From your office to the Oval Office, One Southern Indiana wants to provide you with the resources to city, county, state and federal leaders.
This page also offers informational links to voter resources, federal and state issues and the latest news.
Build the Bridges Coalition continues to work on several fronts to get ready for the legislative sessions in Kentucky and Indiana and an active, successful New Year. Click here for the latest.
CLICK HERE to view the Bridges Coalition's latest presentation.
In his State of the State address, Gov. Mitch Daniels outlined his agenda for the 2009 legislative session. He said that "the largest and most momentous of our opportunities" is local government reform based on the Kernan-Shepard report.
One Southern Indiana and MySmartgov.org agree, and we expect that you do too. So tell your legislators! Click the link below to go to MySmartgov's Grassroots Action Center where, with just a few clicks, you can send a message to your representative and senator urging them to support reform legislation this session.
As the governor said, "the hour for action has arrived." Action by our legislators -- and action by us. So please take action today.
Click here to login and send your message.
Federal & State Issues That Could Affect Your Business
Research shows that employees consider one of the most credible sources for election information to be their employer. Most employees respect the opinions of the employers and want information on how issues impact them.
The Indiana Prosperity Project (also known as “P2”) is a collaborative educational effort administered by the Indiana Chamber and Indiana Manufacturers Association. It is designated to help participating employers inform their employees by providing candidate information, election previews, online voter registration, downloadable absentee ballots and portals to contact legislators, among other tools.
This process is done in a non-partisan way. Employers can explain why certain issues are important to their business. It’s just the facts, not endorsements of candidates.
Delayed Implementation of Unemployment Trust Fund Tax
In mid-January, the Senate passed SB 23 to delay the effective date for the tax increases by one year, citing the struggling economy and anticipated federal assistance. The House Labor Committee passed SB 23, but added several provisions opposed by the business community before doing so. Then the House amended in yet more provisions that would have long-term negative impact on the state and its workforce. SB 23 passed the full House February 24.
When SB 23 came back to the Senate for a Concurrence Vote, the Senate dissented and the bill was sent to Conference Committee. SB 23 passed out of Conference Committee and came back to the Senate and the House with final votes of 50-0 and 85-12 respectively. Governor Daniels signed the Senate Enrolled Act 23 on March 25, 2010 into law which now delays the implementation of the unemployment trust fund tax until January 1, 2011.
To read SB 23 in the form in which the bill was passed, click here.
Guns in the workplace lead to tragic consequences. Despite that reality, the Indiana House and Senate has each passed legislation that would make it legal for employees to bring guns to work.
Specifically, House Bill 1065 prohibits an employer from adopting or enforcing a policy/rule that prevents employees from keeping a firearm locked in their vehicle while it’s on the employer’s property. This bill overturns existing or proposed employers’ workplace safety policies concerning firearms and violates the property rights of employers.
HB 1065 was dissented by the House after being amended and passed out of the Senate; therefore, HB 1065 was sent to conference committee and the conference committee report was adopted. HB 1065 was signed into law, Public Law 10, on March 18, 2010 by Governor Daniels and goes into effect on July 1, 2010.
To read HB 1065 in its entirety, click here.
Local Government Reform
Indiana’s local government system is too large, complicated and inefficient in today’s world. A simpler, more effective and accountable system of local government is needed.
The prime example lies with township government. Two-thirds of Hoosiers don’t know who their township trustee is and an even larger group has never used any type of township service. In fact, the distribution of poor relief – labeled a prime township duty – only took place in 2% of the townships, according to a recent report.
Yet township government has collected and is sitting on 215 million in your taxpayer dollars! In today’s economy, that’s irresponsible. These cash reserves can be put to far better use for other local needs OR returned to taxpayers!
HB 1181 was one bill that could have brought some real reforms to local government. Before certain amendments were added, HB 1181 sought to curb costly nepotism, eliminate township advisory boards and shift budget oversight to the county level. HB 1181 passed through the House and the Senate with amendments. However, when the bill was sent back to the House for a Concurrence Vote, the House dissented and HB 1181 was sent to Conference Committee. A conference committee report for HB 1181 was never adopted and the bill failed to be passed into law.
It is still important to Take Action! and contact your legislator to voice your opinion about why township government needs to be reformed.