In legislative swan song, Baird sees three bills signed into law by governor

Tuesday, March 27, 2018
State Rep. Jim Baird

ndiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed into law three bills authored by District 44 State Rep. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle).

The legislation Rep. Baird authored for the 2018 Indiana General Assembly, his final session in the Indiana House of Representatives after eight years, were:

-- HB 1227, addressing noxious weeds and pesticide law fees.

-- HB 1242, providing resident tuition for sailors serving on the USS Indiana.

-- HB 1402, addressing veterans’ matters such as homelessness.

The noxious weeds bill, HB 1227, provides that revenue from fees collected under the pesticide use and application law that remains after the payment of expenses incurred in the administration of the law must be paid to the treasurer of Purdue University and administered by the board of trustees of Purdue.

The law specifies that waterhemp, marestail, Palmer amaranth, Powell amaranth, poison hemlock, rough pigweed and smooth pigweed are noxious weeds for purposes of the weed control board law, which requires the weed control board to take all necessary and proper steps to control noxious weeds affecting agricultural production in Indiana.

HB 1242, Baird’s bill ensuring sailors serving on the USS Indiana are eligible for in-state college tuition rates by making them honorary residents was signed into law Monday, March 19.

The USS Indiana is a United States Navy Virginia-class attack submarine that was christened in April and will be commissioned into service later this year.

“There are more than 100 Hoosier companies contributing materials for the ship, so Indiana is well represented on the submarine,” Baird said. “It is the first Naval vessel to be the state’s namesake since 1947. It has been a pleasure to be involved in this process.”

The law allows that men and women serving for 180 days on the submarine be eligible for in-state tuition rates when attending state colleges or universities. The sailors would have four years from the beginning of coursework to complete a degree at the in-state rate. The bill does not include eligibility for state student assistance.

Rep. Baird’s veterans matters bill, HB 1402, urges the legislative council to assign to an appropriate study committee topics related to implementing a program to provide property tax incentives for rental property owners who partner with nonprofit organizations to reduce veteran homelessness.

Signed into law, it urges the legislative council to assign to an appropriate study committee topics related to establishing an electronic system to provide the Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs, in collaboration with the National Guard, with criminal case information.

The Greencastle Republican has chosen not to seek re-election to the District 44 House seat, which represents all of Putnam County and parts of Clay, Parke, Morgan and Owen counties.

Baird is one of seven Republican candidates seeking the 4th District seat in the U.S. Congress in the May primary.

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