State House Update 3/2/2018

4
March

State House Update 3/2/2018

 With just under two weeks left in the 2018 legislative session, the finish line is in sight for Senators and Representatives conducting the state's business in Indianapolis. The statutory ending date for the 2018 session is Wednesday, March 14th. 

  Here is a look at legislation IUSA is monitoring along with other legislation, news and notes surrounding the legislature:

Utility Specific Legislation:

  • House Bill 1050, authored by Representative Dave Ober (R-Albion), specifies in greater detail where small cell wireless structures for communication service providers may be placed on utility structures. The legislation aims to remedy issues created from Senate Enrolled Act 213, passed last year, which unnecessarily burdened local communities and other utilities. 
    STATUS UPDATE: Passed. Waiting to be signed by Governor Holcomb.
  • Senate Bill 125, authored by Senator Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis), requires an underground utility excavation contractor to file with the Indiana Secretary of State that they will comply with Indiana’s 811 statute that regulates underground digging. SB 125 also gives the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission the authority to inform the Attorney General if any contractors break the 811 statutes while conducting their business.
    STATUS UPDATE: Scheduled to be voted on Monday in the House of Representatives.   
  • Senate Bill 362, authored by Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), would put in place conforming regulations and requirements for water and wastewater utilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. SB 362 establishes industry standards for the management and operation of water and wastewater utilities aimed at increasing the level of service provided to customers and communities.
    STATUS UPDATE: Passed by the House of Representatives. Will now return to the Senate for a concurrence vote.
  • House Bill 1267, authored by Representative Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso), would create a water infrastructure taskforce that would study drinking water systems, wastewater management systems and storm water management systems and develop a long-term plan for addressing the water needs of Indiana. 
    STATUS UPDATE: Passed by the Senate. Will now return to the House of Representatives for a concurrence vote.
  • Senate Bill 361, authored by Senator Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), is similar to HB 1267 and would also create a water infrastructure taskforce.
    STATUS UPDATE: Did not pass the House of Representatives and is not eligible for passage.

Other Legislation of Note:

  • Sunday Alcohol Sales- It seems that a change is coming to when Hoosiers can buy alcohol. Senate Bill 1 would allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays. SB 1 was amended to change the effective date of the law from July 1, 2018 to effective immediately. This slight change means that as soon as the bill becomes law, the law becomes effective. Generally, laws passed during session have an effective date of the following July.
    STATUS UPDATE: Signed into law by Governor Holcomb on Wednesday, February 28th.

News & Notes Around the State House:

  The search for a new Commissioner of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has been narrowed down to three. This vacancy was created when former Commissioner Jim Atterholt announced his retirement late last year. The three names given to Governor Holcomb by the nominating committee are:

  • Stephanie Krevda, IURC, Executive Director of External Affairs
  • State Representative David Ober
  • Tristan Vance, Indiana Office of Energy Development, Director

  Governor Holcomb will now select one of the nominees to fill the vacancy. There isn't a specific timeline for this selection, but it should be announced later this spring. 

  Stay tuned for one last update after session has concluded for 2018. 

Sincerely, 

Eric Augustus
Executive Director, IUSA