Chesterton Tribune

 
 

State Representative Moseley focusing on fixes for unemployment, labor issues

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

As state house representatives head back to work in Indianapolis on Jan. 7, Rep. Chuck Moseley, D-Portage, said this session will be “busy, busy” finding ways to lift Indiana’s economy and mitigate the effects unemployment has on businesses.

Moseley said most of his time in the 118th Indiana General Assembly will be spent deliberating legislation in the Houses’ Employment, Labor & Pension Committee where he is the ranking Democratic member.

“There will be a lot of issues coming at us this year,” Moseley said.

The Committee will look into the effects of unemployment on business. The state has relied on the federal government for unemployment benefits for which allocations will be less this year, Moseley said.

Due to a drop in the state’s unemployment rate earlier this year, lawmakers reduced benefits from 73 weeks to 63 weeks maximum.

Moseley said that the committee will look at the effects of the reduction in benefits and see if there needs to be an adjustment to the number of weeks that unemployment benefits are provided.

“We’ve got to find out how to deal with that and solve that problem,” Moseley said.

While some of his peers would argue that cutting unemployment benefits make it easier on the local economy, Moseley believes that for each $1 in benefits there is a larger economic impact.

Along with the Labor committee, Moseley has been assigned to the Veteran’s Affairs and Public Safety Committee this year.

Bills

In between his work on committees, Moseley will reintroduce HB 1008 from last year to establish the Hoosier Heritage Innovative Industry Loan Fund, or HHIILF, under the auspices of the Indiana Development Corporation.

The bill is also known as the “wind turbine bill.” Just as was discussed at the United Steelworkers Local 6787 last year, HHIILF would make the state more attractive for companies developing wind power technology with American-made steel. For those who do set up shop in the Hoosier state, the bill would allow the companies to apply for interest-free loans of up to $1 million if they agree to use domestic steel.

The measure could lead to Indiana being one of the top producers of energy-efficient turbines while creating jobs for residents, Moseley said. Additional incentives besides the loans would be a reduction in the state adjusted gross income tax and more tax credits from the state’s Economic Development for a Growing Economy could be granted.

For each turbine placed in Indiana, the state can earn tax revenues of about $15,000, Moseley said.

Another bill Moseley plans to reintroduce is one he authored, which would make it unlawful for someone to assault a utility worker while he or she is on the job.

Moseley said he has helped implement policy while on the Interim Study of Driver Education which makes it easier for veterans who are residents of Indiana to get their CDL permits.

The state Bureau of Motor Vehicles adopted Moseley’s policy allowing the BMV to waive a skills test for veterans who have already completed a military driver training program while in the service.

Expediting CDL licenses for veterans will put them more quickly into jobs like construction where truck drivers are in demand, Moseley said.

He said the Veterans Affairs Committee will consider more policy changes to assist military personnel returning home in finding employment opportunities.

 

 

Posted 12/27/2012