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Sen. Merritt strips bonding from SB 260 to create anti-PACE bill February 7, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in 2011 Indiana General Assembly, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), Uncategorized.
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Sen. James Merritt, Jr. (R-Indianapolis) unleashed a surprise move on Thursday morning (2/03/2011) in the Senate Utilities and Technology Committee with a “strip and insert” amendment to SB 260 Clean Energy Improvement Financing. Renewable energy advocates encouraged both Sen. Merritt and Rep. Tim Neese (R-Elkhart) to introduce bills to create an Indiana PACE bill or Property Accessed Clean Energy program.

The reprinted version of SB 260 incorporating the six-page amendment is not available yet on the Indiana General Assembly website. However, please find below a scanned copy of the amendment obtained during the committee hearing.

SB 260 “strip and insert” amendment AM0260.001 The damaging portion of the amendment is as follows:

Sec. 7. The legislative body of a unit may adopt a preliminary resolution or ordinance to establish a clean energy improvement financing program. The preliminary resolution or ordinance must do the following:

(2) Prohibit the legislative body from issuing bonds to finance clean energy improvements under this chapter.

 Informed speculation is that Sen. Merritt was forced to remove the bonding provision from SB 260 otherwise he would not have had the votes from his fellow Senate Republicans to get his own bill voted out of the committee he chairs. Hence, if he did not remove the bonding provision the bill was “dead on arrival” or DOA. 

Given the presence and participation of David Pippin from the Governor’s Office during the committee hearing, the Governor’s Office has some as of yet undetermined role with the proposed legislation at this stage.

Earlier last week, PACE proponents were told that Rep. Neese would schedule his PACE bill, HB 1457, for a committee hearing in the House Local Government Committee on February 17th. Watch this blog for details.

For additional information about PACE please visit https://indianadg.wordpress.com/pace/

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