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Indiana House

The House of Representatives chamber in the Indiana Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana House has resoundingly approved a bipartisan plan allowing local fire protection district boards to pay their trustees up to $100 a meeting, in the hope of enticing more residents to serve.

Senate Enrolled Act 156, upping the maximum per meeting payment from $20, was approved 93 to 0 Tuesday, after previously passing the Senate, 49-0, on Feb. 4.

It now goes to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who is expected to sign it into law.

The sponsor, state Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, said fire districts serving Griffith and other Indiana communities recently have struggled to find people willing to give up their time to prepare for and attend the minimum of four board meetings each year.

He said local officials believe a higher per-meeting payment for board members will help spur recruitment.

Other Region sponsors of the measure are state Sens. Lonnie Randolph, D-East Chicago; Rick Niemeyer, R-Lowell; and Mike Bohacek, R-Michiana Shores; along with state Rep. Carolyn Jackson, D-Hammond.

The proposal also is endorsed by the Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana and the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association.

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Statehouse Bureau Chief

Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.