Statehouse session more than just right-to-work
Ross Schulz, Staff Writer
Even though it’s hard to believe with all of the media coverage and protesting of the right-to-work bill the Indiana General Assembly passed this winter, other bills ‘ some good, some not so good ‘ have been discussed or passed through during the session.
One of the legislative issues is the statewide smoking ban, which, in any other year would have garnered quite a bit of attention. The bill that was approved in the House would exempt casinos and give bars 18 months before they would have to go smoke free.
Businesses have the choice as it is to allow smoking or to not allow it (unless the city, town or county laws already banned it) and it should stay that way. If the business wants to cater to smokers, that’s their choice. If it wants to cut out smoking completely, like Cracker Barrel has done here in Corydon, go for it. There’s no reason for the state legislature to make that decision for businesses.
Another bill on the docket will eliminate, beginning with a phase-out period, the state’s inheritance tax. The much-needed bill would potentially make Indiana more attractive for retirees and older generations in general. Eventually, no one would pay taxes for inheriting money from anyone, whether it be a family member or a stranger. The money most likely has already been taxed when it was earned by the person passing it along, so why tax it again?
One of the few topics other than right-to-work that was brought up Feb. 4 at the legislative update held in Corydon was legislation to give schools more money to fund full-day kindergarten. Full-day kindergarten is quite expensive, basically doubling or more the resources needed, including teachers. The state’s budget may not be in the shape to handle that at this point, but, if some of the millions of extra dollars ‘found’ recently by the state could be used for education in general, whether full-day kindergarten or not, it would be money well-spent.
Another bill with some merit requires welfare recipients and lawmakers to take random drug tests. Lawmakers will probably end up being exempt from the bill, but it’s only fair that welfare recipients prove they’re trying to become more independent, and spending money on illegal drugs while receiving government funding is not the way to do so.
Now with right-to-work signed into law, legislators can turn their full attention to other, just as important, bills.