Bills focus on protecting residents
Sunday, February 02, 2014 9:00 PM
As technology advances, telemarketers and scammers have found new ways to reach and potentially victimize Hoosiers.
Currently, it is illegal to solicit landlines and cellphones registered on the Do Not Call list, but new technology has allowed solicitors to sidestep the law.
Senate Bill 349 would expand the state's Do Not Call statute to include companies and individuals who don't directly make prohibited calls but benefit from them. This includes companies that sell or give numbers, and those that utilize autodialing or "robo-calls."
In the past two years, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General has received more than 33,000 complaints from Hoosiers about unwanted calls. At least 56 percent of the complaints involved "robo-calls."
If passed by the General Assembly, SB 349 will adapt state law to changing technology and better protect Hoosier consumers.
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Much of the country is experiencing a propane shortage. With subzero temperatures and snowstorms across the state, this poses a serious threat to Hoosiers.
In the wake of this shortage, propane prices have skyrocketed. Indiana's average propane price jumped more than 40 percent this week, reaching $4.22 per gallon, though many Hoosiers are reporting even higher prices.
Members of the Indiana Senate Majority Caucus have offered an amendment to Senate Bill 1 that would provide relief to Hoosiers who may be affected by the propane shortage.
The amendment would eliminate the sales tax on any propane bought for more than $2.50 per gallon.
If passed into law, customers would get a credit on their next propane bill to offset the sales tax paid on any charge over $2.50 per gallon.
For example, a homeowner with a 500 gallon propane tank paying the state average of $4.22 per gallon would save about $60 on their bill.
This credit would be retroactive to Jan. 1 and would be effective through March.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact me at Senator.Boots@iga.in.gov or call 800-382-9467.
Phil Boots is a State Senator and an owner of The Paper of Montgomery County. His column appears this week in The Paper's space on Monday reserved for public officials.