Aug 30, 2006

SEA 354-Forestry Issues

Allows certain land to be classified as wildlands for property tax purposes. We don’t really have a problem with that. What we have a problem with is that the law goes on to specify that a native forest to have at least 1000 trees per acre, but a forest plantation need have only 400. This seems a little backward to us. A plantation is certainly less of a habitat than a genuine native forest. Why is it that the tax break comes easier to the plantation than the undisturbed forest? Could the timber industry have anything to do with it? Something doesn’t smell right.

Author: Thomas K. Weatherwax
Sponsor: John Ulmer

HEA 1420 Employee Tobacco Use

This bill seems good but yet, so common sense it should be unnecessary. The bill ALLOWS employers to implement financial incentives related to employee health benefits to reduce employee tobacco use. Why does this even need to be said? Of course employers and employees should have the right to negotiate any agreement they wish between themselves. An employee smoking increases the chance that he/she will need medical care. This is a statistical fact. Health insurance is based on statistical probabilities. Those who are a higher risk should of course pay higher premiums. But more importantly than that, a business and an employee do not need the permission from the government enter into an agreement that affects only them. Consenting adults have the capability as well as the right to negotiate their own deals. So thanks to Indiana for allowing us to make our own decisions, but we’d rather you just stayed out of it.

Author: Tim Brown
Sponsor: Beverly J. Gard
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