Special committee approves government reduction bill, adds critical amendment

By Erica Irish

INDIANAPOLIS—A House Select Committee on Government Reduction approved a measure to reduce government regulations across multiple industries Tuesday.

Last week, the committee reviewed House Bill 1269, authored by Committee Chair Doug Gutwein, R-Francesville, amid hours of testimony from industry leaders that would be affected by the bill should it become law.

Several who testified expressed concern about provisions in HB 1269 that would delete or consolidate some oversight committees, including the Indiana Certified Direct Entry Midwifery Committee, the committee of hearing aid dealer examiners, the Indiana auctioneer commission, and others.

In response, Rep. Robert Cherry, R-Greenfield, introduced an amendment to reduce the number of people on each committee by three individuals in place of discontinuing the committees outright.

“This is a tough bill,” Gutwein said. “I know some of the folks were not extremely happy, but we tried to address all of your concerns.”

A separate amendment introduced by Rep. Earl Harris, D-East Chicago, was withdrawn. His amendment would have changed instructions in HB 1269 to establish a security council for Gov. Eric Holcomb, designed to advise the governor in emergency situations alongside the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

In its current form, this provision would only allow members of the majority party to join the governor’s security council. Harris’ amendment would have required minority members to also be represented.

“No matter which party is the majority or minority, it would have representation from both sides,” Harris said. He did not explain why he withdrew the amendment.

HB 1269 passed in a unanimous vote, 12-0. It now advances to the House chamber for additional discussion.

Erica Irish is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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