HF Group Limited (HFCK.ke) 2007 Annual Report

first_imgHF Group Limited (HFCK.ke) listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange under the Property sector has released it’s 2007 annual report.For more information about HF Group Limited (HFCK.ke) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the HF Group Limited (HFCK.ke) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: HF Group Limited (HFCK.ke)  2007 annual report.Company ProfileHF Group Limited formerly (Housing Finance Limited) is a financial services group with interests in mortgage lending, corporate and retail banking, property development and a bancassurance business. Its product and service offering ranges from transactional banking products to financial services for micro-enterprises, group banking, agricultural and small-to-medium enterprises. HF Group offers asset finance services, micro-credit loans and loans for anything from solar water heating systems to mortgage finance. The company also has interests in developing and selling residential houses and offers insurance agency services. Formerly known as HF Group Limited, the company changed its name to HF Group Plc in 2017. Its head office is in Nairobi, Kenya. HF Group Limited is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchangelast_img read more

Read More »

The Screened House / Brewin Design Office

first_img “COPY” Houses Projects Singapore Architects: Brewin Design Office Area Area of this architecture project The Screened House / Brewin Design OfficeSave this projectSaveThe Screened House / Brewin Design OfficeSave this picture!© Darren SohHouses•Singapore ArchDaily Area:  3500 ft² Area:  3500 ft² Photographs photographs:  Darren SohPhotographs:  Darren Soh+ 17 Share ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/505677/the-screened-house-brewin-design-office Clipboard CopySave this picture!© Darren SohText description provided by the architects. The addition and alteration to this existing terraced house converts the 3,500 Sq ft space into a loft by the introduction of a large triple storey void that connects the second and third floor to an attic space with existing wood rafters. The house completely opens up to the exterior through the use of bi-folding full height metal screens on both floors of the front and back facades. Without providing any glazing behind the metal screens and with the use of movable interior partitions, the large openings on both facades promote a consistent wind flow through all the interior spaces, while the screens filter natural light into the house. The ‘open’ concept throughout the house is juxtaposed by a full ‘screening’ idea that shuts the house into an enclosed box.Save this picture!© Darren SohThe ground level of the house is converted into a working studio with a separate entry, shielded behind a concrete wall. 4 meter tall perforated cement block walls protect the open spaces in the front and the back of the house, creating almost an exterior ‘room’ in the front and back yards. Loose gravel cover the front yard and 50mm thick black granite slabs are used as pavers leading to the entries from the exterior gate.Save this picture!Floor PlanAn additional balcony which faces the back garden is newly created on the 3rd level by cutting away the existing slab which previously stretched to the upper stair landing. A thick existing beam running the span of the new stair void is revealed after cutting back the slab, emphasizing the structural support beneath the new balcony. This in-between balcony space screens the open-air stair core and triple height void from the exterior.Save this picture!© Darren SohProject gallerySee allShow lessVIDEO: Inside A Data Center, The Architecture Of The CloudVideosRenovation of an Industrial Building into a Single Family House / Guim Costa Calsami…Selected Projects Share “COPY” ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/505677/the-screened-house-brewin-design-office Clipboard The Screened House / Brewin Design Office CopyAbout this officeBrewin Design OfficeOfficeFollowProductsWoodSteelConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesHousesSingaporePublished on May 15, 2014Cite: “The Screened House / Brewin Design Office” 15 May 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Browse the CatalogMetal PanelsAurubisCopper Alloy: Nordic BrassCompositesMitrexPhotovoltaic Solar Cladding – BIPV CladdingPanels / Prefabricated AssembliesTechnowoodPanel Façade SystemArmchairsUniForArmchair – ParigiLouvers / ShuttersBruagShading Screens – Perforated Facade PanelsAluminium CompositesSculptformAluminium Façade BladesCultural / PatrimonialIsland Exterior FabricatorsSeptember 11th Memorial Museum Envelope SystemWire MeshJakobWebnet in a Gymnasium in GurmelsDoorsLinvisibileLinvisibile Pocket Door | MareaPaintKEIMMineral Paint for Concrete – KEIM Concretal®-WLouversReynaers AluminiumSolar ShadingHandlesFormaniFitting Collection – ARCMore products »Save世界上最受欢迎的建筑网站现已推出你的母语版本!想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my streamlast_img read more

