Jim Buck


A bill that would remove Indiana’s top education official as an elected position is progressing through the Statehouse. The bill, authored by Sen. Jim Buck (R-Kokomo) would allow the governor to appoint the superintendent of public instruction starting in 2021.

It passed out of committee Monday on a 5-to-3 vote.

“Ultimately it’s the governor that’s responsible for education,” Buck says. “This just puts all of that responsibility on him or her.”


A Senate committee approved a bill that would require online retailers to collect sales tax for Indiana even if they have no physical connection to the state.

Online retailers are only required to collect sales tax for a state if they have a physical connection to that state. Otherwise, customers must pay the sales tax on their own –which rarely happens in part because many people don’t know that.

The Senate Local Government Committee will wait to vote on a bill that would require law enforcement to clear protesters from roadways by “any means necessary.”

The proposal raised alarm with lawmakers and members of the public Wednesday at its first hearing.

The bill, from state Sen. James Tomes (R-Wadesville), would require a mayor or other public official to dispatch all available law enforcement within 15 minutes of a report of a mass traffic obstruction.

Senate Backs Away From Direct Auto Sales Ban

Feb 26, 2016
Tesla Motors / Facebook

The Senate has pulled the plug on a bill which would have shut down the Tesla Motors showroom in Indianapolis. Instead of franchising dealerships, Tesla sells to customers directly.  But the Senate had proposed banning that practice.

Senate Commerce Chairman Jim Buck (R-Kokomo) says he's been bombarded with angry calls from Tesla owners, so he killed the bill in favor of the House's original call for a study committee.

Ian Ransley / https://www.flickr.com/photos/design-dog/14412981749

A Senate committee chairman postponed a vote Thursday on legislation allowing cosmetologists to shave their customers’ beards and mustaches.  The postponement came after barbers and committee members raised concerns about the lack of a training requirement in the bill.

An interpretation from the Indiana Attorney General’s office last year said state law bars cosmetologists from shaving customers’ beards and mustaches.  Legislation authored this year would allow that practice. 

Joe Gratz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/joegratz/

Justices on Indiana’s Supreme Court and its Court of Appeals judges will get the chance to sit on the bench longer under a bill headed for the state House of Representatives.

The Indiana Constitution requires judges on the Supreme and Appeals courts to retire by an age set by the General Assembly. Current law sets the age at 75.

The bill from Senator Jim Buck, R-Kokomo, would raise the age to 80. That same bill failed in the Senate last year by a 24-24 vote.

This year it squeaked by with a 27-20 margin.

Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

We’ve been hearing the same story for months: State Superintendent Glenda Ritz and members of the Indiana State Board of Education don’t really get along. People say the drama keeps the group from getting anything accomplished.

Indiana Senate to debate proposed income tax cut

Feb 19, 2013

A Senate committee is preparing to take up a tax cut authored by Kokomo Republican Jim Buck.

The proposal differs slightly from Governor Pence's call for a 10% cut over two-years.

Buck is recommending a nearly 12% reduction phased in over four years.

He says that would give legislators a chance to halt the tax cut if the economy sputters, or speed it up if Indiana takes in more money than expected.

Buck agrees with the governor that lawmakers should not put off debating the issue.