Local State Lawmakers Give Updates As Legislative Session Reaches Halfway Mark

By: David Shepherd, News Director / Anchor

DUBOIS COUNTY -- The legislative session has reached its halfway mark in Indianapolis, and state lawmakers from Dubois County are giving constituents an update on their progress.

" This session, I co-authored legislation that would create a scholarship to provide volunteer firefighters up to two academic years of free tuition at Ivy Tech Community College," explains Rep. Shane Lindauer (R-Jasper).  " This scholarship would offer public safety officers opportunities to further their education while remaining in the workforce or volunteering for their community. After 2021, all public safety officers would be eligible for the scholarship."

Lindauer also discussed the state's budget.  "The House of Representatives also passed legislation supporting a balanced budget, increasing protections for our youth, strengthening our commitment to students and teachers, aligning and promoting workforce initiatives, and supporting Hoosier veterans."


Meanwhile, state senator Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) is also quite busy this legislative session.  This year, however, he has more on his plate as he has been named the Senate Majority Leader.

In his weekly blog, "The Messmer Report," which airs each Saturday on local news on WITZ, Messmer discussed bills that have been passed.  You can read his full report below.

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The Indiana General assembly recently reached the midpoint of the 2019 legislative session. This means all the bills that have been passed by the Senate now move to the House of Representatives and vice versa.

Of the 636 bills filed in the Senate this year, 218 passed, with 89 percent having bipartisan support and 57 percent passing unanimously. These bills aim to provide solutions to a number of important issues facing our state.

For example, Senate Bill 1 would help address the increased number of children entering our foster care system. This legislation would also create multiple reforms to address the concerns of foster parents dealing with the court system.

Other bills that passed the Senate focused on supporting Hoosier teachers and students. Senate Bill 362 would increase the school-supply tax credit for teachers from $100 to $500. This would help ensure teachers are properly reimbursed for the supplies they buy for their classrooms.

Another measure that would have a positive effect on our schools is Senate Bill 127. This bill would allow schools to seek a property-tax referendum specifically to fund school safety projects as well as expand how schools can use Secured School Safety Grants from the state.

As always, we’re also working to make sure Indiana has a healthy economic environment for our businesses. Senate Bill 233 would double the business personal-property tax exemption from $20,000 to $40,000, which is projected to provide $4 million in tax relief to more than 28,000 small Hoosier businesses.

During the second half of the legislative session, I look forward to reviewing the bills that recently passed the House, including the budget bill, House Bill 1001.

To stay informed and engaged as the legislature considers proposed legislation, I encourage you to visit iga.in.gov to stream committee hearings and session meetings. Event calendars, meeting agendas, vote tallies and proposed legislation can also be found on this site.

As always, feel free to contact me directly with your questions or concerns at Senator.Messmer@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.