Read More »

Libyan Supreme Court strikes down law aimed at curbing free speech

first_img Well-known Libyan journalist missing since his arrest December 17, 2019 Find out more to go further Six imprisoned journalists to finally appear in court in Istanbul Help by sharing this information Read in arabic (بالعربية)Reporters Without Borders is relieved at the ruling by the Libyan Supreme Court yesterday that Law 37 criminalizing any “insult to the Libyan people and its institutions”, is unconstitutional. The opinion of a group of “wise men” was sought after a Libyan human rights organization appealed against the approval of such an outrageous piece of legislation by the National Transitional Council on 2 May.“We are pleased that the Libyan Supreme Court has ruled this law unconstitutional,” the press freedom organization said. “This is a common sense decision.“This organization had condemned the adoption of this repressive law which criminalizes certain opinions and would be a regrettable backward step and a serious danger to free speech and freedom of news and information.”Law 37, which disregards international law and interim constitutional provisions approved by the NTC, makes spreading “false news and information” or “propaganda” that “endangers national security, terrorizes the public or undermines public morale” punishable by imprisonment.Comments glorifying the former regime and its fallen leader, Col. Muammar Gaddafi, would also be criminal offences under the new law, as would harming the 17 February Libyan Revolution or insulting the Libyan people, their flag and Islam.The ruling that Law 37 is unconstitutional retains the freedom of speech and information that is an essential accompaniment and tool to help shape Libya’s transition to democracy.In addition, Reporters Without Borders notes the importance of reaffirming freedom of opinion and expression in the next constitution. Equally vital is the adoption of a press code to protect these basic constitutional freedoms.——————————-07.05.2012 : Repressive new law criminalizes insulting government institutionsReporters Without Borders calls on Libya’s interim parliament, the National Transitional Council (NTC), to repeal the law criminalizing any “insult to the Libyan people and its institutions” that it adopted on 2 May.“This law contravenes the interim constitutional provisions that the NTC adopted and the international law to which it is subject,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Criminalizing certain opinions, going so far as to make them punishable by imprisonment, endangers freedom of expression and information, especially as the law’s criteria are vague and imprecise and leave a great deal of room for arbitrary interpretation.“The terms of this law are sadly reminiscent of the Gaddafi regime’s oppressive legislation and its adoption poses a threat to the democratic transition in Libya and to all the media that have emerged since the start of the revolution. We therefore urge the NTC to repeal it in its entirety.”Reporters Without Borders stresses the need for freedom of opinion and expression to be reaffirmed in the future constitution and the need for a media law that protects these fundamental constitutional freedoms.Law 37 criminalizes “false news and information” or “propaganda” that “endanger national security, terrorize the public or undermine public morale.” Comments harming the 17 February Libyan Revolution, glorifying the former regime and its leader, Col. Gaddafi, or his sons, or insulting the Libyan people, their flag and Islam are all also criminal offences under the new law.All these offences are punishable by imprisonment under the new law, which does not specify the length of the jail terms that can be imposed except in the case of “rumours of information” causing harm to the country, for which a life sentence is possible.The ban on any form of opposition to or criticism of the 17 February Revolution seems to have been based directly on article 195 of Col. Gaddafi’s criminal code penalizing any attack on the Great Al-Fatah Revolution or its Leader.Photo : AFP News Follow the news on Libya News On Libyan revolution’s 10th anniversary, authorities urged to guarantee press freedom Receive email alerts News Related documents Repressive new law criminalizes insulting government institutions – In arabicPDF – 42.07 KBLibyan Supreme Court strikes down law aimed at curbing free speech – In arabicPDF – 174.39 KB February 23, 2021 Find out more June 14, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Libyan Supreme Court strikes down law aimed at curbing free speech LibyaMiddle East – North Africa LibyaMiddle East – North Africa Organisation News June 24, 2020 Find out more RSF_en last_img read more

