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July 2019

2019 Indiana State Fair Kicks Off

For more than 165 years, generations of families have enjoyed the Indiana State Fair. From Aug. 2-18, this annual Hoosier tradition will again offer a vast number of activities for all ages to enjoy.

This year, the fair will focus on everyday Heroes of the Heartland whose exceptional commitment and caring enrich our lives without the benefit of capes, costumes or superpowers. These farmers, teachers, law officers, firefighters and members of the Armed Forces are our support and our strength. Click here to submit a photo of your Hoosier hero and to find the schedule of the fair’s cultural heroes.

For fans of comic-book super heroes, you can check out the Super City: Where Heroes Unite! interactive exhibit. Each day, a different super hero from either DC or Marvel comics will be available for daily meet and greets at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. A super hero virtual reality experience will also be available.

The Free Stage will feature a variety of musical acts including Ace Freely of Kiss, Air Supply, KC & The Sunshine Band, and Boyz II Men. The Hoosier Lottery Grandstand will also provide plenty of entertainment with a mixture of free and charged admission events. An illuminated tractor parade, hot air balloon launch, and traditional events like the high school band and cheerleading competitions, along with the tractor pull and rodeo are sure to be crowd pleasers.

Click here to check out other shows and competitions on the schedule.

There are over a dozen new foods to try this year, including bacon poutine, bison hush puppies and the trifecta hero dreamsicle.

If you’re planning to visit the Indiana State Fair, be sure to check out the promotional days and deals. Days dedicated to military personnel, first responders and other causes give guests the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets. Click here to view a full list of Indiana State Fair ticket deals.

Check out IndianaStateFair.com for more information.

*Photo attributed to the Indiana State Fair

Schools eligible for safety grants

Schools seeking additional funds for safety improvements can apply for the Secured School Safety Grant. Applications to receive funding through the program need to be submitted before Aug. 2 and can be found by clicking here.

Grants can be used for hiring school resource officers, conducting threat assessments, making safety improvements to buildings, and covering startup costs for “active event” warning systems to quickly notify emergency responders.

State lawmakers recently appropriated an additional $5 million to the fund, which now totals $19 million.

School safety is critical, and these grants help schools take important steps to protect students and foster a positive learning environment. From providing money to schools to update security to being prepared for active shooter scenarios, Indiana is addressing the issue from all sides.

Since being established under law in 2013, the Indiana Secured School Safety Grant Program has delivered more than $53 million in matching grants to Indiana school districts across the state.

Grant awards will be determined by Sept. 1, 2019.

To learn more about the program, access school safety resources, and to sign up for updates please visit: https://www.in.gov/dhs/securedschoolsafety.htm

Indiana top state for infrastructure

Indiana is home to more than 80,000 miles of highly traveled roadways, making it all the more important to maintain and preserve our roads and bridges. In recent years, House Republicans worked hard to support and improve our state’s infrastructure in a comprehensive, responsible and sustainable way. These efforts have paid off, as Indiana was recently ranked No. 1 in the country for infrastructure by CNBC.

In 2017, Hoosier lawmakers supported the largest, fully funded infrastructure investment plan in state history. This conservative plan ensures Indiana’s roads are paid for by the motorists who use them, without passing any debt to future generations. The plan also created the Community Crossings Matching Grant program, which awards millions of dollars each year to local communities for road and bridge improvement projects.

Though construction zones can be frustrating at times, our roads require ongoing maintenance to keep Hoosier motorists safe. To help Hoosiers navigate work zones, the Indiana Department of Transportation created a few helpful tools. TrafficWise gives information on traffic conditions, road closures and travel times, and CARS 511 shows road conditions, closures and width/weight restrictions. Both of these online resources, as well as other information on current road construction projects, can be found on the INDOT website. The state also has an INDOT Mobile app, available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Indiana’s commitment to improving our roads and bridges is working for Hoosier motorists and businesses. This recognition from CNBC highlights Indiana as a leader in infrastructure, and reinforces our reputation as the Crossroads of America. Click here to learn more.

Supporting Young Hoosiers with Disabilities

Oftentimes, parents or guardians of children with disabilities incur additional expenses, which can put a strain on the wallets of families just trying to do what is best for their child.

Indiana First Steps is the state’s early intervention system, which works to ensure all Indiana families with infants and toddlers experiencing developmental delays or disabilities have access to services like medical care, counseling, speech and physical therapy and more. Through First Steps, young Hoosiers with disabilities are provided the tools and support needed to more easily navigate their world and prepare them to live more independently today and in the future.

Families with children ages 3 and under who are experiencing developmental delays or have a diagnosed condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay may be eligible for First Steps services. Families who qualify for Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program will be considered eligible for First Steps services, without having to go through additional application processes.

Under a new law passed this year, the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services will review and revise their policy regarding make-up therapy sessions. Families will now be able to make up missed appointments, ensuring their child is not missing out on important care. Lawmakers also worked to streamline the application process for First Steps and the new two-year state budget doubled funding available for the program, helping more Hoosier children get the care they need.

These changes are just a few of the ways House Republicans continue to support young Hoosiers with disabilities and their families.

For more information on the First Steps program, visit the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration at www.in.gov/fssa.

Progress In Fight Against Opioid Epidemic

According to a new report from the American Medical Association Opioid Task Force, opioid prescriptions in Indiana decreased by 35 percent over the past five years, a sign of progress in the state’s efforts to combat addiction.

The opioid epidemic has impacted countless Indiana families, resulting in addiction and drug overdose deaths.

Prescribed opioids can be effective, but are also highly addictive pain relievers. In fact, many become addicted and turn to less expensive and easy to obtain heroin or other illegal drugs.

Through implementing commonsense solutions to mitigate this serious health threat, efforts to slow down the illicit use of opioids are paying off. Working to solve the opioid epidemic in Indiana is critical issue that could save lives, and first responders, lawmakers and organizations like the Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse are working tirelessly to create a united front against the opioid epidemic.

By requiring doctors and pharmacists to check Indiana’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database before prescribing or dispensing an opioid, new laws have curbed drug users’ ability to illegally obtain multiple prescriptions. To help stop addiction before it starts, steps have been taken to limit the amount of opioids that can be prescribed to individuals.

These efforts, combined with stronger punishments for drug dealers and providing more treatment options for Hoosiers, are helping the state tackle this epidemic from all angles.

Still, too many are facing addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling, please connect with Indiana 2-1-1 for help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 or visit www.samhsa.gov.

To read the full report from the American Medical Association Opioid Task Force, click here.

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