Eric Koch

fensterbme / https://www.flickr.com/photos/fensterbme/

Legislators plan to introduce a bill that would force the Division of Forestry to set aside 10 percent of each state forest, with no logging allowed in those areas.

Two Republicans, Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) and Rep. Eric Koch (R-Bedford), will introduce the bill during this legislative session.  Previous efforts to protect state forests from logging have gotten stuck in committee with little support from GOP legislators.

“I think what you’re going to see is bi-partisan support for the legislation,” says Jeff Stant, Executive Director of the Indiana Forest Alliance.

House Republican Caucus

A Marion County judge says the House Republican caucus doesn’t have to make lawmaker emails public under Indiana’s open records law. 

Citizen advocacy groups and an energy institute filed a lawsuit against the House GOP caucus and Rep. Eric Koch (R-Bedford) in April after the caucus refused to hand over Koch’s emails involving a solar energy bill. 

House Republicans argue the state’s Access to Public Records Act, or APRA, doesn’t apply to them, while groups such as the Citizens Action Coalition say it should. 

Justin Marty / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jmarty/3677688990

The Indiana Rural Broadband Working Group, convened last year, developed a report for the legislature identifying steps towards blanketing the state with quality broadband coverage. 

Representative Eric Koch (R- Bedford), who served on the working group, says a first step is the creation of a new designation – Broadband Ready Communities. 

Legislators Criticize New Energy Efficiency Plan

Mar 26, 2015
Claudio Schwarz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/purzlbaum/131322462/

 Indiana is on the brink of enacting a new energy efficiency plan to replace one repealed last year.

The House has approved a bill requiring electric companies to submit plans every three years for how they‘ll encourage more efficient energy consumption.

Utilities and Energy Chairman Eric Koch (R-Bedford) says the state had some form of efficiency requirement from 2004 until this year, when Governor Mitch Daniels‘ "Energize Indiana" program was formally abolished.

Michael Coghlan / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/

Indiana utility companies say customers who use alternative energy sources such as solar panels aren’t paying their fair share for using the state’s energy infrastructure.  A bill approved Wednesday in a House committee would allow utilities to charge future alternative energy customers a fee.

Energy Plan Proposals Coming From Pence And Legislators

Dec 17, 2014
U.S. Navy / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnavy/

Legislators and the Pence administration are working on an energy efficiency proposal to replace the dismantled Energize Indiana plan.

Gov. Pence says he’ll propose an energy efficiency plan in his State of the State address next month. And House Utilities and Energy Chairman Eric Koch, R-Bedford, says he’s crafting a plan with his Senate counterpart Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis.

Energize Indiana was created by then-Governor Mitch Daniels in 2009 and repealed by this year’s legislature.