Indiana Legislative Alert Update 2-11

By now most of you are aware of Indiana Senate Bill 0577 which was recently passed by the Indiana Senate. The companion Indiana House Bill 1328 (is being sponsored by Representative Tom Dermody. It was referred to the Education Committee after its first reading. The Indiana Legislative Calendar is obviously subject to change with the current situation. Check our state legislative links daily for any possible updates. Continue contacting your state senator and representative to express your opposition to these bills. Governor Daniels has said he will extend the session if needed to complete the work. So stand by. Meanwhile, spread the word.

SB 0577
http://in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?year=2011&session=1&request=getBill&doctype=SB&docno=0577
HB 1328
http://in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?year=2011&session=1&request=getBill&docno=1328

Senate Bill 0577
Coalition’s Position: Against
Financial aid
Authored by Senator Kenley
Referred to Committee on Appropriations

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL (Boldness added as our concern)

Allows the department of correction to provide financial assistance for tuition, books, and supplies for an incarcerated felony offender who enrolls in a college degree program, and prohibits the state student assistance commission from providing the financial assistance. Specifies that individuals who have an associate degree are eligible for the same awards as a student who graduated from high school with a core 40 or academic honors diploma. Requires a student participating in the twenty-first century scholarship program to: (1) participate in an appropriate intervention program while enrolled in secondary school; and (2) maintain a grade point average of 2.5 during grades 9, 10, 11, and 12, if the student enters the twenty-first century scholarship program after the 2010-2011 school year. Allows money to be transferred from the freedom of choice grant fund to the higher education award fund. Reduces the amount of the educational scholarship provided to a child of a parent with a military service related disability of less than 80%. Provides that only undergraduate fees are eligible for remission or scholarship awards.

Indiana Senate Bill 0168
Coalition’s Position: For
State contracting with disabled veterans
Authored by Senator Arnold
Referred to Committee on Homeland Security and Transportation & Veterans Affairs

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Authorizes a state agency to set aside certain contracts for supplies or services to service disabled veteran owned (SDVO) small businesses. Permits the department of administration to designate certain public works projects as an SDVO small business set-aside. Provides that to qualify for a set-aside contract, the SDVO small business must: (1) be owned and controlled by a service disabled veteran who is a resident of Indiana; and (2) have a current verification as an SDVO small business by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Center of Veterans Enterprise. Provides, with certain exceptions, a state agency must set a goal for participation by SDVO small businesses of at least 3% of the overall dollar amount expended each state fiscal year by the state agency for purchases. Provides that the Indiana economic development corporation may assist a state agency by: (1) compiling a list of SDVO small business; (2) assisting an SDVO small business in complying with the procedures for bidding on governmental contracts; (3) examining requests from state agencies for the purchase of supplies or services to help determine which purchases are to be designated SDVO small business set-asides; and (4) simplifying specifications and contract terms to increase the opportunities for SDVO small business participation in governmental contracts. Requires the department of administration, beginning in 2012, to submit an annual report to the legislative council and the governor. Provides that a SDVO small business may not receive an Indiana small business price preference on purchases designated as an SDVO small business set-aside.

House Bill 1045
Coalition’s Position: Against
Veterans’ home
Authored by Representative Dodge
Referred to Committee on Select Committee on Government Reduction

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Transfers the duties of the Indiana Veterans’ Home advisory committee to the Indiana veterans’ affairs commission. Repeals a provision that establishes the Indiana Veterans’ Home advisory committee.

Senate Bill 0153
Coalition’s Position: For
Disabled veteran hunting and fishing licenses
Authored by Senators Steele and Delph
Referred to Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Establishes a reduced fee lifetime hunting, fishing, and trapping license for residents who have a service connected disability.

House Bill 1036
Coalition’s Position: Against
Exemption from hunter education course
Authored by Representative Reske
Referred to Committee on Natural Resources

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Provides that an individual who is an active, reserve, or honorably discharged member of the armed forces or an active duty or retired law enforcement officer is not required to complete a hunter education course before obtaining a hunting license.

Senate Bill 0038
Coalition’s Position: Against
Commendation for valor license plates
Authored by Senators Landske and Paul
Referred to Committee on Homeland Security and Transportation & Veterans Affairs

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Establishes the commendation for valor license plate (plate). Specifies that an individual is eligible to receive a plate by: (1) presenting certification to the bureau of motor vehicles from the United States Department of Defense that the individual is the recipient of a medal or commendation for valor while serving in the United States Armed Forces; and (2) paying a certain fee for the plate.

House Bill 1079
Coalition’s Position: For
Veteran’s records
Authored by Representative Noe
Referred to Committee on Veterans Affairs and Public Safety

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Provides that a veteran’s discharge record recorded in a county recorder’s office is considered a public record if the veteran’s Social Security number has been redacted. Requires a county recorder to redact the Social Security number from a veteran’s discharge record upon receiving a written public record request for the discharge record.

House Bill 1064
Coalition’s Position: For
Burial of veterans
Authored by Representative Reske
Referred to Committee on Veterans Affairs and Public Safety

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Requires that a funeral director and crematory authority make a reasonable effort to determine whether a deceased person whose remains have been submitted to a funeral establishment for final disposition by cremation is any of the following: (1) a veteran; (2) the spouse of a veteran; or (3) the dependent child of a veteran. If the funeral director or crematory authority cannot determine with certainty the deceased person’s status and there is not an authorizing agent, the funeral director or crematory authority may allow certain veterans organizations to have access to the cremated remains and information regarding the deceased person to determine if the deceased person qualifies as a veteran or veteran’s spouse or dependent. Allows a funeral director to turn over unclaimed cremated remains of a deceased person who qualifies as a veteran or veteran’s spouse or dependent to a veterans organization for final disposition. Provides immunity for crematory authorities and funeral directors for acts and omissions while complying with the law concerning cremated veterans.

