Bills At The Statehouse: A Work In Progress


Written by Gail Riecken, Statehouse Editor For The City-County Observer

The Statehouse File in its article about mid-session bills didn’t mention some bills that we, locally, have shown interest. Here are three of those.

Grandma has had a hard time convincing DCS she should have her grandchild.
But SB 1, now in the House of Representatives, addresses, among other issues of the Department of Child Services, a long-held opinion among child advocates that relatives should be fully considered when the courts are placing a child outside the home.

SB1 states:  “A dispositional decree must require the department to continue exercising due diligence to identify all adult relatives of the child and adult siblings who may be considered as out-of-home placements for the child”.

There’s another important youth bill with a timely idea.

SB423 authorizes a court-appointed youth advocate pilot program. The bill “provides that office of judicial administration may establish a youth advocate pilot program (pilot program) until July 1, 2021, for purposes of providing early intervention and mentoring services for children who are adjudicated delinquent.” SB 423 is in the House and has strong leadership on its side.

Last, a session isn’t a session without a gaming issue. This one may affect us.
SB 552 might impact gaming revenues for Evansville. The bill authorizes “sports wagering at riverboats, racinos, a Vigo County casino, and satellite facilities. It provides for the administration and conduct of sports wagering and the relocation of a Gary riverboat to Vigo County. The bill allows live table games at racetracks in 2019. This bill passed the Senate ( 38-11). The discussion in the House will be interesting.

I’ll be watching these and other bills over the next few weeks especially bills about how to keep water and sewer and utility costs reasonable. Keeping rates reasonable and affordable is a challenge; Evansville could certainly use some help.