2024 Legislative Session and Political Engagement

The 2024 legislative session officially began Monday, Jan. 8. Session is set to conclude by March 14. Read about key bills and updates below, and learn how your co-op can commit to building a foundation of political engagement this year.

Electric Industry Testifies on Storm and Outage Responses
The House Utilities Committee recently held an informational hearing, soliciting testimony from the electric industry on storm and outage responses. During this session, IEC presented a comprehensive overview of the mutual aid agreement in place among all 38 Indiana cooperatives, including the mechanics of the agreement, its efficacy, and the advantages of cooperative efforts during challenging times. Nine cooperative CEOs were present to support and provide technical insights alongside testimonies from five investor-owned electric utilities.

IEC Agenda Bill
House Bill 1163, authored by Rep. Dave Hall and co-authored by Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Chairman Ed Soliday, Rep. Alex Zimmerman and Rep. Matt Pierce, is IEC’s agenda bill. This bill proposes an exemption from seeking a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) for small generation projects of 10 megawatts or less at the distribution level. The aim is to provide cooperatives with increased flexibility in pursuing such projects. HB 1163 passed out of the House on Jan. 22 with unanimous support. The bill is heading over to the Senate, with Senate Utilities Chair Eric Koch signed on as Senate sponsor.

BEAD Broadband Funding Management
House Bill 1277 establishes the Indiana Broadband Office as the appropriate agency to manage the incoming federal BEAD broadband dollars. IEC was closely involved in developing the language for the bill and testified in support. HB 1277 passed out of the House on Jan. 23 with unanimous support. The bill is heading over to the Senate, with Sen. Koch signed on as Senate sponsor.

Foundational Commitment for Political Engagement
This year, we rolled out a 2024 Resolutions for Political Engagement checklist, setting a foundational standard for co-ops’ political engagement efforts. This list is built with the goal of seeing all members engaged and committed to political action. This makes our organization strong and impactful, and we believe your commitment to leading your cooperatives to achieve these goals is key.  

IEC appreciates your dedication to these efforts, and we are ready and willing to help you and your cooperatives achieve each of these goals. We believe each cooperative can check off every item on this list, and we stand ready to assist as needed. Contact Ryan Heater, rheater@indianaec.org or 765.426.1848, if you have questions or want to discuss this further. 

Weekly Legislative Update
Each Friday during the state legislative session, IEC distributes a “Legislative Update” with a brief video, highlights of the week’s session, links to key bills and more. Contact Lynnette Craig, lcraig@indianaec.org or 317.487.2223, to begin receiving this weekly update.