Energy News

5
February

Indiana Legislature Nears the Second Half of Session

  The week of February 4th marks the halfway point of the 2018 legislative session and legislators will work Monday and Tuesday before having a few days off leading up to the second half of session. When they return to Indianapolis the following week, they'll only have five weeks left to finish the state's business. 

  All legislation that may be eligible for passage during the second half of session must pass either the entire House of Representatives or the entire Senate the week before the break. Here are some of the issues that are still alive and will be eligible for passage during the second half of session:

Utility Specific Legislation:

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. SB 362 passed the Senate and now moves to House of Representatives for further consideration. 

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. HB 1267 passed the House of Representatives and will now be considered by the Senate.

Senate Bill 361, authored by Senator Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), is similar to HB 1267 and would also create a water infrastructure taskforce. SB 361 passed the Senate and will now be considered by the House of Representatives.

House Bill 1050,...

25
January

State House Update 1/19/2018

  While the temperature outside continues to drop, the action is heating up in the Indiana State House as the Indiana General Assembly continues to work on the current issues facing the state. 

  Although only three weeks into the 2018 session, we’re nearly a third of the way through, as this year is a non-budget year which requires the General Assembly to finish their work by March 14th.

Utility Industry Specific Bills:

  Both the House and Senate committees that consider utility industry specific bills have met once so far this year.

  The House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee met on Wednesday hearing six bills, but won’t vote on any of the bills until they meet next week. One bill of note is House Bill 1267, authored by Representative Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso). HB 1267 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.

  The Senate Utilities Committee convened yesterday hearing three bills, however they only voted on one of them. Senate Bill 156, authored by Senator Erin Houchin (R-Salem), passed the committee 7-0. SB 156 aims to update and streamline governance procedures for rural electric and rural telephone cooperatives.

Miscellaneous Bills of Note Being Considered:

Sunday Alcohol Sales and Cold Beer Laws:

  House and Senate committees considered legislation that would impact how and when Hoosiers can purchase alcohol.

  A measure to allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays passed the Senate Public Policy Committee by a unanimous vote and will now be considered by the entire Senate for passage. A similar bill in the House Public Policy Committee also passed and will be considered by the full House...

4
January

The 120th Indiana General Assembly Is Underway

Today marked the start of the 120th Indiana General Assembly. Legislators from all around the state reconvened at the Indiana Statehouse to begin working through the 10-week legislative session that is scheduled to conclude on March 14th. 

 Over the next two and a half months, Representatives and Senators will consider the issues facing Indiana and potential solutions. A few of the pressing matters before the state that may be considered are:

  • Whether or not to allow Sunday alcohol sales
  • Expansion of cold beer sales
  • Raising the minimum wage
  • Combating the opioid epidemic
  • Redistricting of legislative districts
  • Workforce development

 There have been a few changes in leadership in both the House and Senate that will have new members filling those roles. Former House Democratic Minority Leader, Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) will be replaced by Representative Terry Goodin (D-Austin) to take the same position. Rep. Pelath will not seek re-election later this year.

 Across the hall in the Senate, Senator Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek) recently resigned to take a job in Washington D.C. and will leave open the caucus position of Senate Majority Floor Leader. That position will be filled by Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville). Sen. Hershman's departure also opens up the Chairman of Senate Tax & Fiscal Policy Committee Chair position which will be filled by Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle). In a departure last fall, Sen. Luke Kenley retired leaving open the position of Senate Appropriations Committee Chair which will be filled by Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen). Sen. Luke Kenley's Senate seat has been filled by Sen. Victoria Spartz from Noblesville. 

 For more information regarding the 2018 legislative session including a complete listing of House and Senate Committee assignments or to see copies of proposed legislation, visit https://iga.in.gov/.

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