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The Perfect Storm — Legislative Update

January 12, 2014

There is little to report this week other than the perfect storm that has created a procedural nightmare of a start to the session.

First, the weather event of last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday led to a delay in the session starting from the scheduled start of Monday at 1:30 to Tuesday at about 3:45 in the House and 5:45 in the Senate. This delay, in effect, was a two day delay. While very little occurs of newsworthy significance the first two days of any session, one thing that does go on is the filing and approval of bills. The filing deadline of Friday was moved to Monday (tomorrow) and the assignment of those bills will take another couple of days through the middle of the week. This is a long way of reporting that only about 20% of the expected bills have been filed and the list of bills that we will ultimately follow are not in yet. This is the case for almost everyone.

Secondly, the legislative tracking service that our industry subscribes to from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce was sold last year and the new operator has upgraded the system in a number of exciting ways. However, the rollout has been far from smooth. The state legislative site was also updated in December to add to the troubles. We all think the transition problem will be behind us by tomorrow so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

Now that all of the whining is behind me, I should have a more detailed and useful report this week. I am available while in the statehouse this week so drop me a note if you want an update earlier than the end of the week as you prepare for your meeting next weekend.

I sincerely hope that the “marriage amendment” debate will not complicate our issues this session. My plan was to try to get our issue into the Judiciary Committees, which is also the committee the marriage amendment will be handled. I will keep you posted on that as well. Have a good week.

Michael Leppert, President
Clark Quinn Public Affairs

January 18, 2014

Attached you will see a link to a report I have created for you to monitor the status of relevant legislative items for the session. This link will update each time you refresh it so you will always have access to the latest status on all bills on the list.

Our bill this year is SB 210 and has been assigned to the Senate Commerce Committee. This is new this year. Last year it was in the Senate Public Policy Committee. I had hoped Senator Steele would join Senator Taylor on the bill, but I do not have a definitive answer on that yet. The Commerce Committee is better for us than Public Policy, but not as good as the Judiciary Committee I am assessing what our hearing opportunities are right now and will have a better idea of the outlook at the beginning of the week.

The Governor’s opposition to new licensure across the board has caused a great challenge for everyone trying to get these kinds of bills passed. There are other bills in play on the link below, and I need to gather the outlook from others promoting any licensure, certification, or registration item and get their outlooks before I can come up with a final assessment. For purposes of your strategic planning meeting, I think we may need to begin planning for a campaign to get the attention of the Judicial Center and the Supreme Court to begin looking at the issue by rule. I worry that the politics of the current landscape are at best difficult to overcome when attempting to accomplish our goal with new legislation.

Michael Leppert, President
Clark Quinn Public Affairs

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