Search

Around the House

Featured Podcast

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.

Featured post

Protecting Hoosier Newborns, Expectant Mothers

For the 2022 legislative session, a continued focus for Indiana House Republicans is to further reduce the state’s infant and maternal mortality rates.

House Bill 1254, which unanimously passed the Indiana House of Representatives, would help Hoosier babies by streamlining the state’s newborn medical screening process. Every newborn in Indiana is screened for over 50 health disorders prior to leaving the hospital or within five days of a home birth. Currently, adding a new screening for newborns requires legislative action, which can add unnecessary delays to the process.

Under this legislation, a panel of medical experts would vet and add screenings to the state’s list, which could speed up the process and potentially save lives. These screenings are important because many medical disorders can be hard to detect. Treating these conditions early could make all the difference in the long-term health outcomes of each baby. Learn more about the Indiana Newborn Screening Program at in.gov/health/gnbs.

House Bill 1140 would provide pregnant Hoosiers greater access to Medicaid benefits by increasing the ceiling on income requirements and extending the timeframe during which they can receive coverage. The legislation, passed by the House and now with the Indiana Senate for consideration, would raise the family income requirement for Medicaid from 200% to 208% of the federal income poverty level. The Medicaid coverage period would also be extended to a full year after pregnancy, as opposed to the current 60 days.

According to a recent report by the Indiana Mortality Review Committee, 85% of pregnancy-related deaths occurred postpartum. Of those deaths, 56% occurred after six weeks. Every life is sacred, and Indiana House Republicans will continue their efforts to protect Hoosier mothers and newborns. To learn more about proposed legislation and watch session, visit iga.in.gov.

Reducing local jail overcrowding, boosting public safety efforts

According to a recent report from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, 77% of Indiana’s jails are overcrowded or at capacity.

House Bill 1004 would provide judicial flexibility so Level 6 felony offenders can be sent to the Indiana Department of Correction. Nearly 75% of all 2021 felony criminal filings were Level 6 felonies, and the DOC often offers greater access to mental health and addiction treatment services than many local jails.

According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, 4 of the top 10 felony filings are substance related, like drug possession or operating while intoxicated. At the DOC, they offer solution-based programming to help break down barriers to successful re-entry into society. IDOC programming includes education, employment/vocational, apprenticeship opportunities, reformative programming and addiction recovery services.

With the county jail population strongly connected to drug-related offenses, providing treatment to incarcerated felons would help reduce overall crime in our communities and lower recidivism rates.

Several organizations voiced support for House Bill 1004, including the Indiana Department of Correction, Indiana Judges Association, Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council and Indiana Sheriffs Association.

Follow House Bill 1004 as it moves through the legislative process at iga.in.gov.

Supporting Hoosier Nurses, Addressing Health Care Worker Shortage

We’re working to support Hoosier nurses and address the state’s health care worker shortage. With more than 4,000 current nursing job openings statewide, it’s important to take steps to boost hiring pipelines.

House Bill 1003 would provide flexibility to Indiana’s nurses seeking licensure, give flexibility to nursing programs and nurse educators to help meet workforce needs, and help nursing students working to obtain the required hours to be licensed. 

By 2031, Indiana will need 5,000 additional nurses and nursing programs will need to increase their graduating classes by 1,350 each year to meet this need. Pandemic-related protocols complicated matters even more by prolonging the process for many nursing seeking licensure. This legislation, authored by State Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Logansport) would allow nursing programs to increase enrollment at faster rates, accept clinical simulation hours, and reduce the required amount of experience needed for a registered nurse to become a nursing instructor – all while maintaining high-quality training for all nursing students. 

We value nurses and all of their efforts to keep Hoosiers healthy. House Bill 1003, supported by hospital systems, nursing schools, long-term care facilities, the Indiana Nurses Association, Indiana Hospital Association and Indiana Health Care Association, is a commonsense approach to alleviating the state’s severe nursing shortage.

Follow House Bill 1003 as it moves through the legislative process at iga.in.gov.

Putting Hoosier families, workers first

Indiana House Republicans are continuing to put Hoosier families and workers first during the 2022 legislative session, while kicking Indiana’s positive momentum into overdrive.

House Republicans are focused on protecting individual rights and jobs, returning money to taxpayers while maintaining fiscal integrity, supporting nurses as we address the health care worker shortage, and boosting resources to fight crime.  

With House Bill 1001, we want to help end Indiana’s state of emergency and strengthen COVID-19 vaccine exemptions to protect employees from unfair termination and retaliation by employers.

As the state’s fiscal outlook outpaces expectations, money should be returned to taxpayers who proved their resiliency throughout the pandemic. Under House Bill 1002,we would reduce Indiana’s individual income tax and encourage new investments by lowering business personal property taxes while ensuring that homeowners and schools aren’t negatively impacted. We’ll also help lower Hoosiers’ utility bills by repealing the Utility Receipts Tax. This bill can help Indiana put money back into the pockets of Hoosier taxpayers – where it belongs.

Hoosier nurses are on the frontlines of taking care of us and our loved ones in our time of need. To strengthen the health care workforce pipeline, House Republicans are proposing legislation to provide more flexibility to nurses seeking licensure along with nursing programs and their nursing students and educators.

To keep our communities safe, address jail overcrowding and help local officials redirect resources to where they matter the most, House Republicans are dedicated to giving judges the flexibility to sentence all felony offenders to the Indiana Department of Correction. State facilities are also often better equipped to provide mental health and addiction treatment.

Visit IndianaHouseRepublicans.com to learn more about how we are putting Hoosier families and workers first.

