2018 Indiana General Assembly Report, Week 2
This is the second 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 2016 Indiana General Assembly.
CAC staff attended multiple hearings and coalition meetings this week. We’re following more than forty bills with more legislation continuing to appear through the public process as we speak. By the week’s end 893 separate pieces of legislation had been filed including 438 Senate bills and 455 House bills.
Much of the Statehouse was centered on Governor Eric Holcomb’s second State of the State speech Tuesday night. We were heartened to hear the Governor make mention of Indiana’s aging water infrastructure. We look forward to being part of the discussion and solution as we have for years with this delicate and costly subject.
We are also heartened that SB168 received a hearing last week in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee. The bill, authored by Sen. David Niezgodski (D-South Bend) seeks to ban the sale of pavement products using coal tar which contains known carcinogens according to testimony of Tim Maloney with the Hoosier Environmental Council. While the bill did not receive a vote, it is the first year it has received a hearing and we encourage the Committee to give the bill a favorable vote at its final hearing.
Some good news out of the Senate Family and Children Services Committee: SB11, a bill that blazes a path out of poverty for Hoosiers who have drug convictions by enabling access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), passed by a vote of 7-0. While the bill, authored by Sen. Mike Bohacek (R-Michiana Shores), was amended to limit the opportunity to those who do not violate their parole, we commend the step forward as Indiana is one of only four states that have not yet removed the ban to provide much needed food assistance to an otherwise eligible population of Hoosiers. More info from the Institute for Working Families here.
Items upcoming this week
-The House Utilities Committee will meet Wednesday to discuss bills dealing with cell towers, high speed internet and distributed generation (HB 1069 which is a follow-up bill, or sorts to last year’s SB309).
Lindsay Shipps & Kerwin Olson