Read More »

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Says GSE Reform is Unlikely

first_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Related Articles Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago  Print This Post The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Fannie Mae Freddie Mac GSE Reform Richard Shelby Senate Banking Committee 2015-03-25 Brian Honea Home / Daily Dose / Senate Banking Committee Chairman Says GSE Reform is Unlikely A key government official indicated in a speech Wednesday that GSE reform is unlikely for the next two years and that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will likely remain under conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) for the time being, according to a report from Bloomberg.U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said in his speech Wednesday at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Conference in Washington, D.C., that he would rather leave the two GSEs under control of the FHFA than to replace them with a private insurance company system with a government backstop, as a bi-partisan bill proposed by Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Mark Warner (D-Virgina) called for. That bill, S.1217, passed in the Senate Banking Committee by a vote of 13 to 9 last year even though Shelby opposed it. The bill never got a full vote in the Senate, however.Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac required a combined taxpayer bailout of $188 billion in 2008 after the government seized control of them. The two GSEs returned to profitability in 2012. The future of the two GSEs has been a hotly contested topic in Washington as well as in the rest of the housing industry. Both parties appear to want to wind down the FHFA’s conservatorship of the two, but cannot agree on what, if anything, should replace them as well as what role the government should play in housing, if any.Shelby’s sentiments on Wednesday were similar to those expressed in a white paper released earlier in March by the Office of the Inspector General of the FHFA on the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”Absent Congressional action, or a change in FHFA’s current strategy, the conservatorships will go on indefinitely,” wrote Acting Deputy Inspector General for Evaluations Kyle Roberts in the white paper. “The Enterprises’ future status is beyond their control. At present, it appears that Congressional action will be needed to define what role, if any, the Enterprises play in the housing finance system.”Shelby said in his speech Wednesday that he had priorities ahead of GSE reform, and that he didn’t want to “do something to make it worse than it is,” according to the report. in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News About Author: Brian Honea Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Share Save Tagged with: Fannie Mae Freddie Mac GSE Reform Richard Shelby Senate Banking Committeecenter_img Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago March 25, 2015 1,371 Views Sign up for DS News Daily The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Subscribe Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Previous: Shift from Bank to Nonbank Lending Causing Rise in Default Risk for Agency-Backed Loans Next: Cold Winter, Soft Economic Growth Cause Housing Market to Stumble Senate Banking Committee Chairman Says GSE Reform is Unlikelylast_img read more

Read More »

