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ISPLS Legislative Update: Bills to watch this legislative session

Tuesday, January 14, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Evan Hoffmeyer, Senior Communications Coordinator
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Out of all the bills at the Statehouse this session, the one that could have the biggest impact on the surveying profession is HB 1008: Occupational Licensure Reciprocity.


Authored by State Rep. Martin Carbaugh, R-Fort Wayne, the bill would make it easier for licensed professionals - including surveyors - who get their license in another state then move to Indiana, to then get licensed here. If the professional can prove they've passed a "substantially equivalent examination" to Indiana's exam and are in good standing, they would only need to pay a fee and complete an application form to get licensed in Indiana.


The bill was referred to the House Committee on Employment, Labor and Pensions on Jan. 6. It got a hearing Jan. 14, but no vote was taken.


SB 71: Adverse Possession Statute of Limitations was written by practicing land surveyor and ISPLS member State Sen. Blake Doriot, R-Elkhart. If passed, it would close a court-created loophole in the legal survey process.


Currently, results of a legal survey can be overturned by a neighbor's adverse possession claim even if that neighbor never appealed the results of the survey per the statute. This bill would require that if a neighbor is affected by a legal survey and they believe they have a valid adverse possession claim, they must file an affidavit of adverse possession or otherwise make their claim known before the statute runs out (90 days for in-county owners; 1 year for out-of-county owners). If no affidavit has been filed in that time, the lines would become binding on all owners.


SB 71 was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 6, but has not been assigned a hearing as of this writing.


The following bills have also been identified by ISPLS' lobbyist as either directly or peripherally affecting surveyors, and are being monitored by the Society's Government Affairs Committee:

  • HB 1014: Plan Commissions
    • Author: Tom Saunders, R-New Castle
    • What it would mean for surveyors: For the purposes of the advisory planning law, a county surveyor's designee must be a resident of the county to serve on the county plan commission, regardless of if they are a permanent designee or only filling a vacancy or serving as an alternate.
    • Unanimously passed House Committee on Local Government on Jan. 9. Awaiting final approval from full House.
  • HB 1061: Subdividing Land
    • Author: Jeff Ellington, R-Greene County
    • What it would mean for surveyors: Allows a property owner to subdivide a parcel by deed, if the parcel is being subdivided to build or expand a residential structure or home, the use is a permitted use, the deed is recorded, a plat drawing is submitted to the political subdivision, and the lot is served by a permitted septic system, sewer system, or package plant for sewage treatment.
    • Referred to House Committee on Local Government on Jan. 6.
  • SB 52: Prevailing Wage
    • Author: David Niezgodski, D-South Bend
    • What it would mean for surveyors: Among other provisions - guaranteed minimum compensation for work on certain public projects. For example, anytime the actual costs of a public improvement construction project are $150,000 or more, contractors and subcontractors would have to pay their workers at least the prevailing wage as determined by the commissioner of the Department of Labor. That prevailing wage would include employer contributions for fringe benefits paid under a bona fide collective bargaining agreement unless the contractor or subcontractor is required by law to provide the fringe benefit. Governments/school boards/etc. would not be allowed to divide construction work into multiple contracts to avoid paying the prevailing wage.
    • Referred to Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor on Jan. 6.
  • SB 100: Right to Restore or Reconstruct a Dwelling
    • Author: Blake Doriot, R-Elkhart
    • What it would mean for surveyors: Homeowners can restore/reconstruct nonconforming residential single-family homes within their existing footprint so long as it is only nonconforming as to lot size, setbacks or other dimensional requirements; is habitable as an assessed residential property; and has not been condemned.
    • Referred to Senate Committee on Local Government on Jan. 9.
  • SB 108: Income Tax Credit for Rail Improvements
    • Author: Michael Crider, R-Greenfield
    • What it would mean for surveyors: Class II and Class III railroad carriers can claim a tax credit valued at up to 50% of qualified reconstruction and replacement expenditures made during that tax year. Credit cannot exceed the number of miles the company owned on the last day of the taxable year multiplied by $3,500.
    • Referred to Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy on Jan. 6.
  • SB 210: Disposal of Land by Local Government
    • Author: Chip Perfect, R-Lawrenceburg
    • What it would mean for surveyors: Abutting landowners who submit lower bids for purchase of real property from a political subdivision would no longer be allowed to submit a new bid after learning the amount of the highest initial bid received.
    • Referred to Senate Committee on Local Government on Jan. 6.
  • SB 229: Maintenance of Regulated Drains
    • Author: Victoria Spartz, R-Hamilton County
    • What it would mean for surveyors: A permit would no longer be required from the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management for the reconstruction or maintenance of regulated drains for purposes of the law concerning state-regulated wetlands.
    • Passed Senate Environmental Affairs Committee on Jan. 13 by a 6-2 vote. Awaiting action on the Senate floor.

Updates on these bills will be included in the weekly ISPLS newsletter throughout this legislative session.

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