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Stoops legislation focuses on assistance programs, absentee ballots
Start Date: 1/29/2013Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Date: 1/29/2013End Time: 8:00 AM
Entry Description
INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana General Assembly has begun to advance a number of proposals during the 2013 legislative session. State Senator Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington) has authored a number of bills focusing on a broad range of issues, including expansion of assistance benefits and health care exchanges.

Implementation of federal Affordable Care Act

Sen. Stoops has co-authored Senate Bill (SB) 540 that would expand affordable health care coverage by creating a state health exchange. Within this exchange, employers could locate health care coverage to enroll in and compare online. Potential enrollees will also receive educational outreach. Another aspect of the bill involves expanding health care coverage to families of four making $33,000 a year. Current law limits care to families making $4,100 or less a year. This expansion could impact as many as 400,000 Hoosiers and increase medical service demands, creating thousands of jobs. The bill would also establish the Indiana Affordable Care Study Committee to research the best benefits option offered by participating insurance companies.

Second chance for SNAP and TANF benefits

SB 556 would broaden the eligibility for individuals to receive federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Individuals convicted of substance abuse problems but are successfully participating in reentry or problem-solving court programs, community corrections programs, parole or probation can apply.

Electronic poll lists

SB 445 aims to streamline and modernize polling places on Election Day. County election boards (CEBs) could use electronic poll lists in each county precinct, as long as certain conditions apply. Voters would also be notified that their absentee ballots were received if a CEB exists in a county where absentee ballots are counted at a central location and electronic poll lists are used. This would replace the delivery of certified absentee voter lists to each precinct election board. If polls lists have not been updated electronically, the bill provides that challenges can be made at the central location.

Expanding public transit

With the goal of connecting rural corners of Monroe County, SB 444 would adjust the county commissioners and public transportation corporation’s (PTC) taxing district to include the entire county by adopting similar laws. The PTC cannot increase its maximum permissible general fund property tax levy by more than 50 percent of the same levy from the previous year. In addition, for the first year the whole county is included in the taxing district, the city council must approve a levy increase proposal. The PTC tax expansion would result in all taxpayers paying the PTC tax rate.

Sentence modification

SB 443 would allow courts to act without a prosecuting attorney’s consent when modifying convicted persons’ sentences after one year of their sentencing. However, the convicted person must be eligible for and be placed in community corrections program by the court. Community corrections programs provide supervision and treatment for nonviolent felons and misdemeanants.

Sen. Stoops represents Indiana Senate District 40, which includes portions of Monroe County, including the City of Bloomington. For more information on Sen. Stoops, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/S40.

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NOTE: A photo of Sen. Mark Stoops can be downloaded at http://www.in.gov/legislative/senate_democrats/images/headshots/Stoops.jpg

Contact Information:
Name: Elise Shrock-Mannies
Phone: 317-232-9496
Email: emannies@iga.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Family & Health
  • Agency Name
    Senate Democratic Caucus

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