Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has renewed the state's public health emergency order through Oct. 31. Among other things, that means public bodies like the Bloomington Council and Monroe County Commissioners can continue holding their meetings via Zoom.
Another executive order, in effect Oct. 1, extends certain pandemic-related provisions previously in place, including registration requirements for some healthcare workers and the implementation of Indiana Medicaid.
A local mask mandate, put in place by the Monroe County Commissioners, was also extended through Oct. 31.
The $270 million Indiana Connectivity Program was launched this week to connect residents and businesses that lack access to broadband internet service with service providers and to assist in the cost of extending broadband to those locations. It is offered by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
To be eligible for the program, a location must either have no access to internet, or access to download speeds less then 25 Mbps and upload speeds less than 3 Mbps. Homeowners and business owners looking to participate in the program can go to the Next Level Connections portal and enter their address and information. They can also call the Indiana Broadband Connect Center during business hours at 833-639-8522.
Click here for more information about the Connectivity Program.
The Indiana House of Representatives released drafts redistricting maps on Sept. 14 and held public hearings the following two days. An amend-and-vote-only meeting was held on Sept. 20 for committee members with a 9-4 outcome in favor of amending House Bill 1851. Second and third hearings are expected to take place on Sept. 22 and 23.
The State House of Representatives Districts and Congressional Districts maps are available online, along with previous versions of those districts.
The Senate will follow a similar process, with the Elections Committee providing the public with drafts of its new maps on Sept. 21. Hearings for these plans will be held on Sept. 27 and another amend-and-vote meeting will take place on Sept. 28. Second and third hearings will follow on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, respectively. UPDATE: Proposed Senate maps are now available here.
To make your voice heard and submit a written testimony for the Senate Elections Committee hearing on Sept. 27, contact the State Sen. John Ford (R-Terre Haute) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Indiana General Assembly's redistricting process and timeline, click here.
Starting July 1, all Indiana employers who employee five or more employees under the age of 18 (per location), must begin using the Youth Employment System (YES) to track and report minor-employee information. Schools will no longer issue work permits effective July 1, and the new requirement is designed to simplify the process of hiring minor employees.
YES is live now, and employers can begin using the system now to set up their accounts and start inputting their minor-employee information. Employers who fail to comply with the new law effective July 1 could face a penalty of up to $400 per infraction.
More information is available on the DOL's Youth Employment site here.
The final 2021 Indiana Legislative Update took place on Saturday, April 10, with briefings from Rep. Peggy Mayfield (District 60) and Rep. Matt Pierce (District 61).
The monthly forums, held while the Indiana General Assembly is in session, are co-hosted by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters of Monroe County, and the LWV of Brown County.
Watch the April 10 forum on CATS here.
The Indiana Dept. of Transportation is surveying residents about their transportation needs and preferences, with information to be used in the Monroe County Coordinated Public Transit-Human Service Transportation Plan.
The brief survey asks about current forms of transportation that are used, types of services that you'd use if available, and other transportation needs.
Click here to take the survey.
State Senator Shelli Yoder will hold office hours every Friday from 8:30-10 a.m. to talk with constituents in District 40. The first session, to be held online, will be on Feb. 5.
District 40 covers most of Monroe County, including the City of Bloomington.
Click here for details about how to attend.
The Chamber is partnering with the League of Women Voters of Bloomington/Monroe County for a monthly Legislative Update series, starting on Saturday, Jan. 16 from 9:30-11 a.m.
The virtual event will be conducted via Zoom. Click here to register.
State legislators representing Monroe County will give overviews of their activities in the Indiana General Assembly and will take questions from the audience. Each session will be taped by CATS and replayed on scheduled dates or on request.
Subsequent updates are planned February 13, March 6, and April 10.
Indiana legislators have started to file bills for the 2021 General Assembly session, which runs through April 29. Find a list of the proposed bills for the Senate and House of Representatives here.
The Chamber's Legislative Council will be tracking bills of interest to the business community. And legislators representing all or parts of Bloomington/Monroe County will give their insights on the upcoming session at the Chamber's Legislative Preview on January 15. Click here to register.
The 2021 Chamber State Legislative Preview will be held virtually from noon-1:30 on Friday, Jan. 15. We’ll hear from state legislators who represent all or parts of Bloomington/Monroe County, who’ll share their insights and answer questions about the 2021 Indiana General Assembly session.
We’ll also unveil the Chamber’s 2021 Local Advocacy Agenda and State/Federal Legislative Agenda, which will shape our advocacy efforts in the coming year.
Click here to register. We hope you’ll join us!
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy