Several bills authored by Banks have met with success, he says

Several bills authored by State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) have met with success, Banks reports.

Banks' bill to allow local government units to support in-state military bases passed the Senate on Jan. 28 by a unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 260 would allow local government units to use funds to support military bases located in Indiana. These expenditures could be made from currently available resources.

Banks said this issue is particularly relevant in his district, where Fort Wayne has continuously fought to retain the Indiana Air National Guard's 122nd Fighter Wing. Banks authored the bill in anticipation of the base's possible closure in 2016.

SB 260 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration. State Rep. Mark Messmer is the sponsor.

Banks' legislation to provide Indiana-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, with more academic and administrative flexibility was approved Jan. 29 by the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development.

Currently, Purdue University oversees IPFW's operations. Senate Bill 265 would allow IPFW to determine its own student housing needs and create its own doctoral degree programs. The bill would also require Purdue and IPFW to enter into a governance agreement, giving IPFW more autonomy.

SB 265 now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.

Banks' legislation to assist Hoosier veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury passed the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services on Jan. 29 by a unanimous vote.

As amended, Senate Bill 180 would direct the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to study the feasibility of implementing a program to provide treatment and funding to veterans suffering from PTSD or traumatic brain injury.

SB 180 now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.