Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

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Mayors’ And Commissioners’ Caucus Publishes Legislative Agenda

The Mayors’ and Commissioners’ Caucus of Northeast Indiana convened by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership published its 2018 legislative agenda.

Through the collaboration of mayors and commissioners in the 11 counties of Northeast Indiana, the Caucus’ legislative agenda identifies high-impact initiatives important to local elected officials to encourage legislative support at the state level.

“Advancement of our proposed legislative agenda is critical to the success of Northeast Indiana. We are relentless in our drive to create our future competing in a global marketplace for talent. This plan is one step in building a stronger region,” said Scott Long, Mayor of Wabash and 2017 co-chair of the Mayors’ and Commissioners’ Caucus.

The Caucus prioritized the following four policies:

1. Home Rule and Local Control – The Caucus supports the strengthening of home rule and local decision authority in the following areas:

  • Local Taxing Authority
    • Food and Beverage
    • Innkeepers Tax
  • Community Mental Health Center designation
  • Housing blight and sub-standard housing remediation
  • Short-term rental contracts

2. Public Health and Safety – The Caucus supports initiatives that contribute to the safety, health and welfare of residents. Initiatives include:

  • Support initiatives that aid in the reduction of opioid dependence and overdoses in the community
  • Support expanded funding of bricks and mortar for alternative sentencing programs like community corrections or work release
  • Support clarification and enforcement of Indiana Code and Administrative Rules applied to all Indiana residents

3. Workforce Development – The Caucus supports proposals to encourage strong development and aggressive growth of Northeast Indiana’s workforce.

4. Infrastructure Development – The Caucus supports policies that provide opportunities to continue the expansion and development of the following infrastructure needs:

  • Sewer and water
  • Roads and bridges
  • Broadband
  • High-speed rail
  • Regional bus transit

“By working together as the mayors and commissioners of Northeast Indiana, we are accelerating growth and progress of the region. The Caucus’ agenda aims to achieve a common goal that will benefit our entire 11-county region. By prioritizing regional policies, we can support existing business while strengthening our ability to attract new business and talent to Northeast Indiana,” said Tom Wall, Huntington County Commissioner and 2017 co-chair of the Mayors’ and Commissioners’ Caucus.

The Caucus, which includes elected officials from each of the 11 counties in Northeast Indiana, meets regularly to address economic development issues, legislative advocacy and other matters of common concern within the region. Key focuses include improving the region’s interstate accessibility and streamlined permitting and zoning processes.

“The Caucus’ 2018 Legislative Agenda is the bold plan we need to progress our communities forward. Our agenda positions the region to leverage state resources to help develop a skilled workforce while also expanding our infrastructure improvements and investing in public health. We are determined to expand our economic climate and compete for new business and attract talent,” said Nelson Peters, Allen County Commissioner and chair of the Mayors’ and Commissioners’ Caucus’ Policy Committee.