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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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In Indiana, there are nearly 250 new cases of cervical cancer and 85 cervical cancer-related deaths among women each year. Cervical cancer is almost completely preventable through regular, routine screenings, avoidance of controllable risk factors and vaccination.

House Bill 1278, authored by State Rep. Sharon Negele from Attica, would require the Indiana State Department of Health to develop a statewide strategic plan to decrease Indiana’s cervical cancer mortality rate. Specifically, ISDH would be tasked with identifying barriers to cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment, developing public and private partnerships to increase cervical cancer awareness, and recommend actions to reduce the number of deaths associated with the disease.

Most cases of cervical cancer are found in women who are aged 50 or younger, but oftentimes older women do not realize that the risk of developing cervical cancer is still present as they age. Women need proper resources and information to help protect themselves. By starting the conversation between policymakers and health professionals, we can help educate the public and raise awareness about the ways to prevent and treat cervical cancer.

After being passed unanimously by the House of Representatives and Senate, the bill can now be signed into law by the governor.

Roads for Our Future

Few government policies touch as many aspects of Hoosiers’ daily lives as road funding. Indiana’s roads and bridges connect our homes, schools, offices, factories and farms, and are indispensable arteries for our manufacturing and logistics-based economy.

Indiana ranks among the top manufacturing states in the nation, and 80 percent of our manufactured goods are transported to worldwide markets across Hoosier highways. Poor roads and bridges create longer travel times, resulting in a higher costs for businesses to produce and transport their goods. If transportation infrastructure is not placed on a fiscally sustainable path, Indiana’s current long-term economic competitiveness will be undermined.

The philosophy behind the House Republican long-term, data-driven plan is simple: the more we drive, the more we pay. Experts estimate our state highway system requires an average of $1.2 billion in additional annual funding over the next 20 years. The plan regains lost buying power by increasing user fees by 10 cents per gallon on gasoline, and directs all of the sales tax on gas to roads. Our proposal creates another ongoing funding source for local roads through a $15 annual motor vehicle fee and $150 annual fee for electric cars.

Indiana’s road conditions cost the average Hoosier motorist $491 in annual repairs. Currently the average Hoosier motorist pays just $19 per month in road-funding taxes. Our plan would only cost Indiana drivers an additional $5 per month. Put in perspective, the average monthly bills for cell phone service is $53 and cable television at $60, are considerably higher. If a long-term plan is not adopted, we can expect congestion, delays, frustration and costs to increase.

Show support for this data-driven plan on social media by tweeting #investINroads, and don’t forget to post photos of the worst potholes in your area with the hashtag #IndianaPotholes. Click here to learn more about our pothole contest.

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Statehouse Build

Indiana lawmakers and staff participated in the first ever Habitat for Humanity Statehouse Build!

Over 160 volunteers partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Indiana today to help build a home for a hard-working single mother and her 8-year-old daughter.

House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis), House Democrat Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City), Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) and Senate Democrat Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) joined Habitat for Humanity of Indiana and the home recipient to formally kick off the event.

Participants set a goal of $30,000 for the cost of the construction, and were able to raise $50,500 thanks to numerous donations. Earlier this year, the legislature launched a new and used tool drive, ultimately collecting $3,500 in new and used tools.

Follow all of the action of build day on social media with the hashtag #StatehouseBuild.

Habitat for Humanity of Indiana is a non-profit organization serving 75 counties. The organization sells homes with affordable, interest-free mortgages. To begin the application process, families must demonstrate their ability to pay a mortgage and manage their finances. Once a family is accepted into the program, they contribute sweat equity hours and attend homebuyer education classes.

Learn how to get involved with Habitat for Humanity of Indiana here.

 

 

The positive recognition just keeps rolling in for Indiana!

Indiana stands out as the No. 1 state for government administration in the U.S. News Best States for Government ranking.

Many factors were weighed in the score, including fiscal stability, which looks at pension liability, state credit ratings and revenue versus expenses in state budgets; budget transparency, which is based on transparency and usefulness of state government tools to measure spending and budget data; government digitalization, which is based on use of technology to serve citizens in a variety of categories; and state integrity, which evaluated anti-corruption measures in political financing, electoral oversight and more.

A leaner, more efficient state government has led to a decade of honestly balanced budgets, healthy reserves, fully funded pension liabilities and a AAA credit rating.

Read what Speaker Brian Bosma has to say about Indiana’s latest ranking here.

 

The average Hoosier driver spends nearly $500 extra each year in car repairs due to the condition of our roads. The time for long-term road funding solutions is here.  Participate in our photo contest by sharing your story and photos of the worst potholes in your neighborhood using #IndianaPotholes on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

The winning photo will be highlighted in the Indiana House Chamber upon final passage of House Bill 1002, our long-term road funding plan.

The single most important form for helping students receive money to go to college is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. All students, regardless of income level, who are planning to attend college must complete the FAFSA form every year. The FAFSA form is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships and student loans.

The FAFSA MUST be filed by March 10 to be eligible for Indiana financial aid.

To help families navigate the application process, financial aid experts will be providing assistance for college bound students across Indiana during College Goal Sunday on Feb. 12. Students who attend could win one of ten $1000 scholarships.

For more information about the event visit www.CollegeGoalSunday.org. Click here for the location nearest you.

Indiana’s Bicentennial Celebration

After a year of Bicentennial celebrations, the big day is here!

Celebrate the finale of Indiana’s Bicentennial year at “Ignite the Future.” This free, family event will take place on Statehood Day, Dec. 11, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds inside the Indiana Farmers Coliseum from 10 a.m. to noon. The two-hour program will include a variety of speakers from diverse faith backgrounds as well as music, dance and more.

The Indiana Historical Society is also hosting a 200th birthday bash on Statehood Day from noon to 4:30 p.m. There will be daylong activities, crafts, two special productions, a balloon drop and much more. The event is free for IHS members or included with admission to the Indiana Experience exhibit.

Bicentennial Signature Projects throughout 2016 included the Bicentennial Plaza, which is located west of the Statehouse and includes two public art pieces interpreting the Indiana Torch and an interactive time capsule.

The Bicentennial Torch Relay was an exciting event where peer nominated torchbearers passed on the torch in distinct ways that represent Indiana’s heritage. The torch was relayed through all 92 counties within a five-week period.

To learn more about the Indiana Bicentennial Celebration and Statehood Day events, visit ww.Indiana2016.org.

 

This past year, Indiana experienced a more than 18 percent increase in the number of new teacher license recipients. This trend could continue as students begin applying for the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship.

This scholarship is designed to attract Indiana’s best and brightest to enter the teaching profession. Recipients will receive up to $7,500 per year of college, but they must commit to teaching in Indiana for five years after earning their degrees.

To qualify, students must either graduate in the top 20 percent of their class or earn a score in the top 20th percentile on the SAT or ACT. While attending college, students must earn a 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete at least 30 credit hours per year to continue earning the scholarship.

This scholarship is available to up to 200 Hoosiers each year.

Those interested in applying need to be nominated by a teacher and submit the nomination form to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. The Commission is accepting applications now, so please get your materials ready in order to meet the Dec. 31 deadline.

To all of our educators, thank you for your commitment to our students. For those just beginning their teaching careers, we look forward to seeing you grow as a professional while contributing to the success of our future generations.

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