Jim Merritt

New Energy Efficiency Program Faces Criticism

Mar 2, 2015
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Despite its easy approval by the Senate, legislation establishing a new energy efficiency program for the state faces heavy criticism from environmental and consumer advocacy groups.  Much of the outcry comes because of what’s known as “lost revenue recovery.”

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A Senate committee passed a bill Wednesday that would clarify the state’s prohibition on synthetic drugs and the compounds used to make them.

The legislation comes after an existing law was overturned by a state appellate court.

In a 2-1 decision, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s law on synthetic drugs and compounds is too vague for the average citizen to understand.

In response, Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, authored Senate Bill 93, which would list all illegal substances used in these drugs within the state’s administrative code.

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Last year, the General Assembly approved a bill allowing emergency medical technicians and first responders to use naloxone, a drug used to halt the effects of an overdose from drugs such as heroin. 

Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) says naloxone saves lives, and its success last year led to this year’s bill, which allows anyone to get a prescription for the drug.

“Go to the pharmacy, get the prescription, have it on their person, and possibly save the life of an addict in their house or someone on the cul-de-sac, in their community,” Merritt says.

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A state Senate committee approved legislation Thursday creating a new energy efficiency program, which would largely be directed by utility companies, to replace the one lawmakers eliminated last year.

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Indiana law regulates how much beer Indiana’s small brewers can make each year and sell in state. The current limit is 30 thousand barrels.

Most businesses aren’t even close to that. But Sun King Brewery out of Indianapolis and Munster’s 3 Floyds Brewing Company are both near that mark.

Sun King co-founder Dave Colt says if the legislature doesn’t raise the ceiling, Sun King will be forced to make difficult decisions.

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The Indiana attorney general is proposing legislation he says would close legal loopholes and better protect Hoosiers from data breaches and identity theft.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says notable data breaches, such as those on Sony, Target and Home Depot, have consumers worried about ID theft, so he wants to bring some peace of mind to Hoosiers with legislation he’s pushing that would require companies that store consumer data to regularly review and delete that information.

Energy Plan Proposals Coming From Pence And Legislators

Dec 17, 2014
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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.

Still No GOP Candidate For Indianapolis Mayor

Dec 16, 2014
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Indianapolis Republicans are still without a candidate willing to throw a hat in the ring for next year’s mayoral election.

Republican State Senator Jim Merritt of Indianapolis says he will not seek the mayor’s office in 20-15. In a statement Merritt says he is humbled by the support for a potential candidacy, but that quote—“my responsibilities as state senator and majority caucus chairman are my top priorities”—unquote.

He goes on to say that he would be unable to fully commit to a campaign for the first four months of 20-15, due to his Statehouse responsibilities.

Clark Decides Against Run For Mayor Of Indianapolis

Nov 18, 2014
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Former State Senator Murray Clark has ruled out a run for mayor of Indianapolis next year.

Clark says he got out of town after Greg Ballard‘s announcement he wouldn‘t seek reelection to discuss a possible campaign with his wife. He says he basically decided against it then, and finalized the decision after returning last week.

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A new report indicates the state’s energy efficiency program legislators eliminated earlier this year was cost effective, saving about $3 for every one dollar spent.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission report shows the biggest payback from Energizing Indiana, as the program was called, was in rebates given to commercial and industrial businesses that upgraded to energy efficiency equipment.

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