Editor’s note: The following is a thank you letter That the Hoosier State Press Association recently mailed to our state legislator who has worked with the HSPA on various legislative concerns impacting the news industry. The work of the HSPA with our legislators is on behalf of this publication.
Dear Sen. Ryan Mishler,
I hope this letter finds you and your family safe and healthy. The historic times we’re living shut down the Hoosier State Press Association for a bit, which delayed my writing of thank you letters to legislators.
HSPA would like to thank you for fixing a glitch in HB 1279, authored by Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso. It included language to allow the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority to establish a nonprofit entity to carry out economic development projects around future locations of commuter train stations. The bill also included language concerning payment to the state that could be required for the Indianapolis public transit system, IndyGo.
Sebastian Smelko of Ice Miller law firm reached out to HSPA to talk about the intent of the bill. HSPA explained it had no objection to intent but had a concern with inconsistencies in language concerning confidentiality of economic development information compared to current law for other economic development projects.
HSPA testified on that issue before the bill’s Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, chaired by you. Your committee’s Legislative Services Agency attorney acknowledged the need for an amendment to e consistent with current law. The issue was fixed with a committee amendment before its passage out of your committee.
A conference committee report was approved by the Senate 46-3, but the bill died at the last hour without a House vote. Apparently, the IndyGo language was the stumbling block.
I look forward to working ti the General Assembly during the 2021 session, which will surely be a busy one following this year’s events.
Executive Director and General Counsel
Hoosier State Press Association