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What are your state legislators doing on your behalf? The Indiana House Republicans host a podcast each week to answer this  question and talk about what’s happening in your state government. The podcast features one-on-one interviews with lawmakers who highlight new laws, events and other issues impacting Hoosiers.

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Helping small businesses

If you are a small-business owner, please help identify any unnecessary or duplicative state reporting requirements by clicking here.

This link takes you to a short, confidential survey where you can identify situations when you were required by state law, rule or guideline to submit similar information to at least two state agencies. This information can include notifications, tax reports, employment data and other statistical data.

Often, employers spend unnecessary time and resources trying to meet redundant reporting requirements, which can hinder efficiency and performance. Because employers have firsthand experience with these regulations, they are in the best position to point out those that are unneeded.

Answers collected from the survey could help shape future legislation as part of the effort to reduce government regulations and costs, and streamline processes to make our state more efficient and appealing to businesses.

Earlier this year, U.S. News and World Report ranked Indiana as the best-run state in America based on fiscal responsibility, streamlined operations and enhanced transparency. House Republicans are working to continue the state’s momentum by improving government efficiency, which ultimately saves taxpayer dollars and helps the economy.

We are now accepting applications for our 2018 internships!

The House Republican Internship Program is a unique opportunity for students to participate in state government at the Indiana Statehouse while gaining hands-on experience. This paid internship allows interns to immerse themselves in the legislative process by working directly with state representatives and professional staff.

The spring semester internship is open to college sophomores, juniors and seniors, graduate students, and recent graduates of all majors. Interns receive a bi-weekly compensation of $750 and opportunities to earn college credits. This is a full-time position at the Statehouse in Indianapolis for the duration of the 2018 legislative session, which runs January through March.

Interns will be placed in one of five departments:

  • Legislative: Interns will be paired with a full-time legislative assistant as they work directly with an assigned group of state representatives. Some of the responsibilities include: tracking legislation, working with constituents and researching legislative questions or problems.
  • Communications: Interns will be paired with a full-time press secretary as they assist with media relations for an assigned group of state representatives. Some of the responsibilities include: writing press releases, audio and video production, social media, arranging interviews with reporters, photography and covering press conferences.
  • Fiscal Policy: Intern will work with the fiscal staff on issues that directly relate to the state’s finances and biennial budget.
  • Policy: Intern will work alongside the policy staff in tracking and analyzing legislation.

The House Republican Internship Program is a great opportunity to make valuable contacts while building your resume. To learn more about internship opportunities and the application process, watch these informational videos about each position and visit indianahouserepublicans.com/internship.

 

National Firework Safety Month wraps up July 4. On this day, many Hoosiers will celebrate our nation’s independence with American traditions by barbecuing, visiting a parade or carnival and, of course, setting off fireworks.

Please keep in mind these safety tips so we can all safely enjoy the holiday together.

You must be 18 years of age or older to purchase fireworks. Minors must have an adult present when in possession of fireworks. When lighting fireworks, you must be on your own property, on the property of someone who has given you permission to, or at a location designated by the Indiana State Fire Marshall for discharging fireworks.

Through July 9, fireworks can be set off from 9 a.m. until two hours after sunset. The Fourth of July is an exception, where you can use fireworks until midnight. However, town ordinances may vary. If you have any questions, your local officials are a good resource.

Fireworks are dangerous and need to be handled properly. To prevent accidents, don’t let children handle fireworks without adult supervision and keep a fire extinguisher or water supply nearby. Never smoke or drink alcohol while handling fireworks. Stay in a clear, open area and never aim, point or throw fireworks at another person. Never attempt to relight, alter or repair any firework item and do not attempt to make your own.

Remember to be courteous when lighting off fireworks as there may be veterans and others in the area who are startled by the loud noises.

House Republicans wish everyone a fun and safe Independence Day!

Growing Indiana’s Workforce

Indiana’s unemployment rate continues to drop. In May, the state’s unemployment rate was 3.2 percent, a near-record low. However, local employers are still looking to fill many new and high-paying job openings with educated and hard-working individuals.

The General Assembly enacted a new law that will help Hoosiers fill these positions by providing Workforce Training Grants and aligning career and technical education programs. In addition, the law increases per-student funding for high-school Career and Technical Education courses in high-demand job fields to help more Hoosiers be hired, employers succeed and drive Indiana’s economy forward.

Promoting Economic Development: A new policy establishing a five-year pilot program incentivizing local entrepreneurs in Elkhart, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Lafayette to launch and grow their businesses could help boost the local economy. This program is an effort to help improve and strengthen the business climate and create job opportunities.

Prioritizing Veteran Employment: A new measure ensuring veterans and their spouses are placed in federal and state job training programs will help them achieve meaningful employment. Indiana already has the lowest unemployment rate for veterans in the nation, and this law will continue to expand services for those who bravely served our country.

Follow #NewIndianaLaws on social media and our blog series for more laws enacted this legislative session.

Helping stroke patients

When someone suffers from a stroke, minutes count. A new law helping stroke patients receive necessary treatment could prevent permanent and extensive damage to the patient’s brain.

State Rep. Denny Zent successfully pushed for legislation this year providing EMS personnel with access to information about surrounding hospitals so they are able to decide which hospital is closest and best equipped to treat a stroke patient. This new law also encourages more hospitals to seek stroke certification.

