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The Journal Gazette

Friday, January 12, 2018 1:50 pm

Area mayors' caucus announces legislative agenda

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

The Mayors' and Commissioners' Caucus of Northeast Indiana announced Friday its 2018 legislative agenda. 

The agenda, which was crafted with input from mayors and commissioners from the 11 counties that comprise northeast Indiana, focuses on four priorities -- home rule and local control, public health and safety, workforce development and infrastructure development. 

"By working together as the mayors and commissioners of northeast Indiana, we are accelerating growth and progress of the region," said Tom Wall, Huntington County commissioner and 2017 caucus co-chair. "The caucus' agenda aims to achieve a common goal that will benefit our entire 11-county region. By prioritizing regional policies, we can support existing business while strengthening our ability to attract new business and talent to northeast Indiana." 

The caucus supports strengthened home rule local decisionmaking authority applied to the food and beverage and innkeepers taxes, community mental health center designations, housing blight and substandard housing remediation and short-term rental contracts. The caucus also supports initiatives aimed at addressing the region's opioid epidemic and reducing the number of overdoses in the community. It also wants to see more support for alternative sentencing programs like community corrections or work release. 

Additionally, the caucus said it supports "strong development and aggressive growth" of the region's workforce and wants to see policies to helps address infrastructure needs, including sewer and water, roads and bridges, broadband internet, high-speed rail and regional bus transit. 

"The caucus' 2018 legislative agenda is the bold plan we need to progress our communities forward. Our agenda positions the region to leverage state resources to help develop a skilled workforce while also expanding our infrastructure improvements and investing in public health," Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters said. "We are determined to expand our economic climate and compete for new business and attract talent."

More information about the Mayors and Commissioners' Caucus of Northeast Indiana can be found at http://neindiana.com/thecaucus. 

dgong@jg.net