Around the House


August 2019

Scholarships available to volunteer firefighters, EMS

Communities across the state depend on firefighters and EMS personnel to keep them safe. Many of these emergency responders are volunteers and we need more people to serve. In an effort to boost rosters at volunteer fire departments and volunteer EMS agencies, Ivy Tech Community College is offering free tuition to students who actively volunteer.

The Ivy Tech Community College Public Safety Scholarship is available for any degree-seeking student who is an active volunteer firefighter or EMS personnel. They can attend classes on a full-time or part-time basis.

Ivy Tech, with more than 40 locations across Indiana, is piloting this two-year program at the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Following the 2021-2022 school year, data on the program will go to the state to assess involvement, benefits and consider expanding the program in the future.

Many volunteer firefighters have other full-time jobs, and some may be looking to jumpstart or further advance their careers. Completing college courses at Ivy Tech can help them meet their goals, while saving money and protecting our communities.

The scholarship will cover tuition and technology fees for all credited programs at Ivy Tech, except for flight, aviation and general studies. Students are required to provide documentation to the registrar’s office that they volunteer as a firefighter or EMS personnel to qualify.

These volunteer departments are vital to protecting our homes and families, and this scholarship is a great step in thanking them for their service while attracting others to the field.

Click here for more information on the scholarship, applications and other financial aid opportunities.

Paid Statehouse Internships Available

The Indiana House Republican Caucus is accepting internship applications from students who are interested in getting a firsthand look at how their state government works during the 2020 legislative session, which starts in January.

An internship with House Republicans provides students opportunities to learn more about the legislative process while working directly with elected officials and staff. Students can gain valuable hands-on experience to set them apart from other candidates in the competitive job market.

More than 90 percent of employers look for tangible experience when hiring a candidate for a full-time position. The House Republican Internship Program has provided many students a jumpstart to their careers in state government and the private sector.

The internship run from January through mid-March, and are open to college sophomores, juniors and seniors, graduate students and recent graduates. These full-time positions provide $750 bi-weekly and opportunities to earn college credits.

Interns chosen for this experience are placed in 1 of 4 departments based on their interest and skill sets, including:

Legislative – Interns will work directly with a legislative assistant throughout the session. They will be responsible for tracking legislation, working with constituents and researching legislative questions or problems;

Communications – Students will be paired with a press secretary to help with media relations for a select group of state representatives. Some of the interns’ responsibilities will be covering press conferences, writing press releases and e-newsletters, helping with audio and video production, and coordinating interviews with reporters. Candidates with graphic design experience are also encouraged to apply.

Fiscal Policy – An intern will work with fiscal staff on matters that relate to Indiana’s finances and biennial budget; or

Policy – The intern will work with staff to track and analyze legislation.

To learn more about the Indiana House Republican Internship Program, visit The deadline to apply is Oct. 31.

State announces major broadband expansion

Gov. Eric Holcomb recently announced an initial round of broadband infrastructure expansion projects for several rural areas. It is part of the new state budget passed in the 2019 legislative session that all Indiana House Republicans supported.

The Next Level Broadband program awarded just over $22 million in funding for broadband expansion in 11 locations across Indiana. This will provide reliable and affordable internet access to underserved areas in 12 counties, including more than 4,800 homes and businesses.

Indiana’s Next Level Broadband program is a $100 million investment in ensuring rural residents are connected to dependable internet service, helping to close a digital divide with those who live in our urban centers.

For the first round of funding, telecommunications providers applied for up to $5 million in funding to expand internet service to unserved areas if they offered at least a 20 percent match. Unserved areas are defined as those that don’t even have one provider with internet speeds of at least 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload – considered the speeds necessary for the most basic service.

Seven providers and utility cooperatives pledged $14 million to match Next Level Broadband’s $22.1 million commitment, totaling just over $36 million in new internet service for the state. The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, tasked with leading the application process, selected 11 projects.

Those broadband expansions will result in internet service of up to one gigabyte, the highest download and upload speeds currently available on the market. Click here for more details.

The broadband infrastructure improvements are just one facet of Holcomb’s $1 billion Next Level Connections program. Other objectives include expediting major highway projects, generating more nonstop flights at state airports and expanding railroads in northwest Indiana. A commitment to providing superior infrastructure establishes economic opportunities for all Hoosiers.

Stop for children, school buses

As children return to school and more buses are on the roads, it is important for motorists to know the laws and prioritize safety.

When a bus is stopped with its flashing red lights activated and its stop arm extended, drivers are required to stop when approaching a school bus from any direction. If motorists are on a highway that is divided by a barrier or unpaved area, they are required to stop if they are traveling in the same direction as the school bus. If there is no barrier, all lanes in all directions must stop.

While most drivers follow these traffic laws, there are still some who are either unaware or disregard the law completely. In fact, Hoosier bus drivers report an average of more than 2,500 stop-arm violations each day.

To keep young Hoosiers safe and hold motorists accountable, lawmakers passed a law increasing the penalties for individuals who fail to stop when a school bus stop arm is extended. Through the new law, the penalty for injuring or killing someone as a result of recklessly passing a school bus has been increased, which could potentially mean larger fines, and longer jail sentences for violators. A court can also suspend your driver’s license for 90 days, or for a year if it’s your second offense.

For the safety of both children and drivers, it is important to continuously watch out for school buses and the students around them as they return to the roads this month.

Click here to see helpful tips for motorists to best keep young Hoosiers safe.

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