Texas longhorn breaks Guinness World Record for nearly 11-foot horns

first_imgHOLY COW: Alabama longhorn breaks @GWR Poncho’s horns are 10 ft. 7.4 in from tip to tip which is wider than the Statue of Liberty’s face and twice the width of a concert grand piano https://t.co/SnsZTUmKTx pic.twitter.com/stBaZdt4bY— ABC 13 News – WSET (@ABC13News) June 17, 2019Guinness announced last week that Poncho had beat out a fellow longhorn steer named Sato — who is from Texas — by just over an inch in length. He holds the title for both largest horn spread on a living steer and largest horn spread on a steer ever.The Pope family began to wonder whether Poncho would beat the Guinness record when he was about 4 and they noticed his horns were growing straight out instead of curving up like most longhorns.No two longhorns have the same variation in their horn development, said Jeral “Dennis” Pope Jr. Poncho’s horns go straight out before curling at the end, making for an “impressive” tip-to-tip length, he said.Even before his formal award, Poncho has been a local celebrity in Coosa County, according to the Pope family. Their neighbors often come stop by to see him and feed him apples, carrots and marshmallows.Pope Sr. described Poncho as a “big, gentle character,” despite the intimidating length of his horns.“He’s just a big pet,” Pope Jr. said.George Jones, a member of the family who works on the ranch and helps care for Poncho, recalled a time when the longhorn approached him while he was fishing on the pond, seeking attention.As Jones was petting Poncho, a horsefly landed on the longhorn, causing him to turn his head and send his human friend into the water.“I went airborne into the pond,” Jones said. “He just knocked me completely off my feet into the water.”Pope Sr. is as “proud of a peacock” of Poncho, his son said.“He likes to bring that positive influence to his family and to his community.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. FILE photo – wanderluster/iStock(GOODWATER, Ala.) — A beloved Texas longhorn named Poncho Via has broken the Guinness World Record for its nearly 11-foot horns.From tip to tip, Poncho’s horns measure in at 10 feet and 7.4 inches, which is more than twice the width of a concert grand piano, according to Guinness.The steer belongs to the Pope family in Alabama, who have raised him since was a 6-month-old weanling on their ranch called Green Acres in Goodwater, southeast of Birmingham.Jeral Pope Sr. said he and his wife first came across Poncho when they were riding a hay wagon “somewhere out west” and spotted a group of longhorns.“They stood out like anything on the crest of that mountain — it was the prettiest thing,” Pope Sr. said. “I told my wife, we got to have one of them.”last_img read more

Read More »

The South is the epicenter for officers killed by felony gunfire in 2019

first_imgamphotora/iStock(NEW YORK) — Twenty-two police officers in the Southern United States have been killed by guns used by offenders in 2019 — more than the rest of the United States combined, according to data from the FBI.Nine officers were killed by felony gunfire in both the West and the Midwest, two were shot and killed in Puerto Rico and none were killed in the Northeast, according to the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted program.As the epicenter of gun violence against law enforcement, the South’s death toll includes three officers who were shot and killed by felony gunfire in recent days.Huntsville Officer Billy Fred Clardy III was shot and killed last Friday by a “known offender” during a drug bust in Alabama.Houston Police Sgt. Christopher Brewster was killed while responding to a domestic violence situation on Saturday afternoon.And on Saturday night, Fayetteville Police Officer Stephen Carr was “ambushed and executed” outside the Arkansas police department.The suspects in the most recent shootings likely “decided that the way to exact their issue was to kill a cop,” said Don Mihalek, executive vice president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Foundation, retired senior Secret Service agent and ABC News contributor.A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that law enforcement homicides were more likely to occur in states with higher gun ownership.Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi were in the top 20% for both gun ownership and law enforcement homicides, according to the study, authored by a University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health research assistant professor.Maria Haberfeld, professor of police science at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told ABC News that the availability of guns in the South is likely one of the reasons for the level of violence against police officers in the region.“You have guns; you have more violence,” she said. “In the United States, it seems to be a direct correlation.”Alabama and Texas had the most police killings by gunfire in 2019 at six each — according to data from the Officer Down Memorial Page. A seventh officer killed in the line of duty in Alabama this year died in an automobile crash.The state of Georgia saw four of its law enforcement agents killed by felony gunfire this year, according to the memorial page. Three officers in the U.S. were also killed in accidents involving firearms in 2019, according to the FBI.The percentages of felony law enforcement killings are similar in past years as well. In 2018, 26 of the 55 law enforcement officers who were feloniously killed were in the South, and in 2017, 24 of the 46 law enforcement officers feloniously killed were in the South, according to the FBI.By contrast, Northeast states such as Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island were in the lowest quintile for gun ownership and police officer homicides, according to the 2015 study.Guns “were always considered bad” in the region, while in the South, it’s a “normal course of life” for people to own them, Mihalek said.“A gun is a tool to defend and protect people, or for recreation and sport, but when placed in the hands of somebody who is not right, it can inflict terror,” he added.Retired New York City Police Department Chief of Detectives and ABC News contributor Robert Boyce hypothesized that the number of police deaths due to felony gunfire appear to be down due to state laws that make it “very difficult” to purchase a firearm, although assaults on New York Police Department officers without guns have increased.Both Boyce and Mihalek agree that there is an uptick in anti-law enforcement rhetoric around the country.“Attacks on police are up across the nation,” Boyce said, describing it as a “general disrespect for law enforcement.”Mihalek added that some of the anti-police rhetoric might be coming from people who have a grievance or “maybe had a bad experience with an officer,” causing them to “label all as bad.”“All that does is undermine the authority of officers,” paving the way for those predisposed not to want to obey the law to break it, he said. Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Read More »

