Since they were formed in the 1930s, Indiana’s electric cooperatives have maintained an active political presence to ensure policymakers have a good understanding of the unique needs of modern electric cooperatives and the communities they serve. Because cooperatives provide electricity at cost, decisions made in Washington, D.C., and in the Indiana Statehouse can impact how we deliver that essential service, and ultimately your pocketbook. Electric cooperatives accomplished a number of things during the 2019 Indiana legislative session.
HEA 1405 — Data center taxation
Data centers are often the precursor to larger economic development projects that can bring quality jobs to our state and can spur additional investment in an area. Indiana did not provide sales tax exemption on equipment or energy use, which eliminated our state from consideration for such projects. This establishes tax exemptions on certain IT equipment and energy used with a tiered investment approached based on a county’s population. Effective July 1, 2019
HEA 1278 — energy task force
Establishes a 15-seat task force to study the resiliency and reliability of Indiana’s electric generation sources. Effective upon passage
SEA 240 — employee intimidation
Utility workers often find themselves working in extreme conditions. In addition to weather-induced conditions, it’s not uncommon for them to be threatened or intimidated while in the course of their daily work. This enhances the criminal penalty for threatening a person while working in the course of their occupation. Effective July 1, 2019
SEA 460 — broadband grants
Affordable and reliable high-speed internet access means life-altering improvements for rural Hoosiers. Because cooperatives have a vested interest in the quality of life in the communities they serve, many are finding ways to use their existing infrastructure to deliver the essential service. This streamlines the state grant program that will eventually aware $100 million to rural broadband projects. Effective upon passage
HEA 1001: State Biennial Budget
Permits the Indiana Department of Transportation to transfer up to $100 million into the rural broadband fund established in SEA 460 for the purpose of awarding broadband grants for rural areas.
SB 472 — generation moratorium
Indiana’s electric cooperatives support a responsible energy policy that balances Hoosiers’ energy needs with environmental concerns. Cooperatives continue invest in projects that make sense for their consumers while emphasizing energy efficiency and adding renewable energy generation sources. This would have established a moratorium on new electric generation projects with capacities larger than 250 MW.