Bill # and Title: HB 1267 – Water Infrastructure Taskforce
Author: Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso)
Summary: Establishes a Water Infrastructure Taskforce consisting of 14 members including: the chair of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), four other ex-officio members, three members of the Senate, three members of the House of Representatives and three members appointed by the Governor. It provides that the chair of the IURC shall serve as chair of the taskforce and that the IURC shall provide staff support to the taskforce. It requires the taskforce to: (1) study drinking water systems, wastewater management systems and storm water management systems; (2) create an empirical decision-making tool that will allow policymakers to prioritize water infrastructure projects; and (3) develop a long-term plan for addressing drinking water, wastewater and storm water management needs in Indiana. Requires the taskforce to submit a report containing certain recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor not later than December 1, 2018.
Chamber Position: Support
Status: Heard by the House Utilities, Energy, and Telecommunications Committee but no vote was taken.
Update/Chamber Action: The Chamber indicated its support for the bill, as it is consistent with the Chamber’s Indiana Vision 2025 plan. The taskforce will develop a long-term plan for addressing drinking water and wastewater needs in Indiana. This legislation, which recognizes the importance of water in economic prosperity, builds on Senate Bills 416 and 511 from 2017.
Bill # and Title: SB 269 – Road and Utility Repair
Author: Sen. Erich Koch (R-Bedford)
Summary: Requires the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to consult with the appropriate local government officials whenever a proposed INDOT action adversely affects certain local interests including commerce. After consultation, it requires the commissioner of INDOT to either: (A) approve a proposed INDOT action subject to the concerns of the appropriate local representative; or (B) remand a proposed INDOT action to appropriate department personnel for the purpose of devising a revised action that is less destructive to certain local interests. It also provides that the hearing officer appointed to conduct a hearing concerning a petition to establish a regional water, sewage or solid waste district is required to provide notice of the hearing to the executive of a city or town that has a municipal sewage works or public sanitation department having extraterritorial jurisdiction within the boundaries of the area to be included in the proposed district.
Chamber Position: Support
Status: Heard by the Homeland Security and Transportation Committee but no vote was taken.
Update/Chamber Action: The Chamber provided testimony supporting the bill. It requires INDOT to consult with local officials when a road or bridge project may have an adverse impact on business and explore whether there are alternative plans. The notification requirements to establish a regional water, sewage or solid waste district should prevent unnecessary duplication of facilities which would increase utility costs.
Resource: Greg Ellis at (317) 264-6881 or email: [email protected]