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DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL
Elimination of township government. Provides that all township governments are abolished on January 1, 2013, and all township functions are transferred to the county. Provides that except as specifically provided by law: (1) the county executive has the powers and duties of the township trustee; (2) the county legislative body has the legislative powers and duties of the township board; and (3) the county fiscal body has the fiscal powers and duties of the township board. Provides for an elected county advocate for the poor to administer township assistance in each county beginning January 1, 2013. Provides for a transition board in each county. Requires the transition board to adopt a transition plan for the provision of township assistance in the county. Requires that the transition plan must provide for the provision of township assistance on a countywide basis and reasonable levels of accessibility throughout the county. Specifies that beginning January 1, 2013, the county is responsible for providing fire protection formerly provided by the township. Establishes a county firefighting fund, and establishes a county cumulative building and equipment fund for firefighting. Provides that the remaining township fire departments in Marion County are consolidated into the Indianapolis fire department on January 1, 2013. Provides that a transfer of duties between the townships and the county results in the transfer of property, equipment, personnel, records, rights, contracts, and indebtedness. In Marion County, transfers responsibilities of township trustees and township boards concerning township small claims courts located in Marion County to the: (1) mayor of the consolidated city; (2) city-county council of the consolidated city; and (3) clerk of the circuit court of the county containing the consolidated city. Abolishes the office of small claims court constable. Specifies that on January 1, 2013, personnel provided by the county shall perform the duties formerly performed by the constables. Requires a school township to reorganize not later than July 1, 2012. Requires the state board of education to develop a reorganization plan for a school township that does not develop a reorganization plan. Requires the department of local government finance (DLGF) to determine whether the balance in each township fund (other than a debt service fund or cumulative fund) is in excess of the amount needed by the township to carry out the purposes of the fund. Specifies the factors to be considered by the DLGF in making the determination. Requires a township to transfer any excess amounts to the county treasurer. Specifies that the excess amounts must be used as follows: (1) 25% to provide property tax credits at a uniform county-wide percentage. (2) 25% for deposit in a special fund or account to be used upon appropriation by the county fiscal body for programs designed to alleviate poverty in the county. (3) 25% for transfer to Indiana University-Northwest to be used by Indiana University-Northwest to make grants to alleviate urban poverty or to conduct teaching or academic research concerning urban poverty. (4) 25% for transfer to Indiana State University to be used by Indiana State University to make grants to alleviate rural poverty or to conduct teaching or academic research concerning rural poverty.