Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Bills Bills Bills II

Silly Bills

HB 1066: Spotlighting wild animals. Provides that a person who, between October 1 and January 15, shines a spotlight, searchlight, or other artificial light on a wild animal for the purpose of locating a wild animal commits a Class C infraction.

Apparently, during the War on Christmas, Santa sustained injuries when enemy combatants shined lights into the eyes of Dasher and Dancer. So this is actually a National Security issue.

HB 1035: Appropriation for the Lincoln amphitheater. Appropriates $270,000 to the University of Southern Indiana for the Young Abe Lincoln Outdoor Theater for fiscal year 2006-2007.

Can you say PORK?

HB 1021: Hay baling on interstate rights-of-way. Requires the department of transportation to develop a program to contract with farmers to harvest hay along the rights-of-way of interstate highways.


HB 1072: Holocaust study. Beginning with the 2006-2007 school year, requires each school corporation to include a study of the Holocaust as a part of its curriculum.

Let me be clear. I think that Holocaust history should be taught to high schoolers. This is only silly given the way the bill is written. It lists the things that must be on the curriculum as such:

1. Language
2. Math
3. Social Studies
4. Science
5. Art
6. Health
7. Holocaust

It seems that #7 might be more appropriate as a sub-subsection of #3. Maybe someone should propose

8. Outline Writing.

Bill O'Reilly Bills

HB 1013: In God We Trust license plate. Creates an In God We Trust license plate, and specifies that it is not a special group recognition license plate.

And since it is not a special group recognition plate, it comes without the normal $15 administrative fee. All the more money to put into the offering plate or into Bosma’s campaign fund.

HB 1055: Changes the requirements for food safety handling.

I won’t bore you with details, but basically this allows religious organizations to hold more than 30 fish fries or potlucks in a calendar year without requiring that the food preparers wash their hands.

Good Bills

HB 1029: College savings plan deduction. Provides that up to $2,000 in contributions to an Indiana college choice 529 investment plan may be deducted from adjusted gross income.

While this does reduce state revenue each year, it only does so by an amount approximately equal to the cost of the HB 1061: Lincoln Amphitheater (between $250K and $300K). So with a little controlled spending, the legislature can give parents an incentive to save for their children’s education, providing Indiana with a more educated population and a more skilled workforce (if we can keep the graduates here).

HB 1047: Financial literacy curriculum. Requires public schools (including charter schools) and accredited nonpublic schools to provide instruction in personal financial responsibility to students in grades 9 through 12.


HB 1048: Mercury in vaccines. Prohibits administering a vaccine containing more than a trace amount of mercury to a person who is pregnant or less than eight years of age…Provides that a health care practitioner may be subject to disciplinary sanctions for failing to comply with these requirements.

While the Federal Government is protecting pharmaceutical companies by covering up the connection between child autism and FDA-approved vaccines containing mercury, State Legislators are protecting children. Bravo.

HB 1064 : School levy freeze. Imposes a freeze on the total amount of ad valorem property taxes that may be imposed by a school corporation for all funds beginning in 2007.

I’ll be honest—I haven’t read this yet. But I can say that one of the most prevalent reasons that property taxes keep going up is that local governments keep increasing levies for non-classroom related expenses, including new school buses and new school playgrounds. And gigantic Olympic-sized swimming pools. Freezing levies would freeze a large portion of property taxes and benefit all Hoosiers who are not part of a high school swim/dive team.

That takes care of about the first 100 bills per chamber. Only 1,000 or so more to go!


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