February 14th, 2019
It’s hard to be all Mitzi-Gaynor- Cockeyed-Optimist when you feel like Charlie Brown after Crabby Lucy yanks away the football. You know the drill . Be warned, the usual light-hearted snark you’ve come to (hopefully) like with “3 for Thursday” may turn a bit more dour in light of the week’s fumbles and foibles of the Indiana General Assembly. With a nod to the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical classic, “South Pacific,” read on.

When the Sky is a Bright Canary Yellow . Last week we were SO hopeful when we learned Senate Bill 12 establishing bias crimes legislation was unanimously (9 -1) voted out of committee and set for a hearing on the floor of the Senate. And then, like the aforementioned Crabby Lucy, the Indiana Senate met behind closed doors and decided, “Nope.” With that they stripped the meaningful language from the legislation , prompting Eli Lilly’s senior director of state government affairs Michael Connor to quip, ““It’s not a hate crimes bill” (according to the IBJ’s Statehouse reporter Lindsey Erdody). FYI, the amended version passed 33-16. Democrats plus seven Republicans — including Indianapolis mayoral candidate Jim Merritt, as well as Senators J.D. Ford and John Ruckelshaus — voted against the amendment. (Senator Victoria Spartz voted for the amendment.) Remember, this is a business issue … talent (new, much-needed workers … and new, cutting edge companies) is/are not coming to one of five states who have rolled up the “welcome mat” in lieu of ridiculous, thinly veiled rhetoric. Do they not remember the RFRA debacle? Apparently, some folks do. A large number of Indiana’s largest, most influential employers are backing a bias crimes bill WITH the meaningful language; Indiana’s Governor is on their side. We ask you, our members of OneZone, to join the fight. Contact your Legislator ( CLICK HERE ) today … let them know a bias crimes bill – WITH meaningful, defining language – is imperative to the future of your business and the State of Indiana.

We Forget Every Cloud We’ve Ever Seen. Not so fast, Nellie Forbush . Can you REALLY forget that cloud of smoke above the Indiana Statehouse? Because both the increased cigarette tax (that would fund raises for teachers – check out our blog on the topic if you missed it) and raising the legal age to purchase cigarettes to 21 have gone up in smoke and sent to Legislative purgatory. While the Senate Health Committee voted to raise the smoking age to 21, the bill never got a second hearing required to bring it to the full Senate. Why? Because losing those customers aged 18 – 21 would cost the state an estimated $14 million. So now you know how much you’re worth. However, according to the Indiana Chamber: Smoking causes $2.8 billion in productivity losses in our state and nearly $3.3 billion in annual health care costs. 

Stuck Like a Dope with a Thing Called Hope . For those who may have slept through that Indiana government class your senior year, the Indiana House and Senate do a “do-si-do” midway through the session and exchange bills, allowing for a glimmer of hope on OneZone’s priority agenda. The Senate must vote on all their bills by next Tuesday (Feb. 26) before they exchange bills with the House, setting up an opportunity for modifications. Again … Take five minutes and reach out to your representative . And, if it goes as badly as we fear it might, 2020 is not so far away. Sometimes, your vote needs to reach beyond party to business sense that includes tolerance and acceptance. Welcome to 2019. 

Plus One. Spring and summer are just around the corner (we swear!), and a city’s fancy turns to road construction. Rolling closures from Midtown to Main Street (one street at a time) will be a Carmel staple throughout spring and summer as Duke buries its transmission line per Carmel’s request. Roundabout construction along both 116 th and Rangeline Road will undoubtedly wreak some havoc with both full and partial closures (but you know we love those roundabouts when they’re complete). For details, click here … and download the WAZE app to guide you through construction.