2017 Indiana General Assembly Report, Week 1

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 14:27

Welcome to the first weekly report designed to inform CAC board and staff, as well as CAC members and the general public regarding our activities and work during the 2017 Indiana General Assembly.

 

The 2017 legislative session is the "long" session during which a wide array of topics, most importantly Indiana’s biennial budget, will be considered by the legislature. By statute the legislators must be complete their business by April 29th compared to March 14th for the "short" session.

 

The first week of session began quietly on January 3rd. The week was dominated by news of agency personnel decisions by the incoming Governor, Eric Holcomb. There were individual press conferences held by respective caucus leaders detailing their thoughts regarding Indiana’s infrastructure needs and the revenue to sustain and revitalize our aging roads and bridges. As the session continues CAC will engage in dialogue on multiple issues, including redistricting reform, net metering and solar energy, and water infrastructure needs, with an emphasis on lead and lead service lines.

 

By the end of Week One, CAC was tracking more than thirty bills including SB67, introduced by Sen. Jean Breaux. which would require the electric and gas utilities to publicly report important customer billing data, such as current arrears and disconnects. The bill is aimed at informing policy-makers and the public so that we can work towards policies that ensure utilities are affordable and that all consumers have access to these essential human services.

 

Additionally, Sen. Brandt Hershman, at the behest of the electric monopoly utilities, introduced SB309 which will end net metering as we know it and significantly impede the ability of homeowners, small businesses, and others to generate their own energy, on their own property, using the power of the sun and wind. CAC will diligently work with our allies to defeat this attack on rooftop solar and energy choice.

 

Three bills addressing redistricting reform were also introduced. We expect that the vehicle will be HB1014, authored by Rep. Jerry Torr, and co-authored by Speaker Brian Bosma and Reps. John Bartlett and Justin Moed. The bill follows the recommendations of the summer study committee on redistricting and would create a commission to recommend plans to redraw general assembly districts and congressional districts, after holding public hearings and taking public comments.

 

This week also included two excellent and timely editorials from NE Indiana and SW Indiana regarding the need for comprehensive clean energy policy in our State. 

Read the editorial from the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette here: http://www.journalgazette.net/opinion/editorials/Charging-ahead-17049050

Read the editorial from Spencer County (Rockport) here: http://www.spencercountyjournal.com/content/canary-coal-country

 

Items upcoming this week:

  • 11am January 9th, Indiana Inauguration for Governor-Elect Eric Holcomb and Lieutenant Governor-Elect Suzanne Crouch, State Fairgrounds

 

Respectfully submitted,
Kerwin Olson & Lindsay Shipps

In the Media