House Bill 1308
Coalition’s Position: For
Income tax exemption for (Active Duty) military pay
Authored by Representative Truitt
Referred to Committee on Ways and Means

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Exempts military pay earned by members of an active component of the United States armed forces from the individual income tax. (Current law exempts from the individual income tax military pay earned by members of the national guard and reserve components of the United States armed forces while serving on active duty.) Repeals the provision that defines qualified military income for purposes of calculating an individual’s adjusted gross income.

House Bill 1268
Coalition’s Position: For
Combat to college program
Authored by Representative Reske
Referred to Committee on Veterans Affairs and Public Safety

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL (Boldness added as our concern)

Requires state educational institutions to establish a combat to college program (program). Requires a state educational institution to: (1) provide a centralized location for admissions, registration, and financial administration services for veteran students; (2) provide reasonable accommodations for disabled veteran students and a state educational institution’s fitness facility; (3) develop programs to provide academic guidance specifically to veteran students; (4) develop programs to provide access to counseling services or resources to veteran students who are disabled or suffering from post traumatic stress disorder; and (5) develop job search programs designed for veteran students. Provides that each state educational institution shall designate a program coordinator. Requires a state educational institution to establish a hiring preference policy for veteran students. Requires a state educational institution to provide postsecondary credit for military training if the American Council of Education recommends that post secondary credit should be provided for that military training.

Senate Bill 0449
Coalition’s Position: For
Military identification cards as voter ID
Authored by Senator Breaux
Referred to Committee on Elections

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Provides that an identification document issued by the United States Department of Defense, a branch of the uniformed services, the Merchant Marine, or the National Guard that has no expiration date or an indefinite expiration date is an acceptable proof of identification for voting.

House Bill 1206
Coalition’s Position: Against
Disabled veteran wish foundation license plates
Authored by Representative Ubelhor Coauthored by Representatives Welch, Battles and Heaton
Referred to Committee on Roads and Transportation

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Establishes the disabled veteran wish foundation trust license plate and the disabled veteran wish foundation trust fund. Specifies that $25 from the proceeds of the sale of a disabled veteran wish foundation trust license plate shall be distributed to the Disabled Veteran Wish Foundation, Inc.

House Bill 1122
Coalition’s Position: For
Assessed value cap for veteran’s deduction
Authored by Representative Mahan
Referred to Committee on Ways and Means

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Eliminates the assessed value cap of $143,160 regarding the property tax deduction for a veteran who has either a total disability or who is at least 62 years old and has at least a 10% disability.

House Bill 1109
Coalition’s Position: For
Military service information on BMV documents
Authored by Representative Gutwein. Representatives Soliday and Reske added as coauthors
Referred to Committee on Roads and Transportation. Amend do pass, adopted, ordered engrossed.

DIGEST OF HB1109

Requires the bureau of motor vehicles (BMV) to put an indication of an individual’s status as a veteran of the armed forces of the United States on an individual’s license, permit, or identification card if the individual wishes to have the indication put on the license, permit, or identification card and provides proof of discharge from the armed forces. Makes technical corrections.

House Bill 1550
Coalition’s Position: For
Military family relief fund
Authored by Representative Baird. Coauthored by Representatives Clere and McClain
Referred to Committee on Veterans Affairs and Public Safety

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Makes changes to the definition of a “qualified service member” for purposes of determining eligibility for assistance from the military family relief fund. Makes related changes.

Bills Worth Watching

Senate Bill 0039
Taxation of civil service annuities

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Increases the federal civil service annuity state income tax deduction from $2,000 to $10,000 over a multi-year phase-in period beginning in 2012. Provides that the deduction is available to a surviving spouse. (Note: Individual must be at least 62 to qualify)

Senate Bill 0132
Charity gaming workers

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Allows an operator of or a worker at a charity gaming event (other than a full-time employee of the qualified organization conducting the event) to receive remuneration of not more than $50 for conducting or assisting in conducting the event. Provides that meals, recognition dinners, and social events for operators and workers are permitted if they do not constitute an unreasonable expenditure in the conduct of an allowable event.

Senate Bill 0340
Charity gaming

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Authorizes a qualified organization to use volunteer ticket agents (VTA) and specifies the conditions applying to the use of a VTA. Specifies that charity gaming proceeds may be used to pay the salaries and benefits of a qualified organization’s employees. Authorizes a qualified organization to accept credit cards for certain sales occurring at an allowable event. Prohibits the acceptance of credit cards or extending credit for the chance to play a game of chance or to purchase a licensed supply at an allowable event. Excludes revenue from related activities occurring at an allowable event from the determination of a qualified organization’s license renewal fee. Provides that license renewal fees are capped at $1,000 per event in the case of a license that authorizes multiple events or $1,000 in the case of a license that authorizes a single event.

Senate Bill 0355 & House Bill 1018
Smoking ban

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Prohibits smoking: (1) in public places; (2) in enclosed areas of a place of employment; (3) in certain state vehicles; and (4) within 12 feet of a public entrance to a public place or an enclosed area of a place of employment. Requires the alcohol and tobacco commission to enforce this prohibition. Makes it a Class B infraction to violate the smoking prohibition and a Class A infraction if the person has three prior unrelated judgments for violations. Prohibits firing or refusing to hire a person for reporting a violation or exercising any right or performing any obligation under the smoking prohibitions. Repeals the current clean indoor air law that prohibits smoking in public buildings.