Legislators Meet for  Special Session

Today in email from Indiana district 15 Senator Liz Brown:

Earlier this week, the General Assembly reconvened for a one-day special session to pass a handful of important bills, including measures to increase funding for school security and align Indiana with the major federal tax reform passed in 2017.

House Enrolled Act 1230 provides additional funding for school security and requires the Department of Education to conduct an audit of every school’s safety plan in the wake of the February school shooting in Florida. HEA 1230 allows up to $5 million for the Indiana Secured School Grant Program and up to $35 million from the Common School Fund to be used for school security-related equipment and capital projects.

 House Enrolled Act 1315 provides emergency assistance to aid the turnaround efforts in Indiana’s only two financially distressed school corporations – Muncie and Gary. More importantly, from a statewide perspective, HEA 1315 establishes a process to annually monitor the financial health of all school districts so the state can provide support for local turnaround efforts without the need for more drastic interventions like what became necessary in Muncie and Gary.

House Enrolled Acts 1316 and 1242 update Indiana’s tax code and other tax policies to respond to recent federal changes, including the major tax reform legislation passed in 2017. Without this legislation, Indiana businesses could face $100 million in increased tax compliance costs because they would have to keep two sets of accounting records – one for state taxes and another for federal taxes.

These four bills were in final form at the end of the regular session in March, but ultimately did not pass due to time constraints.

The process set forth by legislative leaders was the most transparent and efficient for a special session to date, and while we should’ve completed our work in March, I believe we set an example for the future.

Click here to view the full versions of the bills.


April Indiana Employment Report

From Indiana in email today:

INDIANAPOLIS (May 18, 2018) – Indiana’s unemployment rate stands at 3.2 percent for April and remains lower than the national rate of 3.9 percent. With the exception of one month when it was equal (October 2014), Indiana’s unemployment rate now has been below the U.S. rate for more than four years. The monthly unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicator that reflects the number of unemployed people seeking employment within the prior four weeks as a percentage of the labor force.

Indiana’s labor force had a net increase of 11,655 over the previous month. This was a result of a 737 increase in unemployed residents and an increase of 10,918 employed residents. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.33 million, and the state’s 64.0 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.8 percent.

In addition, Indiana’s initial unemployment insurance claims continue to be at historical lows.

Learn more about how unemployment rates are calculated here: http://www.hoosierdata.in.gov/infographics/employment-status.asp.