Communities ready to grow with record state investment

Hoosier communities across all 17 regions will receive $500 million as part of a new, innovative state grant aimed at mapping out programs, initiatives and projects to retain today’s talent and attract the workforce of tomorrow. During the 2021 legislative session, House Republicans supported making a record investment in the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, or READI, to encourage communities to partner and create a plan to boost our economy.

Regional development plans across the state included housing, trails, broadband, childcare and wellness initiatives, workforce development programs, and telling Indiana’s story to the world. The plans enumerated a nearly 10:1 capitalization leverage ratio from private and public sources as compared to the state investment.

This program is expected to have a significant return of investment of at least $2 billion in public, private and philanthropic match funding.

READI builds on the framework and successes of the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative and the 21st Century Talent Initiative, encouraging regional collaboration and data-driven, long-term planning that, when implemented, will attract and retain talent in Indiana.

Indiana’s fiscal responsibility and strong conservative leadership over the last decade put us in the position to make this large and beneficial investment on behalf of Hoosier communities large and small. To further boost our state’s economy, House Republicans will push hard this session for responsible and prudent tax cuts while continuing to fund critical services and working together to improve our workforce.

Click here for a full list of READI award recipients and visit iedc.in.gov to learn more about the READI initiative.

Great News For Hoosier Taxpayers

Indiana’s economy continues making an unprecedented comeback, with an unemployment rate at a 20-year low and revenue outpacing expectations. This month, Hoosier taxpayers received some great news.

Over 4 million taxpayers are expected to receive a $125 tax refund after they file their taxes next year. In Indiana, reserve balances in excess of 12.5% of the next year’s budget is required to be split, with half dedicated to pay down pension obligations and the other half given back to taxpayers. About $545 million will go to taxpayers and another $545 million toward pension liabilities. This will be the second time Hoosiers will receive an automatic taxpayer refund due to a law passed in 2011.

Also, Indiana’s most recent revenue forecast indicates the state will collect about $3.3 billion more in revenue over the biennium than projected under the April 2021 revenue forecast. With the new revenue forecast, total reserves could exceed $5 billion at the end of fiscal year 2022. That’s why House Republicans will push hard this session for responsible and prudent tax cuts while maintaining our strong reserves, funding critical services and investing in our future.  

Indiana’s fiscal responsibility and strong leadership continues to pay dividends for Hoosier taxpayers, and lawmakers are looking forward to keeping up the momentum in 2022.

Innovative Solution For Investigating Crimes

Technology is advancing, and so is the state’s efforts to process digital evidence, which can be the key to solving crimes.

In Indiana, local prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and colleges and universities are teaming up to form new high tech crime units. These units will provide digital forensic services to all of Indiana’s 92 counties, working from 10 regional hubs strategically located throughout the state. This collaboration will help law enforcement investigate and solve crimes.

House Republicans championed the law paving the way for this teamwork so criminal justice students can work with county prosecutors’ offices to analyze and process digital evidence, which takes significant resources. The effort could result in a faster turnaround for investigations and more thorough investigations, while criminal justice students gain valuable, hands-on experience.

These new high tech crime units are expected to begin fully operating at the start of next year.

Keeping dangerous criminals off our streets and helping victims get the justice they deserve remains a top priority for House Republican lawmakers.

Together We Care

The holidays are a time to help those in need. As Afghan refugees temporarily housed at Camp Atterbury face winter, Indiana House legislators are hosting a donation drive to support those who supported our military.

In September, more than 6,000 Afghans arrived at Camp Atterbury with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. House legislators are now collecting needed items for the refugees as they begin a new life in America.

Donation boxes are set up around the Statehouse in Indianapolis where new, unbranded clothing items for men, women, children and babies, as well as baby formula, can be dropped off. Donation bins are located outside the House Chamber on the third floor, and on the fourth floor of the Statehouse.

Other opportunities to help by volunteering or making direct donations toward the resettlement efforts can be made through Team Rubicon.

Let’s come together to support Afghan refugees at Camp Atterbury, many of whom are young children. For more information, click here.

Shopping Online? Don’t Get Scammed!

Holiday shopping is well underway. Along with many Hoosiers seeking popular and special gifts for loved ones, scammers are also out in force looking for ways to steal your money and personal information. Here are tips on how to shop online safely this holiday season.

When shopping online, it’s important to ensure the website is legitimate. Scammers will create websites that mimic popular merchants and brands. It’s safer to bookmark or navigate to a retailer’s official website than it is to click links that are emailed or found in online ads and social media. Signs of a fake website include misspellings, no contact information and an amateurish design. It’s also best to avoid businesses that are unfamiliar to you without first researching them.

Even shopping on legitimate websites can lead to being scammed. Specifically, Hoosiers should be cautious of online stores offering products and services sold by third parties. Those lacking reviews or selling items at prices that seem unusually low need extra scrutiny. Check the return policy for both the store and seller before buying anything.

When paying for gifts online, using a credit card or electronic payment service such as PayPal is safer than a debit card. Credit cards provide more protection against fraud while debit cards pull money directly from a bank account, which can make it more difficult to recover funds lost to fraud. E-payment services are preferable because they do not disclose credit card numbers to vendors.

Ultimately, use caution when shopping online. Don’t assume a merchant is legit unless you’ve purchased from their website before or confirmed it’s official. And don’t buy anything if you have any doubts about a website’s legitimacy. For more tips on safe online shopping, visit the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division or the National Cybersecurity Alliance. Hoosiers who believe they’ve been scammed should report it at IndianaConsumer.com or call 800-382-5516.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