen County to have a referendum in 2014 to propose the option to move to a single county executive

CONNECT NORTHEAST INDIANA

  • Creation of a rural broadband working group by Executive Order
  • Will be chaired by Lt. Governor and Secretary of Commerce

INITIATIVES SUPPORTED BY THE REGIONAL CHAMBER THAT POSITIVELY IMPACT NORTHEAST INDIANA

SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT

  • HEA1198 creates a single point of contact for businesses by streamlining state government agencies

WORLD-CLASS INFRASTRUCTURE

  • HEA1002 provides for the transfer of up to $400 million from the Major Moves 2020 Trust Fund to be used for transportation projects

MILITARY BASE SUPPORT

  • SEA260 allows local units of government the ability to expend money for the direct support of active military bases

UTILITY POLICY THAT ENCOURAGES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • HEA1187 supports future economic development efforts and ensures a fair process for the resolution of disputes between competing municipal utilities

MAINTAIN USE OF TIF FOR BROADBAND & IT INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Removed language from HEA1118 that would have restricted communities from the ability to use TIF funding for IT infrastructure

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING

  • HEA1003 provides expanded funding to promote internships for high school students
  • HEA1083 ensures access to $700,000 in minority training funding for all apprenticeship programs

COMPETITIVE BUSINESS CLIMATE

  • SEA1 reduces the corporate income tax and financial institutions’ tax rates to 4.9% by 2023, expands the abatement schedule, and comprehensive study of business tax reform