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Around the House

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The Indiana House Republican Caucus is the majority caucus of the Indiana House of Representatives & has 70 legislators, led by House Speaker Brian Bosma.

Changing Lives Through Adoption

November is recognized as National Adoption Month, and this year’s focus is on adopting a child through the foster care system. There are currently more than 9,000 Hoosier children in foster care, and many of them are waiting to be adopted.

If you are able, consider welcoming one of Indiana’s most vulnerable into your life. A safe place to call home and a loving family can have a big impact on a child.

Many may think becoming an adoptive parent is difficult and costly, but most adults qualify after meeting these few requirements, including a background check, home study and 16 hours of training. There is no requirement for owning your home, being married or having children of your own. In fact, some children do better as an only child or in a single-parent household.

Throughout the month of November, the Department of Child Services is hosting events through the state. Click here to find a nearby event. Visit adoptachild.in.gov or call 888-25-ADOPT to learn about children eligible for adoption and how you can change a child’s life.

Nominate A Hoosier Artist

If you know an individual, group, organization, business or community that has made a significant contribution or positive impact on the growth, awareness, and strength of the arts in Indiana, please nominate them for a Governor’s Arts Award.

Since 1973, the Governor’s Arts Awards have celebrated the outstanding contributions of Indiana’s artists, arts organizations, volunteers, educators, local governments and corporate citizens. This biennial award is the state’s highest honor in the arts.

Award categories include Artist, Advocate, Community, Corporation/Organization, Educator and Emerging Artist.

In 2018, the first “emerging artist” award went to musician and Fort Wayne native, Addison Agen, who was a finalist on NBC’s “The Voice.”

Those nominated for the award must be or have been residents of the state of Indiana. Organizations and businesses nominated should have headquarters or operations in the state.

Nominations are due by Dec. 1, 2019. Click here to learn more and submit a nomination.

Support for the arts not only helps spark creativity and innovation in individuals, but can also unify communities and foster tourism. Indiana is home to a vibrant and growing art scene, and we want to recognize local artists and art advocates.

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Find your polling place, ballot info

More than 4.5 million Hoosiers are registered voters and many of them will head to the polls for local elections on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

This election will cover most of Indiana’s cities and towns across the state. Hoosiers will have the opportunity to select their mayor, city clerk or city clerk-treasurer, judge of a city court and town council member or members.

Remember to bring your state-issued photo ID with you when heading to your polling place to cast your ballot.

State law requires voters to be at least 18 years old on Election Day, or 17 years old if they will turn 18 on or before the next general election, and live in their precinct for at least 30 days before the election.

The polls will be open between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Click here to find your polling place, with easy access to directions and addresses, and to see who will be on your ballot and other issues you might get to help decide in your area.

Early voting is already underway in Indiana for Hoosiers interested in casting their vote before Election Day. Visit indianavoters.com to learn more about early voting in your area, or to check your voting status and learn more about election security.

Indiana unemployment at its lowest since 2000

Indiana’s unemployment dropped in September to its lowest level in nearly two decades. At 3.2%, the last time the Hoosier state reached this unemployment rate was December 2000.

According to Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development, the Hoosier state gained 1,700 construction jobs last month, resulting in 21,500 new construction employment opportunities so far this year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found Indiana’s labor force stands at 64.5%, which is higher than the national rate of 63.2%.

Compared to its neighboring states, Indiana is the only state with an unemployment rate under 4%, and we are under the national average of 3.5%. Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Montana tied with the Hoosier state for the 18th lowest jobless rate in the country.

Our state is also investing in workforce initiatives on behalf of employees and employers. Job providers in Indiana can take advantage of the Next Level Jobs initiative to connect with qualified workers. If you are a job seeker looking to add more skills to your tool box, you can also use this resource to help springboard into jobs in high-demand fields. For more information, visit nextleveljobs.org.

