On Monday, State Senator J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) offered an amendment to House Bill (HB) 1414 that deletes the coal bailout language from the bill. Sen. Ford’s amendment would still leave language that creates a transition program for displaced coal workers, changing HB 1414 from a coal bailout bill to a workforce development proposal. The amendment failed with a vote of 10-38.
“Countless Hoosiers, businesses and advocacy groups were strongly opposed to HB 1414’s attempt to use tax money to bailout coal power,” Sen. Ford said. “Utility companies have found that natural gas and renewable energy is far cheaper for them to produce. The free market is moving away from coal naturally, so forcing coal plants to stay open would just make taxpayers’ utility bills that much more expensive.
“The positive provisions of HB 1414 called for a way to help Hoosier workers displaced by the shrinking coal industry. I’m all for this measure, and I think it’s a prudent use of the legislature’s time to make sure our workforce is prepared for the industries of the future. Let’s remove what makes HB 1414 a bad bill and leave in there a plan that actually would help Hoosier coal workers.”