ABATE Legislative Introduction 2011
January 20, 2011 -- We are now two weeks into the general (long) session of the 117th Indiana General Assembly and want to update you on what we're doing.
There had been a lot of talk about bipartisan cooperation leading into this session. It looked like that might all go away about five minutes into opening day in the House of Representatives. There was some bickering across the aisle that seems to have settled down for now but has the ability to present again later. We've got friends in both parties in both houses and we certainly hope they are able to resolve whatever differences may exist and continue to do their best to perform the state's business.
Governor Mitch Daniels delivered his seventh State of the State Address on January 11, 2011. Governor Daniels focused much attention on education as he set the tone for the next four months which will determine the biennial budget, redistricting (state and congressional districts) and a litany of other issues.
The deadline for filing legislation has now passed (House 01/11/11 - Senate 01/13/11), but the possibility of amendments exists all the way through the Conference Committee. We have been working with the State Budget Agency to secure adequate funding for the rider education program and will be closely following HB1001, the budget bill, through the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee. You may remember that the "conferees" added the spinal cord and brain injury language into the budget bill in the final hours of the 2007 general session.
Our biggest issues this session include right-of-way legislation (HB1087 - Pelath) that provides for penalties if the actions of someone result in the death or serious injury of another, improving motorcycle licensing (SB528 - Merritt) and the future of the rider education program (SB127 - Holdman). We are in support of each of these three bills. We are currently monitoring 89 pieces of legislation of the approximately 1109 that have been introduced. These include: the following categories are grouped by our general subjects- the actual bill may vary slightly in content from the category
Antique motor vehicles - SB120
Bicycle helmets - SB353, HB1141
Brain injury - SB24, SB93, HB1021, HB1152
Charity/Gaming - SB132, SB340, HB1092, HB1285, HB1390, HB1462, HB1545
Driver education - SB101, SB127, HB1110
Golf carts - HB1353
Ignition interlock - HB1556
Insurance - SB308, SB334, SB445
Lead content - HB1166
Licensing - SB528
Mini trucks - SB372
Motorcycle sales - SB108
Motorized bicycles - HB1125, HB1334, HB1426, HB1495
OHV (off-road) - SB154, HB1082, HB1090
Restraint systems - SB424, HB1044, HB1168
Right of way - HB1087
Texting - SB18, SB92, SB141, SB404, HB1050, HB1129, HB1158
Toxicology - SB431, HB1458
Traffic signals - SB337, HB1199
The session is to end on or before April 29th. If you recall the last "budget cycle" a "special session" was required for the legislators to agree on passing a state budget, which is the only task they are statutorily (by law) required to do. I certainly do not expect the General Assembly to go beyond the end of April, but I'd be a little surprised if they finished early. We need your participation as a grassroots lobbyist at "ABATE Day at the Statehouse" on Thursday March 10. That is a little late in the session and many things will already be decided by that time. For that reason, we need you to be in contact with your legislators throughout the session, starting right now. Call them, write them letters, send e-mail or better yet... visit them at local third house meetings or at the Statehouse. Let them know that you are a constituent and a motorcyclist and these issues are important to you. Be sure to check the website frequently for updates or sign up for the ABATE Alerts.