Tim Vandenack
Tim Vandenack
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Elkhart County lawmakers proposing bills on taxes, smoking, RVs, adoption

Plenty of issues are getting headlines out of the statehouse in Indianapolis -- prohibiting same-sex marriage, preschool funding, repealing the business property tax.

Posted on Jan. 21, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 21, 2014 at 12:25 p.m.

Tuesday Jan. 21, 2014

Plenty of issues are getting headlines out of the statehouse in Indianapolis -- prohibiting same-sex marriage, preschool funding, repealing the business property tax.

Those aren't the only issues, though.

Following is a look at some of the proposals authored (unless otherwise noted) by Elkhart County's delegation to the Indiana House. To the right is a map showing what part of Elkhart County each lawmaker represents.

Rep. Wes Culver, R-Goshen, District 49

Tobacco use:House Bill 1029 would allow employers to require workers to refrain from smoking as a condition of employment. Look here for more.

Property valuations:House Bill 1065 places limits on the growth in the assessed valuation of real estate that's had its value adjusted in a property tax appeal.

Income tax distributions:House Bill 1281, echoing legislation Culver unsuccessfully proposed last year, aims to make the state return all income tax revenue due a county. Many Elkhart County officials maintain that the income tax revenue returned here from Indiana finance authorities falls short of the funds sent in the form of withholding taxes by employers to Indianapolis. Look here for an article on Culver's initiative last year.

Culver is also a co-author of House Joint Resolution 3, the measure to prohibit same-sex marriage in Indiana.

Go to Culver's Indiana House page herefor more.

Rep. Rebecca Kubacki, R-Syracuse, District 22

Divorce:House Bill 1014 would allow courts to more quickly grant divorces in cases that involve domestic violence.

Family violence:House Bill 1016 would allow minors 14 and over who have been victims of domestic violence to file protection orders.

Pseudoephedrine:House Bill 1106 would require a prescription to get ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, decongestants used in the production of methamphetamine. Such legislation, meant to put a lid on meth production, has come up before and fizzled.

Adoption:House Bill 1222 would create a state income tax credit for those adopting children. The measure, meant to help offset the cost of adopting, would apply to those who qualify for a federal adoption credit. An interim committee would also be created to research adoption programs in Indiana and elsewhere.

Go hereto see Kubacki's legislative webpage.

Rep. Tim Neese, R-Elkhart, District 48

Police dogs:House Bill 1026 makes it a Level 6 felony instead of a Class A misdemeanor to mistreat law enforcement animals.

RV sales tax:House Bill 1109, co-authored by Neese, would eliminate the sales tax on recreational vehicles sold to out-of-state buyers. Look herefor more.

Go hereto see Neese's legislative website.

Rep. Tim Wesco, R-Osceola, District 21

Child daycare centers:House Bill 1144 would set new conditions for child care providers that get federal Child Care and Development Fund money. Among other things, providers would have to get 12 hours of continuing education each year related to the "development, care and safety of children." They'd also have to get training in detecting child abuse victims and report suspected cases they encounter to authorities.

Local option income tax:House Bill 1405 would give individual counties a new type of local income tax to implement to help offset losses due to property tax caps. Specifically, his proposal -- sought by Elkhart County officials -- would permit implementation of a new tax to offset up to 75 percent of tax cap losses, but not larger than 1 percent.

Wesco, like Culver, is also a co-author of House Joint Resolution 3, the measure to prohibit same-sex marriage in Indiana.

Go here to see Wesco's legislative website.

Rep. David Ober, R-Albion, District 82

Epinephrine: House Bill 1323 would permit post-secondary educational facilities establish policies for the emergency administration of epinephrine to students, faculty or staff. Epinephrine is used to treat certain severe allergic reactions, including allergic reactions to food.

Go here to see his legislative website.

Tim Vandenack is a reporter at the Elkhart Truth newspaper in Elkhart, Ind., www.etruth.com. Reach him at tvandenack@etruth.com or 574-296-5884. Visit him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack.

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