Gobert, Clarkson lead Jazz to 114-89 rout of Lakers

first_img Tags: Jordan Clarkson/NBA/Rudy Gobert/Utah Jazz FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailSALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Rudy Gobert and Jordan Clarkson each scored 18 points and the Utah Jazz routed the Los Angeles Lakers 114-89.Gobert also had nine rebounds for Utah which won for the 22nd time in its last 24 games. Twenty of those victories have come by double-digits.Bojan Bogdanovic added 15 points, Mike Conley had 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and Donovan Mitchell finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists.LeBron James scored 19 points and Montrzel Harrell added 16 to lead the Lakers who lost their fourth straight and fifth in six games. February 25, 2021 /Sports News – Local Gobert, Clarkson lead Jazz to 114-89 rout of Lakers Written by Associated Presslast_img read more

Read More »

Switching stamp duty to sellers has a secret sting, Mr Javid

first_imgHome » Guest Blogs » Switching stamp duty to sellers has a secret sting, Mr Javid Switching stamp duty to sellers has a secret sting, Mr JavidIndustry senior Trevor Abrahmsohn warns the new Chancellor that his mooted plan for stamp duty sounds like a great idea, but may freeze the market even more.Trevor Abrahmsohn21st August 201901,279 Views It’s always gratifying to see one’s ideas vindicated in reality – a kind of benign schadenfreude, if you like.This week, Sajid Javid mooted that he could switch Stamp Duty from buyers to sellers, which is a version of what I have been advocating for a number of years, particularly if the rate is significantly lowered.Clearly, there is an intention of the new Tory regime to end the stagnation and distortion of the residential property market, which was instigated by the former Chancellor George Osborne and his Stamp Duty escalator ‘reforms’ in the Autumn Budget of 2014.Osborne’s strategy tried to re-model the ‘slab-sided’ former system by removing buyers at the lower end out of the SDLT net altogether, whilst at the same time clobbering potential buyers of property over £900,000.If they had the temerity to own more than one property, they were hammered again with a thumping surcharge. So much for the property-owning UK democracy and this certainly sowed the seeds of recession in the market.Foolish planIt was a foolish, uncollegial and arrogant plan. It was meant to pay for itself and be a nice ‘little earner’ for HMRC, but instead, induced a DIY recession across the Capital and beyond, dragging prices down by 35% and transaction numbers down, by 60%.As if this were not enough, recent reports from the Treasury Receipts have demonstrated that these reforms are costing over £1 billion a year. How many hospitals and schools would this buy us?By the look of things, the new Chancellor may even switch the tax burden entirely from buyer to seller, however, as is always the case, the devil is in the detail. Let me explain.For example, if a house owner has a 70% mortgage, on a £2m property (which doesn’t buy a lot in the capital) technically, they own net 30% of the equity.If, however, the Stamp Duty liability changes, then the owner’s net equity could drop from 30% to say, 21%, which will alter the loan-to-value ratio, as far as the mortgage lender is concerned.This means that the owner may have to stump up some cash, to pay back some of the loan in order to maintain the 70/30 ratio of lending for the mortgagor.  Can you just hear the howls of derision?Liquidity of supplyThe problem with this new arrangement is, that if Stamp Duty rates are kept at the present levels, the seller may see this liability as enough reason not to put their property on the market, and therefore, crystallise the tax, and would not help the liquidity of supply.Yes, buyers who have been relieved from this liability will have a new spring in their step, but since there will be very few properties around to buy, it could drive prices northwards, which is not the purpose of the exercise.Singapore swingWhen you impose these high rates of transaction taxes, as they did in Singapore, you drive prices and liquidity down and this has a contagious effect on retail spending, which impacts the growth of the UK consumer-led economy.The rates of Stamp Duty need to be reduced in order to encourage positive sentiments, particularly at this vulnerable time as we traverse a potential constitutional crisis, which is looming in the next six weeks.With the existing system in place, potential purchasers facing a 15% liability in some cases, shrug their shoulders and realise it’s not worth the upheaval.Many of them may choose to remain in their existing property and refurbish it.This is why any sales that take place today, are from committed ‘have-to’ buyers and not the fair-weather ones, who have gone away.Uber tenantsAlternatively, some buyers will transmogrify into uber-tenants, by renting instead of buying and of course, this denies the Treasury valuable receipts.Whilst we all understand that the Tories are on manoeuvres for an election, which will be called in the next month or so, the problem with the Chancellor making sound bites about SDLT reforms in the next budget is, that they hold back transactions which would have otherwise taken place, since people want to benefit from any changes, before they commit themselves.  This exacerbates the hiatus.So, think carefully before you act Mr. Javid, since the private residential property sector is the ‘golden goose’ and we have never needed its ‘golden eggs’ as much as we do now.Sajid Javid stamp duty Trevor Abrahmsohn 2019-08-21Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Read More »

