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[r29] Column: General Assembly Overrides Veto
Start Date: 6/19/2013Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Date: 6/19/2013End Time: 11:59 AM
Entry Description
General Assembly Overrides Veto

Last week, the Legislature reconvened for one day to consider overriding the governor’s veto of House Enrolled Act 1546. This was the first time the Legislature had held a “Technical Corrections Day” since legislation was passed in 1995 allowing the General Assembly to address technical corrections and vetoes. Given the special circumstances of deliberating such an action, both the Senate and House took the governor’s decision very seriously in looking to do what is best for Hoosier taxpayers. 
 
HEA 1546 addresses a number of tax issues, most notably the collection and disbursement of local option income taxes for Jackson and Pulaski counties, as well as providing benefits for surviving spouses of deceased veterans and making it easier for an out-of-state business to help with disaster emergency relief here in Indiana. In those two counties, an error was made in not reinstating the ordinance to collect taxes that had expired. Both counties continued to collect the tax and allocate it towards its intended purpose, the operations of the county jail. 
 
Throughout session, state and county officials worked together to find a feasible and productive solution to this issue that would allow the two counties to properly provide government services that their residents asked for. 
 
Not one county official or resident of Jackson and Pulaski counties voiced a dissenting opinion to the tax being collected for its intended purposes because of an unfortunate oversight by both local and state officials. I respect the governor’s decision, however, we felt the administrative solution of the governor's veto would have been too cumbersome and expensive to implement for the counties, not to mention the other issues that would have fallen by the wayside from the veto.
 
With only one member of the General Assembly voting against the measure during session, the veto was again supported by both parties and overrode. Had the General Assembly not reconvened to address this bill, the veto would have required over 1,000 employers in the two counties to make mid-year adjustments to their payrolls, affecting over 20,000 employees. Additionally, since the two counties need to pay for the ongoing costs of operating the jail, losing funding could have put jail operations in jeopardy.
 
After considering all merits of the bill, in the end, we felt that enacting this legislation into law was in the best interests of Hoosier taxpayers.
 
In the coming days, committee appointments for the 2014 legislative session will be set. I have spoken in length about the importance of committees and commissions to the legislative process; public testimony is heard, and all interested parties have a seat at the table to craft the best possible bills. Each piece of legislation gets a full vetting before being heard in each chamber. The shortened time frame of session always requires the committees to serve as the workhorses of the institutions, fully analyzing and studying pertinent issues. I will provide more details when I can.

Summer officially starts on Friday. I hope everyone gets to spend more time outside enjoying the warmer weather and all of the activities going on in the community. It is a fun and exciting time in Noblesville and Hamilton County. I look forward to seeing you around town!

Rep. Richardson's column is also published in the Times of Noblesville.
Contact Information:
Name: Nicholas Goodwin
Phone: 3172329831
Email: ngoodwin@iga.in.gov
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    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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