INDIANAPOLIS -- Monday's session of the House of Representatives saw three bills co-sponsored by State Rep. Vern Tincher (D-Terre Haute) pass. They address everything from state security to real estate appraisal.
Senate Bill 56, legislation that creates the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, passed out of the House today by a vote of 97-0.
"In this day and age, it is extremely necessary for everyone to be prepared for any emergency," said Tincher. "The Indiana Department of Homeland Security will help the state to prepare for whatever may happen."
The bill transfers the duties and responsibilities of the State Emergency Management Agency, Fire and Building Services Department, Public Safety and Training Board, Advanced Life Support Subcommittee and Public Safety Institute to the Department of Homeland Security.
Senate Bill 417, which passed out of the House by a vote of 84-3, will require the Department of Administration to hire a land surveyor or use a staff member who is a registered land surveyor to survey and hire a real estate appraiser to appraise certain property in LaPorte and Putnam Counties owned by the Department of Correction.
Furthermore, the information concerning the property that could be sold must be filed with the Legislative Council. The Department of Correction has the right to refuse to sell certain property.
"This will give us a chance to assess certain properties owned by the state and determine whether or not it is in the state's best interest to hold onto them," said Tincher.
Senate Bill 484, which was unanimously approved by the House, will require the Indiana State Police to offer to provide health coverage equal to the health coverage of active state police officers to the surviving spouse and dependent children of state police officers who die in the line of duty.
"During a time of such painful loss, I think that the state should alleviate the worries of the slain officer's grieving family," said Tincher. "By guaranteeing that the surviving spouse and dependent children will have health insurance coverage, the state can show in a small way how much it appreciated the sacrifice made by the officer who died in the line of duty."