Ed Soliday

Legislation that could have put a moratorium on some new power plants in Indiana was overturned Thursday. The House passed an amendment to remove that language from a bill dealing with various utility matters.

Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) wants a two-year moratorium on new power plants while the legislature and utility regulators help craft a comprehensive energy plan for the state. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Republicans in a House committee this week voted to largely halt new power plants in Indiana for the next two years.

The moratorium’s architect says he wants to ensure the state’s energy future is balanced.

A controversial bill moving through the state Senate would make changes to a law that lets utilities more quickly recover the costs of certain projects from ratepayers. It involves the Transmission, Distribution, and Storage Improvement Charge or TDSIC. 

The state is closer to finalizing a plan to address Indiana’s water and wastewater needs. The Water Infrastructure Task Force agreed on a draft report at its last meeting on Tuesday. 

4th Congressional district Republican nominee Rep. Jim Baird, left, and Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun - a former state lawmaker - were attacked for their votes to raise the state’s gas tax 10 cents. (Courtesy Indiana General Assembly)
Brandon Smith

Two Republican primary candidates were attacked for their votes last year to raise the state’s gas tax. They both won their races.

And legislative leaders say those results affirm their support for the 2017 gas tax legislation.

Brandon Smith / IPB News

A Senate committee made changes Tuesday to a bill regulating autonomous vehicles. The bill’s Senate sponsor says the amendment seeks to find a middle ground between self-driving car manufacturers and those who want tighter controls on the industry.

Net Metering Bill Passes Senate

Feb 27, 2017

Senate Bill 309, a controversial bill that alters Indiana’s net metering policy, passed the Senate 39-9 on Monday evening.

Net metering is a practice that allows people with solar panels, or other alternate energy generation sources, to sell excess energy back to utilities at the retail rate.

Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek), the bill’s author, says, despite some public confusion, the bill is actually good for the solar industry.

“It expands the ability of people to generate power for their own needs and to sell the excess back to the grid,” Hershman says.

House Approves Tax-Raising Road Funding Bill

Feb 16, 2017

 

The House approved comprehensive road funding legislation that raises fuel taxes and opens the door to tolling Indiana interstate highways.

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the House GOP’s road funding plan follows a simple philosophy: the user pays.

“And those that use the asset more, pay more. Those who use the asset less, pay less,” Bosma says.

Committee Carves Out Tesla From Direct Sales Ban

Feb 2, 2017

A House committee changed legislation that bans direct sales by auto manufacturers to essentially grandfather in electric car maker Tesla.

Electric car manufacturer Tesla does not use dealerships, it sells directly to customers. And so the company – and its customers – objected to the bill that would have barred them from doing so within the next few years.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM / https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/7974506488

The bill proposing tax hikes to keep Indiana's roads in good repair includes another proposal for raising money -- toll roads.

But even if the bill passes, motorists won't be paying to drive on Indiana roads for at least five years -- if ever.

The bill simply orders INDOT to study whether tolls on I-65 and I-70 would be workable.

State law requires legislative approval of any tolls, and federal law bans tolls on roads that used to be free.

But Congress has approved an experiment to grant three states an exception to that rule.

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