INDIANAPOLIS–State Senator Tim Skinner (D-Terre Haute) proposed several bills during the recently adjourned legislative session that were approved by the General Assembly and are expected to be signed into law by the governor. Most new laws become effective July 1, 2014. These proposals include topics regarding school finance, public pensions and farming regulations.

Senate Enrolled Act 179, authored by Sen. Skinner, allows poultry farms to slaughter and process up to a certain amount of poultry annually without inspection under federal regulations. Under the act, local units of government will not have the authority to request by ordinance or resolution to see certification or require inspections of food, food products, or farmers that meet certain requirements. The act provides that the farmer or bone fide egg producer with an annual egg production from a flock of 3,000 hens or fewer is no longer required to have a farmer’s market retail permit to sell eggs at a farmers market. They may also sell eggs to a restaurant or grocery store in Indiana if the eggs meet U.S. Consumer Grade B standards.

Sen. Skinner co-authored legislation addressing farmland assessments. SEA 111 provides that the current soil productivity factors will remain in place for property taxes payable in 2015, and updated soil productivity factors will not be used until 2015 assessments for taxes payable in 2016.

SEA 143, co-authored by Sen. Skinner to aid school corporations with debt restructuring, was amended into House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1062. The act permits a school corporation that experiences at least a 10 percent loss to the school corporation’s transportation fund due to circuit breaker credits in 2014, 2015, or 2016 to use a proportional circuit breaker credit allocation for that year. In addition, the act permits a school corporation that experiences at least a 20 percent loss to the school corporation’s levies due to circuit breaker credits to use debt restructuring by adopting a resolution before January 2, 1019.

To help compensate for the increased cost of living for some public employees, Sen. Skinner co-sponsored House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1074. The act provides for a thirteenth check for certain members of the Indiana State Teachers’ Retirement Fund, Public Employees’ Retirement Fund (PERF), State Excise Police, gaming agents, gaming control officers, members of the Conservation Enforcement Officer’s Retirement Fund, State Police 1987 Benefit System, and certain members of the Pre-1987 State Police Benefit System. No later than October 1, 2014, the fund shall pay the amount to a member of the fund, or survivor/beneficiary, who retired or was disabled on or before December 1, 2013 and who is entitled to receive a monthly benefit on July 1, 2014.

Sen. Skinner represents Senate District 38, including Vigo County and portions of Clay County. For more information on Sen. Skinner, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visitwww.IN.gov/s38.

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