Senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) had four bills pass through the state senate this week.
Two bills authored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) that would help students complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and allow public comment at school corporation meetings passed the Senate on Tuesday, according to a press release.
Senate Bill 82 would require students in their senior year of high school to complete and submit the FAFSA. SB 82 is designed to help students who don’t think they may afford college realize how much financial aid they can qualify for and how college may be a viable option for them. This bill passed the Senate with a vote of 30-19.
Senate Bill 83 would require the governing body of a school corporation or charter school to allow public comment at all regular meetings. The bill would only permit schools to have an electronic meeting instead of an in-person meeting when there is a state of emergency and at least one school in the district is closed due to the emergency. SB 83 passed the Senate with a vote of 45-4.
“These bills will work to not just benefit our education system, but our students, too,” Leising said in a press release. “The FAFSA can open up many opportunities for students, especially those from rural Indiana, and allowing public comment can give parents and students the freedom to express opinions about their child’s education.”
“I look forward to seeing these bill advance and make a lasting impact on education in Indiana.”
Leising also had a bill pass Tuesday that would determine how many acres of farmland are being used for solar and wind energy farms, passed the Senate today unanimously, according to a press release.
Senate Bill 176 requires the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to include in its annual report the following information concerning a county’s utility-grade wind power and solar energy facilities:
The total number of devices and facilities installed or under construction;
The total generating capacity of the devices and facilities;
The county’s total land acreage occupied by or otherwise part of a project or development that includes one or more devices or facilities; and
Of the occupied land, the percentage of that acreage assessed as agricultural land for property tax purposes.
“As renewable energy expands, I’m concerned Indiana’s farmland will be overwhelmed by energy production,” Leising said. “This bill would help Indiana monitor and expand its clean energy projects throughout the state and increase the understanding of its impact on farmland.”
On Wednesday, Leising had a bill that would improve veterinarian services pass the Senate unanimously.
Senate Bill 177 would provide that the state veterinarian serves as the chief administrative officer of the Indiana Board of Veterinary Medicine, performs the duties delegated by the board and provides advice and assistance to the board. This bill would also establish the Indiana Center for Animal Policy and would make the state veterinarian the chief administrative officer of this center.
“This bill would have a large positive impact on veterinary medicine,” Leising said. “I look forward to shepherding this bill through the legislative process and seeing all of the good it can do for Indiana, especially rural communities.”
These four bills will now move to the Indiana House of Representatives for further consideration. To learn more about this bill or to watch the Senate in session, visit iga.in.gov.
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