Around the House


January 2018

FAFSA help in February

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

The FAFSA must be filed by April 15 to be eligible for state financial aid.

To help families navigate the application process, financial aid experts will be providing assistance for college-bound students across Indiana from 2-4 p.m. on Feb. 25, during College Goal Sunday. Students who attend could win 1 of 10, $1,000 scholarships. There will be 40 sites statewide – click here for the location nearest you.

Can’t make it to a College Goal Sunday event? Learn tips for filling out FAFSA and common mistakes to avoid by clicking here. You can also explore different types of financial aid by clicking here. If you need any assistance submitting the application, call 1-800-4FED-AID.

Strengthening Indiana’s Workforce

Indiana created one of the most promising and inviting business climates in the country. By lowering state taxes and removing burdensome regulations, we attracted nearly 30,000 job commitments in 2017 alone. Now, we need to ensure Hoosiers can fill those positions. Indiana currently invests $1 billion each year in 30 different workforce development programs across nine state agencies, yet employers still struggle to find qualified workers to fill high-demand, high-wage jobs.

Strengthening Indiana’s workforce and continuing to grow the state’s economy are top priorities for House Republicans this session. House Bill 1002, authored by State Rep. Todd Huston, aims to revamp the state’s workforce programs and funding by using return-on-investment metrics to determine which programs are successful and where improvements are needed. Identifying where our programs overlap will help streamline efforts to make the system more efficient and beneficial to Hoosier jobseekers and employers.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development would also have two employees at each WorkOne center, which connects Hoosier employers and jobseekers with state resources, to inform local school officials and students of available grants and programs. Career and technical education students would have the opportunity to opt into a database, which would help connect them with employers and open positions in their communities.

If you are a job seeker or a Hoosier business looking to hire, you can visit This resource connects Indiana employers with qualified workers and offers training resources to those looking to skill up.

Continuing efforts to attract, retain and train more workers in high-demand fields will help increase Hoosiers’ wages and grow the economy.

January is National Blood Donor Month

According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds. To put that in perspective, approximately 38 people will need blood in the time it takes to read this blog post.

January is National Blood Donor month, and blood banks across the state are desperate for donations. The Indiana Blood Center started the 2018 year with less than a day’s supply. Blood types such as B-positive, O-positive and O-negative, are critically low in stock. O-negative, the universal donor, is the most sought after because not all blood types are compatible. However, it is still vital to have a ready supply of all types in order to prepare for emergency situations.

The American Red Cross is facing a shortage with 61,000 fewer donations than normal. When considering how one pint — or one donation — of blood can save up to three lives, over 180,000 people could have been helped. That is nearly equivalent to the population of Evansville, Valparaiso, and Zionsville combined.

There is no way to replicate or substitute human blood, which is why donations are crucial. Typically, it takes less than an hour and a half to donate blood and save a life. That time includes going over the donor’s medical history, getting a small physical, the act of donating blood and recovering with snacks.

There are many locations throughout Indiana where you can donate blood. Find the center nearest you by searching through Indiana Blood Center’s locations here. The American Red Cross shows blood drives in your area when you provide your zip code. Both organizations allow for scheduled appointments or walk-ins.

To learn more about the donation process, eligibility requirements, safety and more, take a look at the Donation FAQ page on the Red Cross website.

For more facts and statistics about the donation process, check out the Indiana Blood Center’s website, or the American Red Cross page.

Start of Session

The 2018 legislative session kicked off earlier this month with House Speaker Brian C. Bosma announcing the House Republican agenda.

In addition to strengthening Indiana’s workforce, attacking the opioid epidemic and increasing government efficiency, Indiana House Republicans will focus on boosting educational funding for K-12 schools to account for a higher than expected increase in enrollment for traditional public schools.

There are many important issues being addressed this legislative session that affect Hoosiers across the state. Multiple resources are available to help you stay informed as new laws are being made.

Track legislation, watch committee meetings and view session live on the Indiana General Assembly’s website here.

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