State Representative Ross Deal organizes his agenda for the 2019 legislative session

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INDIANAPOLIS—State Representative Ross Deal (D-Mishawaka) will pursue a wide-ranging agenda for his first session as a state lawmaker, with a focus on protecting valuable metal dealers, helping veterans, improving the environment, and reforming Indiana’s election system.

Within days of taking office, Deal filed his first bill, which would require anyone who purchases or resells valuable metals to register with the state. In order to register as a valuable metal dealer, a person must provide information regarding the business’ name and location and pay a registration fee of $200.

“In Indiana, we have an issue of people stealing and reselling valuable metals but law enforcement, unfortunately, often has no way of identifying the perpetrator. Creating a dealer database will give police officers a paper trail to trace back to the seller of the stolen metal,” Deal said. “There is also a safety hazard that comes along with the stealing of valuable metal. Many have died attempting to steal electrically charged metal and this bill is aimed to stop that danger.”

Deal’s proposed registry is modeled after one in Alabama.

Deal’s second priority for his 2019 legislative agenda is protecting veterans.

“As a veteran myself, it is important to me that we protect and serve our veterans to the best of our abilities,” Deal said. “I am looking to take an active role in any legislation that provides a higher quality of life to our veterans.”

Deal has also filed a bill establishing a tax credit that would encourage employers to provide training in technologies that use solar, wind energy, or geothermal energy facilities and equipment.

“Clean energy is a growing industry that can provide employment opportunities for Hoosiers,” Deal said. “We want to have a well-trained workforce in Indiana that is ready to take on the job of promoting the use of clean energy.”

The bill also requires the operator of a system that uses surface water as a source of drinking water to develop a quality threat minimization and response plan.

Deal also said he will attempt to reform an election system in Indiana that is one of the worst in the nation. House Bill 1646 would permit a person to register at the polls until noon on Election Day by completing a voter registration form and an affirmation that the individual has not voted elsewhere in the election and by providing proof of residence. Sixteen states currently have same day voter registration and have seen an increase in turnout.

“All Hoosiers deserve the opportunity to participate in our democratic process,” Deal said.

“It is not uncommon that our citizens miss the registration deadline because they were unaware and therefore miss their opportunity to vote. We need to be making it easier for Hoosiers to get out and vote. We can do better as a state and should work towards getting the majority of Hoosiers to the polls.”

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