It may be summertime, but State Senator Ed Charbonneau is certainly not taking a break. He says this is the time of year to ramp up summer study committees, whose job is to focus on various topics that were initiated in bills filed during the previous legislative session. When some of those legislative items are too lengthy of a project to address during the legislative session, they are deferred to summer study committees that meet a number of times to take an intense look at issues referred to them by the legislature.
Charbonneau says that with the committees and the large number of county fairs, he’s kept fairly busy.
“It’s a good time, it’s an interesting time, and it’s a time when you can really get out and talk to constituents and really hear firsthand about a lot of issues that are on peoples’ minds. And certainly now, as you might expect, it’s jobs, economic development, job creation, and how do we get things turned around so that we can get on the right track. If we can create the jobs, it’s going to help local government, it’s gonna help schools, it’s gonna help everybody,” said Charbonneau.
Charbonneau says that the state has passed two significant pieces of legislation that will affect people throughout the state. The first, Charbonneau says he’s excited to announce that the state has begun the process of eliminating the inheritance tax.
“It’s been a real burden on folks in the past, and at times you hear horror stories of having to sell farms because people are unable to pay the inheritance tax. And we finally corrected that situation. To be fiscally prudent, we didn’t do it all at one time; we’re phasing it out over the next ten years, but it’s going to happen,” Charbonneau said.
The second piece of important legislation has to deal with education, and it will have a significant impact on schools throughout Indiana. According to Charbonneau, the state has made the decision to begin fully funding full-day kindergarten.
“Early education is very important, and again, we, I’ve think, done a very good job of being fiscally responsible as a state, but part of it we felt it was the appropriate time to invest a significant amount of money in funding full day kindergarten. So it’s gonna make a difference in peoples’ lives,” explained Charbonneau.