This week marked the halfway point of the legislative session. Third bill-reading deadlines passed last Wednesday for the House and Tuesday for the Senate. Beginning March 2, all bills that have passed on third reading will switch House and Senate chambers and will be reassigned to a number of committees.

Are you up to date on TechPoint’s 2015 Technology Agenda?

Technology Agenda for a Vibrant Indiana (TechPoint) from TechPoint

Notable Legislation:

HB 1403-Regional Cities:
Last week, the Indiana House of Representatives took a positive step towards establishing the foundation for bold transformative change in Indiana by passing the Regional Cities bill (HB 1403).

With broad, bipartisan support, the House sent HB 1403 to the Senate with a vote of 85 – 8. HB 1403-Regional Cities, establishes within the Indiana Economic Development Corporation a regional cities fund that would provide grants and loans to regional development authorities.

It also specifies that a city or town that is eligible to become a second class city may become a member of a regional development authority. Through impactful funding, incentives will be used to attract and retain tech workers and successful entrepreneurs.

This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee can take up consideration of HB 1403 and its funding level. Please contact the Senate to share your support for HB1403. The Senate can be contacted at (800)-382-9467.

SB359-Sales Tax Exemption for Data Warehouse Equipment:
SB359-Sales Tax Exemption for Data Warehouse Equipment
passed in the Senate on its third reading and has been assigned to the House Chamber. SB359 is designed to offer tax exemptions for the sale or lease of certain enterprise information technology equipment.

The bill would require the investment into tech equipment be at least $1 million. SB359 would also require the investment to be in a high technology district area established by a municipality or county fiscal body.

Passing SB359 would promote technology business development as well as offer incentives for data centers in Indiana’s tech market.

Due to the potential advancements in the tech industry this bill would provide, TechPoint is supportive of this legislation. As this bill advances through the legislative body, we will keep you informed on its progress.

HB 1102-Patent Protection:
A bill detailing patent infringement protections, HB 1102-Patent Protection, authored by Representative Eric Koch (R-Bedford), passed in the House on its third reading by a nearly unanimous vote of 95-1. HB1102 would prohibit a person from asserting a claim of patent infringement in bad faith.

The bill defines “bad faith” as distributing an incomplete demand letter, failing to analyze and identify specific areas in which the product or service has violated the patent, demanding a response or license fee in an unreasonably short period of time, or asserting claims of patent infringement that are meritless or deceptive.

This bill also establishes certain remedies, damages, and civil procedures. HB1102 has been referred to the Senate’s Civil Law committee and is currently awaiting a hearing.

Deadlines for the House of Representatives

  • Apr 15: Third Reading Deadline for Senate Bills in House
  • Apr 15: Conference Committee Report Deadline
  • Apr 29: Last Day to Adjourn

Deadlines for Senate

  • Apr 15: Third Reading Deadline for House Bills in Senate
  • Apr 15: Conference Committee Report Deadline
  • Apr 29: Last Day to Adjourn

If you would like to monitor all legislation that is filed in 2015, you can do so by clicking here.

These are the policies in play right now, so if you have strong feelings about them and want to get involved, contact your legislators.

Questions about what’s going on at the Statehouse?

Please feel free to ask questions about pending legislation or share your thoughts on policies relevant to promoting entrepreneurship- and technology-based enterprise in Indiana in the comments section below.