Feral Beast scoops the Telegraph

first_imgWell, kind of.Feral Beast last week, in a post entitled “Germany’s Communist kingmakers”: By this time next week, these neo-communists might be some of the most politically powerful people in Germany…  If they reach the 5% mark, they could join forces with the SPD and tip the balance towards a left-wing coalition, giving the state Premiership to Ypsilanti, once considered a lightweight without a chance. The far-left may then be the party that holds the key to the coalition, and therefore a major influence on policy.The Daily Telegraph’s Berlin correspondent Harry de Quetteville, in a blog post this afternoon:Yes, they thought it was all over, but it isn’t now. Die Linke made a historic breakthrough, crossing the 5 percent threshold to claim seats in both Hesse and Lower Saxony. Both these states are in Western Germany! Kingmakers Die Linke could be, given the complex coalition maths of German politics. All that means, that next year, 20 years after the Berlin Wall fell, the remnants of the communist party could play a decisive factor in the new government. What a turnaround.Cherwell 24 is not responsible for the content of external linkslast_img read more

Read More »

What’s Alive, What’s Not, As Legislature Reaches Midway Point

first_imgBy Victoria Ratliff FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare TheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS- Indiana’s lawmakers have reached half-time of this year’s session, with major bills to keep motorist’s hands off their phones and to raise the age to use tobacco still alive; the effort to raise teacher pay now effectively dead and a bill to help pregnant employees essentially put off until at least next year.Senate Bill 342, which would have made most businesses provide “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant workers and new moms who are pumping breast milk, was gutted by the Senate on Monday. The bill now urges legislative leaders to send this issue to an interim study committee, with no guarantee that the issue will ever be heard by a committee.SB 342, authored by Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette, originally would have made most businesses provide “reasonable” accommodations for pregnant workers.Alting told his colleagues that Indiana ranks seventh in the nation on maternal mortality rate, and third in the nation on infant mortality rate.“Research has demonstrated that the working conditions affect premature births,” he said.The amendment reducing the measure to a request for a study committee, authored by Sen. Andy Zay, R-Huntington, passed 34-15, with Zay and other Republicans saying more study is needed to understand the bill’s impact on small businesses. Tuesday, Alting urged his colleagues to keep the bill, and the issue, alive despite his disagreement with the change.It passed, 41-8 – with all Democrats except Sen. Lonnie Randolph, D-East Chicago – voting ‘no’ to register their disappointment that help for pregnant workers was being delayed.Sen. J.D. Ford, D-Indianapolis, said pregnant women don’t need to study this issue, they live with it every day.“The original bill had wide bipartisan support, was a priority of the governor’s and received overwhelmingly positive testimony from Hoosiers,” he reiterated in a statement after the vote. “This legislation could have gone a long way toward helping lower Indiana’s abysmally high infant mortality rate”Sen. Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis, called the bill “pro-life.”“Economic pressure is a significant factor in women choosing abortion, and protecting a working mother protects the unborn child and reduces the pressure for abortion,” she said. “Women should not have to choose economic stability over the health of she and her baby.”Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, singled out SB 342 in a news conference assessing the first half of the session with House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta, D-Fort Wayne.“It’s a simple question: should we allow discrimination in the workplace against pregnant women or not?” Lanane said.With only five weeks in the session left, Lanane said there nonetheless is still hope from Democrats that the issue identified as a goal by Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, will become resurrected this session.“We’re more than willing to show the other side of the aisle how we can do these things, how we can do them responsibly and how we can do them this session,” Lanane said.In other legislation, one bill has already flown through the House and Senate and been signed into law by Holcomb.House Bill 1007, signed into law Jan. 29, allocates $300 million, a portion of which is from an unexpected surplus, to pay cash for six university construction projects, rather than borrow for them through bonding.Democrats were repeatedly rebuffed in their attempts to change the bill to instead allocate those funds to give teachers a pay boost this year, instead of putting off any potential pay hike to next year’s budget-writing session as preferred by Holcomb and the GOP.The measure – SB 299, authored by Sen. Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne — also mandates women to be informed they can collect the products of a pill-induced abortion, which typically are expelled at home in a toilet or bathtub, and return them to the abortion provider for burial or cremation.Breaux, who opposed the bill, said it needs more clarification regarding safety and cleanliness for the women bringing their own fetal remains to a facility after an at-home abortion. She read to her Senate colleagues a letter from a constituent about the trauma she suffered after needing an abortion after an incomplete miscarriage and her concern that this bill would add to the distress.Sen. Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis, said the Senate should be passing the original pregnancy accommodation bill. Photo by Lacey Watt, TheStatehouseFile.comThe bill, approved 40-9, now goes to the House.Also moving through the process are House Bill 1006, the tobacco and vaping products bill, and HB 1414, the bill affecting coal plant closures.HB 1006 follows the federal government’s lead in raising the age to buy tobacco and vaping products to 21 from the current 18, and sets in place provisions on how to prosecute retailers who violate that age restriction. It passed the House 84-14 and is headed to the Senate.House Bill 1414 would require the state’s utilities to notify the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission if they plan to close an energy-producing plant. Its author, Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, has said it is needed to slow the closing of the state’s coal-fired power plants to ensure no disruption of electricity. The bill was amended in the House to have it expire in May 2021 and to require the IURC to only review closure plans, rather than approve or reject them.House Bill 1070, also heading to the Senate, would prevent drivers from using phones while driving, unless it is used alongside a hands-free device, or to call 911 in an emergency. The measure, authored by Rep. Holli Sullivan, R-Evansville, passed the House 86-10.Among the casualties of the first half of the session is House Bill 1331, authored by Rep. Martin Carbaugh, R-Fort Wayne, which would have prevented ticket sellers from barring the purchaser from reselling or transferring the tickets. It passed out of committee but was never heard in the full House.FOOTNOTE: Victoria Ratliff is a reporter with TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.last_img read more

Read More »