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The Indiana General Assembly’s 2016 legislative session has officially reached its halfway point. Now at this time, all bills that have passed the Senate will move on to the House of Representatives, where they may be assigned to a committee for further consideration. The same thing will happen to bills that come to the Senate from the House.

Here’s a look at a few noteworthy bills, authored by District 48 State Senator Mark Messmer of Jasper.

First Senate Bill 325 addresses updates to the Individual Development Account, or IDA program, in a number of ways.  An IDA is a savings account available to qualifying low-income Hoosiers that helps encourage saving and financial literacy. In conjunction with the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Indiana is able to provide matching funds for every dollar that a participating Hoosier saves in their IDA.

Messmer says currently, Hoosiers with IDA’s can save for higher education expenses, a home mortgage or to start a small business.

Next Senate Bill 177 focuses on alcoholic beverage matters; in particular, it would clean up and clarify language in three areas of alcohol policy.

Messmer says the bill first would allow convention centers, restaurants and hotels to sell alcoholic beverages from a temporary bar or service window as long as certain conditions are met.

And finally Senate Bill 324 is designed to streamline the process of obtaining construction permits handled by the State Department of Health. The bill would also shorten turn-around times that the State Department of Health has to meet to match the requirements that the Division of Fire and Building services started complying with two years ago.

These bills now move on to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

To stay up to date on the progress of the General Assembly during the second half of session, visit

As always, you can contact Messmer’s office directly with your questions and concerns by email at  or by phone at 800-382-9467.

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