INDIANAPOLIS – Several initiatives authored or sponsored by State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) have advanced in the Indiana Senate this week.

How to sufficiently fund a long-term transportation plan is one of the major topics confronting legislators this session. Leadership in the House of Representatives crafted a bill that would improve infrastructure funding by raising taxes and fees. Senator Tallian has authored Senate Bill 262 as another option for funding roads throughout the state. Her legislation would allow the state to leverage its credit rating to sell bonds, creating funds for road improvements without increasing fees and taxes on Hoosiers. It also provides that the state pension funds are offered the first opportunity to buy these bonds as an “Invest in Indiana” program. Tallian’s legislation received overwhelming support on Tuesday with a vote of 41-9.

Legislation from the House does not typically receive a hearing in Senate committees until after the half-way point each session. However, House Bill (HB) 1507 has been fast-tracked and bypassed the normal process in an effort to find a resolution to a problem facing Valparaiso Community Schools and the Porter County Special Olympics program. It was recently discovered that the school corporation did not have the authority to use buses for the non-profit organization. Having already gained House approval, HB 1507 would fix this issue, and will receive an emergency hearing in the Senate Committee on Family and Children Services on Monday, February 13, 2017.

Senator Tallian authored SB 256 to update the Benjamin Harrison Conservation Trust. Currently, the board of the trust consists of voting and non-voting members. The bill makes all members voting members, to ensure that a quorum can be achieved, and that the board can execute its duties. The legislation was unanimously approved on Monday, and now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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Sen. Tallian represents Senate District 4 which encompasses portions of northern Porter County as well as portions of Michigan, Coolspring and New Durham townships in LaPorte County. For more information on Sen. Tallian, her legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/s4.

 

NOTE: A photo of Sen. Karen Tallian can be downloaded at http://www.in.gov/legislative/senate_democrats/images/headshots/Tallian.jpg