Zent says this legislation deals with a health issue that could likely affect every Hoosier family at some point. The goal is to get the patients to the correct hospitals with the right equipment, the right personnel and the right protocols to receive treatment. This will help save time and lives.

Follow #NewIndianaLaws on social media and our blog series for more highlights of laws enacted this legislative session.

A Healthier Indiana

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, suicide has been the second-leading cause of death for youth ages 15 to 24 in Indiana since 2009. Reports show that in 2015, 49 of Indiana’s 92 counties had at least one young person die by suicide.

To raise awareness and decrease the number of youth suicides in Indiana, lawmakers supported a new policy that will require school staff to receive youth-suicide awareness and prevention training. Providing evidence-based suicide prevention and intervention training to school employees will help identify individuals who may be contemplating taking their own life and help them get treatment.

Here are highlights of other new laws benefiting the wellbeing of Hoosiers all over the state:

Fighting Cervical Cancer: According to the Indiana Cancer Consortium, approximately 250 new cervical cancer cases and 86 cervical cancer-related deaths occur annually among Hoosier women. This new measure tasks the Indiana State Department of Health with developing a statewide strategic plan to attack this problem. The department must work to identify barriers to cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment, while also developing public and private partnerships to increase cervical cancer awareness and recommend actions to reduce the number of Hoosier deaths associated with the disease.

Helping Epilepsy Patients: A new measure giving Hoosiers with treatment-resistant epilepsy the option to use cannabidiolas an alternative therapy should provide relief to many desperate patients. CBD oil is derived from industrial hemp, cannot be used as a recreational drug and has shown promise in treating the symptoms of severe epilepsy.

Expanding Addiction Treatment: Indiana is facing high levels of illegal drug abuse. According to a recent report, nearly a third of mothers who gave birth at one Indiana hospital tested positive for illegal drugs last year. This new law includes neonatal abstinence syndrome as a condition for determining if a newborn child is in need of services will help them receive immediate addiction treatment.

Follow #NewIndianaLaws on social media and our blog series for more highlights of laws enacted this legislative session.

Looking for fun summer activities the whole family can enjoy?

For upcoming events in your community and throughout the state, check out the 2017 Indiana Festival Guide. With county fairs, art and music festivals, car shows and everything in between, there is something for everyone in the Hoosier state.

Staying local is a good way to discover the best Indiana has to offer, connect with friends and family, save money and help support small businesses. In fact, Indiana welcomed 77 million visitors last year, generating more than $11.5 billion in revenue and supporting over 202,000 jobs.

Go to VisitIndiana.com for trip ideas and information on lodging, events and attractions, restaurants and even discounts. Copies of the festival guide, 2017 Indiana Travel Guide and other travel publications can be downloaded or mail-ordered for free at VisitIndiana.com or by calling 800­-677­-9800.

Summer is a great time in Indiana. Stay safe and experience all that our state has to offer!

 

Memorial Day is a time to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our country and the freedoms we enjoy today. Our appreciation for those who died defending the blessings of liberty is boundless.

To help protect war memorials around the state, the General Assembly enacted a new law this year allowing local governments to transfer ownership of these memorials and monuments to non-profit organizations who will see to their maintenance and upkeep, such as veterans groups or the Boys Scouts. By allowing these collaborative arrangements, we can prevent memorials dedicated to fallen Hoosier heroes from slipping into disrepair.

Another new law will allow the surviving spouses of veterans to indicate their status on their driver’s licenses or identification cards. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles will share this information with the Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs in order to ensure these families are connected with their county veteran service officers, who have specialized training and can offer resources and assistance.

The recently enacted two-year state budget also provides $1.82 million in funding for veteran service organizations, such as the American Legion and AMVETS, to improve assistance for veteran families seeking benefits and doubles funding for veteran problem-solving courts to $2 million.

As you enjoy Memorial Day weekend, please join House Republicans in remembering our fallen service members and those who are serving overseas today.

This session, House Republicans remained focused on strengthening our commitment to education in Indiana, which is why the new biennial budget increases base funding for each K-12 student statewide. Several new laws provide more tools and resources to Hoosier students and teachers:

Increasing Course Options: A new law providing access to specialty classes and programs not provided at certain schools will help all students regardless of where they are enrolled. Whether small, rural or urban, some schools may lack the necessary resources to provide advanced classes or trade programs in high-demand areas.

Retaining New Teachers: A new law establishing a mentorship program for new Hoosier teachers and administrators will encourage those in their first and second year to remain in the classroom. Studies suggest that most new teachers believe having access to a mentor has the largest impact on developing their effectiveness as an educator.

Reforming School Funding: A new measure creating two funding categories for schools, an education fund and an operations fund, will provide greater financial flexibility. Indiana invests over half of the state’s budget in K-12 education, but only 57 percent of school funding reaches classrooms. By allowing transfers between these two funds, schools will be able to direct more dollars where needed.

Our students hold the keys to our state’s bright future and House Republicans are dedicated to supporting commonsense policies like these that help them grow and succeed.

Follow #NewIndianaLaws on social media and our blog series for more highlights of laws enacted this legislative session.

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