2019 Indiana General Assembly Report, Week 6
This past week saw a much more intense schedule than previous weeks of the 2019 legislative session for CAC staff. We monitored five committee hearings, attended a number of coalition meetings and a press conference in support of Senate Bill 430 which will eliminate the harmful provisions affecting Indiana’s net metering programs that were instituted in Senate Bill 309 (2017). SB430 is authored by Senator JD Ford (D-Indianapolis) and coauthored by Senators Vaneta Becker (R-Evansville) and Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) as well as Senator Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington).
As part of the All IN For Democracy redistricting reform coalition, we stood in support of SB 105, authored by Senator Greg Walker (R-Columbus), at its hearing Monday. While the bill is not everything the coalition would like, it does provide a forum to continue the redistricting reform dialogue. During the hearing the coalition urged the committee chairman to schedule SB91 for a hearing and to make other changes to SB105. Those changes include a statement that would forbid any district from being drawn to favor or disfavor any individual or political party and language to provide the public with access to mapping software and data so they can draw and submit maps to the General Assembly for consideration. SB105 passed the Senate Elections Committee 5-2 and now proceeds to the Senate floor for further action.
After an extended amount of testimony, the House passed House Bill 1470 by a disappointing vote of 74-19. HB 1470 further protects monopoly utility profits in state code, and acts as a follow up bill to a controversial 2013 bill, Senate Enrolled Act 560. The bill has been referred to the Senate for further action.
The House passed a poor excuse for an environmental protection bill with House Bill 1266, which deals with sediment and erosion control in construction sites. The vote was 68-27. For more on this bill, see the write up from our friends at the Hoosier Environmental Council.
Upcoming This Week
SB105 will be on Second Reading, where it may be amended, as early as Monday. Senator Alting has filed a helpful amendment which we hope will be adopted.
To follow these bills in real time, make sure you follow us on Twitter. We tweet throughout the week as to the progress of bills we mention in our reports and on our Indiana General Assembly Bill Watch website.
Lindsay Haake & Kerwin Olson