A House committee Tuesday unanimously approved a bill creating what Speaker Brian Bosma calls the first major ethics code revision in at least 20 years. The bill comes in the wake of several ethics scandals over the last year.
Bosma says the Statehouse culture has not been one of corruption, but there hasn’t been enough attention paid to the potential appearance of conflicts of interest. He says the ethics reform bill’s goal is to increase transparency in an effort to reaffirm the public’s trust.
A House committee Monday made a major change to legislation allowing high-fenced deer hunting preserves to continue operating in Indiana. The committee also passed the bill.
Debate over the existence of high-fenced deer hunting preserves goes back a decade, including an ongoing legal battle over the issue. Previous attempts to pass legislation allowing and regulating the preserves ended with those measures dying each year in the Senate.
Republican legislative leaders say the potential price tag of one aspect of Governor Mike Pence’s tax simplification proposal could be too costly to support.
Among the many provisions of Pence’s bill is a change to a sales tax exemption for Hoosier businesses.
Initial estimates by the governor’s administration put the cost around $35 million. But LSA, the legislature’s bipartisan research agency, calculates a revenue loss of anywhere between $130 million and $240 million per year.
A House committee Tuesday approved legislation that opponents say will prevent state agencies from enacting much-needed protections. But proponents argue it will help ensure agencies don’t overstep their rulemaking authority.
Advocates for high-fenced deer hunting preserves want lawmakers to finally end the debate over their existence in a battle that goes back a decade. A House committee heard testimony on the bill Monday.
Legislation to legalize and regulate high-fenced deer hunting preserves has failed in past sessions. But Shelbyville Republican Representative Sean Eberhart, the bill’s author, is more hopeful for success after a summer study committee recommended its passage.
Legislation a Senate committee approved Thursday creates a new Indiana energy efficiency program to replace the one lawmakers eliminated last year. But critics say the bill unfairly favors utilities over ratepayers.
Indiana’s previous program set energy efficiency goals utility companies were expected to meet. Legislation proposed by Indianapolis Republican Senator Jim Merritt – and crafted by Governor Mike Pence’s office – allows utility companies to set their own savings goals. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission would then approve the utilities’ plans.