Week 6 of the 2021 Indiana General Assembly

From State Representative Randy Frye. Frye calls the WTRE studios Mondays at 7:10 AM during sessions of the Indiana General Assembly.

34 bills passed the Indiana House last week. In addition another 24 bills are on second reading and 13 bills on third reading Monday.
HB 1004 – Small Business Restart Grant Program (Author: Lindauer; Coauthors: Negele, Morrison,Pryor) Passed House 93-3.Establishes the Hoosier Hospitality Small Business Restart Grant Program to provide much- needed funding to struggling hospitality-based businesses throughout Indiana whose business has been decimated due to the pandemic and pandemic-related government restrictions.o Appropriates $30M to the grant program.The grant program is primarily geared toward small businesses in the hospitality industry, including food and drink establishments and hotels and motels, but is also available to any other industry which the IEDC deems to have suffered particularly as a result of the pandemic.The maximum grant total is $50K for each business.

HB 1039 – Military Award License Plates (Author: Judy; Coauthors: Abbott, Frye, Morris) Passed House 95-0.Enables Hoosiers to continue to honor the legacy of veterans by allowing the surviving spouse of a Purple Heart recipient to retain the Purple Heart specialty license plate.27 other states have already passed this type of legislation.The surviving spouse is allowed to continue using this specialty plate as long as they donot remarry.The surviving spouse is not eligible to receive a modified disability registration plate.Establishes the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal specialty license plate.This medal is awarded to members of the United States armed forces who have participated in a United States military operations, United States operations in direct support of the United Nations, or United States operations of assistance for friendlyforeign nations.Examples of such operations include Operation Just Cause (Panama 1989-1990),Operation Secure Tomorrow (Haiti 2004), and Operations Restore Hope & United Shield (Somalia 1992-1995).
IDHS Agency Bill – HB 1270. Author Frye
 Fire Chief Executive Training Program
• Currently, fire chiefs in Indiana are not required to have any formal leadership training.• This bill requires IDHS to develop a “fire chief executive training program” and requires fire chiefs appointed after January 1, 2022, to complete the program within one year of their appointment as fire chief. Volunteer fire chiefs would not be required to take the training. However, they could voluntarily participate if the program has space available.• The program would provide training on topics necessary to run an efficient and effective fire department, such as leadership development, budgeting, and conflict resolution.• Costs of the program would be paid out of the Regional Public Safety Training Fund. Local units of government and fire departments would not be required to cover any costs associated with the program.Electronic Issuance of Initial Notice of Determination
• Under the Administrative Orders and Procedures Act (AOPA), certain orders may be issued by E-Mail, however, certain notices, such initial notices of determination must be sent via U.S. Mail or personal service.• Sending these initial notices via U.S. Mail proved challenging during COVID-19 as many IDHS employees and customers were working away from the office.• This bill would add initial notices of determination to list of orders that can be severed via E-Mail.• This will increase the efficiency of state agencies who issue these types of orders, decrease operating costs, and provide more efficient notice to customers.IDHS Modernization
• When IDHS was created in 2005, it was designed to mirror the structural organization of FEMA. FEMA has changed over the years, but IDHS remains constrained by these antiquated statutory requirements that assign specific duties to specific divisions within the department.• Instead of assigning specific duties and authorities to IDHS “divisions,” the bill would assign all current roles and responsibilities of the divisions to the Department, generally.• Doing so would not reduce or eliminate any authority the Department currently has, but in fact, would streamline and clarify the authority.• The State Fire Marshal and State Building Commissioner will still be responsible for managing their respective statutes and rules under the umbrella authority of the Department.• Additionally, the bill would allow the Executive Director the ability to create and modify departmental divisions or subdivisions in the future, if necessary.• By granting the Department, rather than certain divisions, the authority to conduct its roles and responsibilities, IDHS can better organize itself to meet today’s public safety needs and achieve operational efficiency. Technical Corrections
• The bill also contains technical corrections:o 1) Fixes a duplication of IC 22-13-2-14.1;o 2) Removes to references to outdated Indiana Administrative Code citations; ando 3) Includes a subsection reference that is missing in IC 22-14-3-1.

State Representative Randy Frye 

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