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March 2017

Spring is here!

Last weekend welcomed the start of the spring season! Longer days and warmer weather present more opportunities to get outside and explore all that Indiana offers.

From hiking or camping in our breathtaking state parks to exploring Indiana’s culinary past and present, or participating in some of our states great festivals and events, there is always something new and exciting to do in Indiana. No matter where your adventure takes you, you’ll be greeted with Hoosier Hospitality.

To help you on your adventures, download a digital copy of the 2017 Indiana Travel Guide filled with tips on things to do, places to stay, local foods to savor and so much more. You can also find additional trip ideas and information by logging on to VisitIndiana.com.

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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.

 

 

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