November 14th, 2019
A Surge of News … Whether You Want it or Not
As Thanksgiving hosts and hostesses are frantically making lists (and consumers are stalking the “Black Friday” ads like Bounty Hunters), perhaps you are not “laser focused” on the business at hand. Fortunately, the “3 for Thursday” team has been busy gathering the news that impacts your business (while figuring out how many extra drumsticks to order). Read on!
2020 Session in Focus. Organizational Day for the Indiana General Assembly was earlier this week and – despite it being a non-budget/short session year – was marked by several significant events. After 33-plus years as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives, Speaker Brian Bosma announced the 2020 session would be his last as he moves on to serve as the national chairman of the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee. Also newsworthy was the huge rally for “Go Red for Ed” day. More than half of Indiana’s 300 school systems closed to allow thousands of teachers to trek to the state capitol to support increased teacher funding and other policy changes. While state legislatures do not set teacher salaries, both House Speaker Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem Rod Bray are on record that they plan to fast track legislation that would separate ILEARN (the most recent standardized testing that replaced ISTEP) results from teacher evaluations for one year.
Perhaps NOT Up in Smoke . Tobacco reform has long been among OneZone’s legislative priorities as Indiana’s tobacco use costs Hoosier businesses over $6 billion a year in health care costs, absenteeism, and productivity loss. As such, perhaps the most promising news coming out of Organizational Day is that both House and Senate Republican leadership will support raising the age of smoking/vaping from 18 to 21 this upcoming session. While it’s highly doubtful that the budget will be re-opened to increase the cigarette tax as proposed in previous sessions, health care policy will be a dominating issue during the upcoming legislative session. Surprise billing, health care transparency, and hospital costs will all part of the 2020 discussion. 
The Cost of Tradition. While we all appreciate the enthusiasm with which our community participates in holiday events, Carmel’s zealous celebration of July 4th prompted a barrage of social media ranting and one councilor to explore an ordinance placing some parameters around staking out seating for the Carmelfest parade. Earlier this week, the issue was back before Carmel City Council who tabled a proposed ordinance in hopes of finding a solution that works for everyone. Meanwhile, OneZone was on hand to ensure businesses had a voice in the issue, pointing out damage to business properties … like $700 to fix an irrigation system that was punctured by a stake from a parade enthusiast.
Plus One: There will be no “3 for Thursday” next week as we’ll be cooking those extra drumsticks and taking a well-deserved post-meal snooze. In the meantime, support our local businesses -- big and small -- during the flurry of holiday shopping promotions. And don’t forget our Hamilton County non-profits, many of which will have “Giving Tuesday” fund drives on December 3. We’ll return with 3 for Thursday on December 5 … until then, Happy Thanksgiving!