Around the House


June 2017

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.

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