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Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce President David Haynes gives a recap of the January Legislative Forum.

At its monthly advocacy forum, the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce played host to our local legislators (Representatives Bruce Borders, Bob Heaton, Clyde Kersey and Alan Morrison and Senator Jon Ford) and over thirty Chamber members seeking to learn more about the current session of the Indiana General Assembly. Also in attendance and contributing to the conversations was Eighth District
U.S. Congressman Larry Bucshon.

Each legislator had an opportunity to assess the progress of various bills pending in each house and weigh in on the likelihood of success during what is commonly referred to as a “short session” which general means a non-budget session.

Senator Ford commented on the Vigo County food and beverage tax and its favorable consideration by the Senate. If passed and signed by the Governor, this law would allow the Vigo County Council to implement a 1% on food and beverage at restaurants and other social establishments. The bill specifically calls for the use of the revenue to be used toward a convention center in Terre Haute. With
the exception of Representative Borders, the legislators all expressed their support for the measure.

Following the encouragement of Governor Holcomb, both houses have under consideration a workforce development bill generally supported by the delegation. The legislators warned of expected amendments to the bills and that the finished products may not resemble what has been proposed.

Nonetheless, each legislator voiced his support of a continued effort to enhance a workforce ready image for the state.

Following the efforts of a study commission, it appears that the sale of cold beer will continue to be limited to liquor stores, but Sunday sales will be allowed.

When asked about state issues of interest to our Congress, Congressman Bucshon said he was monitoring both the conversations about marijuana and the concerns over opioid abuse. He indicated that these issues are not limited to our state and are being watched by many of his colleagues on the Hill. The Congressman was pleased with the priority being given by his counterparts at the state level.

With the mention of pending bills, our legislators pointed out that in most instances legislation will not be sent to the Governor’s desk. In a short session, legislators are focused on cleaning up matters from the prior year and proposing action to be taken when the General Assembly can fully consider matters during the longer session.

The Chamber will again host our legislators at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, February 16. The Chamber thanks Congressman Bucshon for his attendance and invites him to join these sessions when his schedule allows.

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