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Bills of all sorts
Start Date: 1/31/2014Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Date: 1/31/2014End Time: 8:00 AM
Entry Description
This week flew by in a flurry of debates, second-reading amendments and third reading votes. Topics from health care to environmental issues to data security and everything in between have been brought before the House, leading to some great discussions and many positive pieces of legislation.

Some bills are straight forward, simple concepts that generally receive bipartisan and almost unanimous support. For example, I authored House Bill (HB) 1199 – a bill I discussed in a past column – which supports spay and neuter programs throughout Indiana. 

Currently, domesticated animals are not allowed to run at-large within mobile home communities, but HB 1199 would make it legal for spay and neuter programs to live-trap stray animals, spay or neuter them and then release them where they were found. Programs like this have already saved significant amounts of money in Marion County and have successfully reduced feral cat intake by 37 percent and euthanasia by 29 percent. 

There are also bills that are a little more difficult to understand, causing more in-depth debate and discussion. This was the case for bills like HB 1001, which gives local governments the local option to exempt business personal property taxes on new investments. This bill allows each county’s income tax council the ability to exempt business personal property taxes on new investments made after a date set by the council. 

A representative from the Tax Foundation made a point that the business personal property tax is especially burdensome to small or new businesses. The option to eliminate this tax gives locals an economic development tool to make the tax climate in their county and our state better, as well as more attractive to out of state businesses. 

HB 1001 passed out of the House with a 63 – 33 vote after much discussion. I voted for this bill because I believe allowing counties to eliminate the business personal property tax – if they choose – will create some great economic development opportunities for our state. 

Also this week, the Rural Caucus held its first 2014 session luncheon. It’s an informal group that discusses issues specifically affecting the 55 rural counties within Indiana; I am humbled to serve as the co-chair for this group. 

This particular meeting was unique as two Hoosier speakers came to discuss their new roles impacting rural life. One speaker was Bill Davis – a former state representative – who talked about his position as the Executive Director of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the other was Ted McKinney who discussed life as the Director of the State Department of Agriculture.  It was a great way to kick-off the Rural Caucus for 2014.

Soon Senate bills will come across our desks in the House, keeping our schedules full. Our House second reading deadline was this past Thursday, Jan. 31st, and the third reading deadline is Monday, Feb. 3rd.  As session continues, I will keep you updated with the new bills in my committees as well as bills that will positively impact our community. 

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State Rep. Don Lehe serves as Chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. He also serves on the Environmental Affairs Committee and the Public Health Committee. Rep. Lehe represents portions of White, Cass, Carroll, Clinton and Tippecanoe Counties.
Contact Information:
Name: Maggie Johnson
Phone: 317-232-9693
Email: maggie.johnson@iga.in.gov
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    > Bills of all sorts
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • About Indiana
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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