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May 2016

While communities throughout the state will be celebrating Memorial Day in their own ways, it is important that we remember the true meaning of the holiday: to honor our service members who gave their last full measure of devotion to our nation.

Unfortunately, there are instances where Hoosier veterans pass away without living family members to make proper burial arrangements. To ensure these heroes receive a burial recognizing their commitment to our country, the General Assembly recently enacted a new law tasking the Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs to work with veteran service organizations to establish a set of standards for the unclaimed remains of deceased veterans. Another new law will double the amount of money dedicated to funeral expenses for Indiana National Guard members who pass away in the line of duty.

There will never be enough that we can do to repay our veterans, but House Republicans are committed to continuing to find ways to show our appreciation and gratitude for their sacrifice to their country and all of us.

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Indiana recently reached many milestones in terms of economic development.

According to the April Bureau of Labor Statistics report released by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the state added 12,000 jobs last month, resulting in 152,100 new private-sector jobs since January 2013.

Indiana also paid off its federal unemployment loan, saving Hoosier businesses $126 per employee or $327 million in penalties. As a result of a federal loan used to pay Hoosier unemployment claims during the 2008 recession, businesses across Indiana were paying a tax penalty, which will now be diminished to only the base federal unemployment tax. Indiana’s savings account can continue to grow at a safe rate in case of another economic downturn.

The annual Moody’s report ranked Indiana as having the 11th-lowest public debt in the nation, and Indiana’s AAA credit rating has been reaffirmed. Indiana has held the highest possible rating with all three credit agencies since April 2010, reflecting the state’s commitment to a balanced budget and strong reserves.

According to Chief Executive’s annual “Best & Worst States for Business” ranking, Indiana has established itself as the best state in the Midwest for doing business. House Republicans will work to maintain and further the state’s economic success through fiscal responsibility and supporting pro-growth policies.

Did you know? One in five Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime.

Since 1949, May has been a month dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the stigma around mental illness in the United States. This year’s theme for Mental Health Month is “Life with a Mental Illness.” Mental Health America is asking individuals to share their experiences through words, pictures and video by tagging their social media posts with #MentalIllnessFeelsLike.

With more than 75 percent of repeat offenders facing some sort of addiction or mental health issue, it is crucial that we find ways to get those individuals the help that they need. House Republicans supported legislation in the 2016 session to reduce recidivism in Indiana’s judicial system by encouraging collaboration between the Division of Mental Health and Addiction, probation departments, community correction agencies and all local criminal justice agencies that receive any funding from the Department of Correction (DOC) for community supervision of adult offenders. The new law will allow the DOC to provide additional grants to county jails to implement evidence-based mental health and addiction forensic treatment services. Counties will also establish and operate pretrial release programs, diversion programs, community corrections programs and court supervised recidivism programs.

House Republicans also supported legislation to allow advanced practice nurses or addiction counselors to bill Medicaid for mental health or addiction services. The goal is to provide more flexibility when treating these disorders and increase the number of mental health professionals in Indiana.

To learn more about mental illness, warning signs and treatment options, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness website.

Indiana House Republicans achieved an overall average score of nearly 95 percent for supporting pro-jobs and pro-economy legislation in the 2016 session of the Indiana General Assembly.

The annual Legislative Vote Analysis, conducted by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, reflects votes cast in favor of legislation to further economic development. In addition to receiving top scores, seven Republican representatives also earned a star designation for overall leadership or for playing a significant role in addressing critical issues.

Visit the Indiana Chamber’s website to see the full report, including legislation considered and scores for each legislator.

House Republicans are dedicated to making Indiana a welcoming state where businesses can thrive and hire more hardworking Hoosiers as we keep the momentum going for our continued economic success.

Indiana is the best state for doing business

Indiana is in the top five states in the nation and best in the Midwest for doing business, according to Chief Executive’s annual “Best & Worst States for Business” ranking.

Over 500 CEOs across the country participated in the study, which measures factors including tax and regulations, work force quality and living environment. Indiana ranks third in the nation in work force quality, tenth in tax and regulatory policy and seventeenth in living environment.

To build on our reputation and continue supporting Hoosier employers, the state offers an online portal serving those who are the driving force behind our economy and livelihoods.

By visiting INBiz, Hoosiers can register their businesses, file reports and request key corporate documents such as a Certificate of Existence. INBiz is also home to other key resources, including tax registration, permits, trademarks, unemployment and minority certification.

House Republicans will continue supporting policies that help our employers succeed and hire more hardworking Hoosiers, while at the same time, making it very clear to entrepreneurs that Indiana is the best place to launch their businesses.

Indiana transparency ranks top in the nation

Indiana continues to be a national leader in financial transparency. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group gave Indiana’s Transparency Portal (ITP) a perfect score in a report, titled ‘Following the Money 2016: How the 50 states rate in providing online access to government spending data.’ Indiana increased its score for the third year in a row, and ranked among the top 3 states in the nation.

The ITP was designed to bring better visibility, openness and accountability to Indiana State Government. The portal contains information ranging from agency budgets to state contracts and agency performance measures in order to give Indiana taxpayers a detailed look at the state’s finances. You can access the online database by visiting www.in.gov/itp.

House Republicans have worked hard to further transparency initiatives by launching live-streamed legislative session and committee meetings. Transparency and fiscal responsibility remain a top priority for our caucus.

While we celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week, we’d also like to congratulate the top ranked Indiana high schools.

Every year, U.S. News & World Report releases their list of the best high schools in each state. Indiana’s list is topped by the Signature School in Evansville, followed by Zionsville Community High School in second place and Indianapolis’ Herron High School in third place.

To see the full list of ranked Indiana high schools, visit http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/indiana/rankings?int=c0b4c1.

Congratulations to the administrations, students and educators of these top high schools, and thank you to all Hoosier teachers. You continue to make Indiana a great place for children to learn and grow.

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