Mayors and Commissioners Caucus Releases 2019 Legislative Agenda
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Mayors and Commissioners Caucus of Northeast Indiana released its 2019 legislative agenda.
Through the collaboration of mayors and commissioners in the 11 counties of Northeast Indiana, the Caucus’ legislative agenda identifies high-impact initiatives important to local elected officials to encourage legislative support at the state level.
“The Caucus’ 2019 legislative agenda is an essential component of our region’s collaborative efforts at the statehouse. The expansion of home rule and local authority would allow our region’s leaders to support and further act upon the needs of our communities and our constituents,” said Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel. “This agenda will help expand our region’s strong economic climate, build upon our region’s existing infrastructure and invest in the health and safety of our residents.”
The Caucus prioritized three policies:
1. Home Rule and Local Control – The Caucus supports the expansion of home rule and local decision authority in the following areas:
- Tax Increment Financing
- Business Personal Property Tax
- 911 Fees
- Food and Beverage Tax
- Innkeepers Tax
- Community Mental Health Center designation
2. Transportation and Bridge Funding – The Caucus supports the following initiatives to increase transportation and bridge funding.
- Restore the local motor vehicle highway and local road and street distribution to 2016 levels
- Increase thresholds for the Community Crossings program
- Relax application restrictions for Community Crossings program
- Increase the maximum threshold on the Wheel Tax and Surtax
3. Public Health and Safety Funding – The Caucus supports initiatives that contribute to the safety, health and welfare of residents.
Public safety and criminal initiatives include:
- Support the repeal of mandating level 6 felony offenders to stay in local communities if sentenced to jail
- Support increased funding for criminal justice
- Support the increase in biennium budget for Recovery Works
Opioid and substance use initiatives include:
- Support enforcement of CBD oil guidelines
- Support the increase in approved opioid treatment locations in the state
Mental health initiatives include:
- Support allowing counties to designate their own community mental health centers to those that provide services
- Support authorizing legislation and funding for the development of regional mental health facilities
Nelson Peters, Allen County Commissioner and president of the Mayors and Commissioners Caucus, said that advancement of the Caucus’ bold agenda is critical to the growth and success of Northeast Indiana. “Mayors and commissioners in Northeast Indiana are working together to create alignment around common issues and to increase our influence at the statehouse. No one jurisdiction alone can have the strong influence our 11-county region has collaboratively. By prioritizing issues as a region, we can support our existing businesses while also attracting new business and talent to our communities.”
The Caucus, which includes elected officials from each of the 11 counties in Northeast Indiana, meets regularly to address economic development issues, legislative advocacy and other matters of common concern within the region. Key focuses include improving the region’s interstate accessibility, permitting and zoning processes.
“The Caucus’ 2019 legislative agenda is a great example of how Northeast Indiana’s elected officials are speaking with one voice to represent the best interests of their communities, residents and the region,” said Rep. Dr. Dennis Zent.
To learn more about the Mayors and Commissioners Caucus, visit the Regional Partnership’s website at www.neindiana.com/theCaucus.
About the Mayors and Commissioners Caucus
Founded in 2012, the Mayors and Commissioners Caucus of Northeast Indiana is comprised of the mayors and commissioners of the 11 counties in the Northeast Indiana region. The Caucus provides Northeast Indiana mayors and commissioners with a unified voice in advancing economic development policy matters at the state level. The Caucus uses consensus-based decision making to reach agreement and relies upon cooperation and collaboration to address the region's complex issues. To this end, the Caucus provides a forum for the discussion of common issues and multi-jurisdictional challenges, and serves as a partner and sounding board for leaders from other sectors. For more information, please visit www.neindiana.com/theCaucus.
About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership’s mission is to build, market and sell Northeast Indiana to increase business investment. Founded in 2006, the public-private partnership strives to build a globally competitive region. The Partnership’s Vision 2030 framework supports collaborative regional efforts to increase per capita income, population growth and educational attainment by focusing on business attraction, talent attraction and talent development. The Partnership represents 11 member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.neindiana.com.
Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Communications
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership