INDIANAPOLIS | The Republican-controlled Indiana Senate voted Thursday to send a bevy of House-approved proposals to the governor's desk or to House-Senate conference committees for the separately approved texts of the measures to be reconciled, including:
Preschool -- House Bill 1004 was changed by the Senate to require a one-year study of the state's preschool needs. Gov. Mike Pence still is fighting to restore his pilot preschool voucher proposal that would pay for up to 1,000 low-income 4-year-olds to attend preschool starting late 2015.
Road funding -- House Bill 1002 authorizes spending $200 million set aside last year for major road projects, such as adding a lane to Interstate 65 between Merrillville and Lowell. An additional $200 million can be spent if Pence doesn't use it to shore up state finances following months of sluggish revenues.
State Sen. Lonnie Randolph, D-East Chicago, said some of that money should be used to rebuild the Cline Avenue Bridge as a freeway.
Annuities -- House Bill 1075 bars the Indiana Public Retirement System from privatizing its annuity program for retired state and local government employees, including teachers. However, future annuity interest rates would be closer to market rates.
Annexation -- House Bill 1099, sponsored by state Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, enables localities like Lowell and Winfield to annex municipal-owned water or wastewater plants located outside their boundaries without annexing the land in between.
Records search -- House Bill 1306 permits the state or local governments to charge a fee of up to $20 per hour for public record searches that take longer than two hours to complete.
Adoption credit -- House Bill 1222 provides a tax credit to adoptive parents of up to $1,000 per child for new adoptions starting in 2015.
Minority health -- House Bill 1358 keeps the Indiana Office of Minority Health in business until July 1, 2016.