Indiana’s welcoming business climate continues to attract job providers. With our balanced budgets and AAA credit rating, our economy is strong and benefiting hardworking Hoosiers.

House Internship Application Deadline Oct. 31

The deadline to apply for the Indiana House Republicans’ paid internship is Oct. 31. College students and recent graduates interested in gaining hands-on experience and building their portfolios should apply online as soon as possible.

This internship takes place during the 2020 legislative session (January to mid-March) at the Indiana Statehouse and is full-time Monday-Friday. Interns receive biweekly compensation of $750. College sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students can earn course credit during the internship depending on their school and are eligible to apply for a $3,000 scholarship.

The Indiana House Republican Caucus internship is unlike many others. Aside from being a paid position, it offers the opportunity to gain meaningful and real-world work experience. Interns help state representatives in a variety of ways, including in the legislative department and in media relations and policy research. There’s also a need for a law student to work with our chief counsel and staff attorneys who oversee all House proceedings as lawmakers draft and file legislation.

Participants hone valuable job skills and build a strong network of professional contacts. With so many topics debated and industries affected by the legislative process, students from any major can benefit from this experience.

In fact, many former interns have used this opportunity to find jobs with the Indiana House Republicans, as well as with other state government agencies and in the private sector. This internship looks great on a resume and typically serves as a launching pad into other successful careers. Watch a video about a day in the life of an intern.

Don’t wait to apply for the Indiana House Republican Internship Program. Interviews have been ongoing and positions are already being filled. Remember: The deadline to apply is Oct. 31.

Free Smoke Alarms Available

In 2018, 93 people died from house fires across Indiana. Nationally, more than two-thirds of fatal fires occur in homes with no working smoke alarms.

To protect more Hoosiers, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security created the “Get Alarmed” program to provide free smoke alarms to Indiana residents.

The “Get Alarmed” program, managed by the Indiana Fire Marshal in partnership with the American Red Cross, aims to address an increase in house fires by providing up to three working smoke alarms to Hoosier households statewide.

The program accepts requests from fire departments and citizens for their primary residences. Click here to request a free alarm.

Last year, the IDHS received a federal Fire Prevention and Safety Grant of $512,000, helping to fund the purchase of 10,000 smoke alarms, and 1,000 SafeAwake deaf and hearing impaired alarms for the “Get Alarmed” program. The agency works with local fire departments and service providers to properly install the alarms and educate residents about fire prevention and safety. Remember to test your smoke alarms each month to make sure the batteries are still working and replace alarms every 10 years. To learn about fire safety and prevention tips, click here.

For more information on this program, click here.

Harvest Season Driving Tips

Harvest season is in motion, which means more slow-moving farm equipment will be on Indiana’s roads.

According to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, farm vehicles were involved in 73 fatal crashes across the U.S., with seven of those incidents occurring in Indiana.

By law, farm equipment must have the nationally designated slow-moving vehicle sign — a red triangle-shaped reflector — to warn other motorists. The most common types of farm equipment Hoosiers will encounter are combines and tractors pulling grain carts, and these vehicles often travel at speeds less than 25 mph.

Giving yourself extra time and planning ahead by finding alternate routes helps. It is also important to watch for wide vehicles, especially when approaching hills and curves in the road.

Farmers will pull over for motorists to pass when they are able, but it may take them some time to find a safe place to do so. When attempting to pass farm equipment, always look for oncoming traffic, and make sure the vehicle is actually pulling over to let you pass and not making a wide left turn.

Do not drive around these vehicles within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge or tunnel.

Remember to be cautious on the roads this harvest season.

For more safety tips, click here or visit isda.in.gov.

Scholarships for nontraditional female students

Are you a woman heading back to school to advance your career? Deciding to go back to school after taking time off can be daunting, but it is never too late to learn something new. To help you along the way, the Indiana Political Organization for Women’s Education and Representation (POWER) offers scholarships to nontraditional female students whose education was delayed or interrupted.

Women who are returning to school after a hiatus, changing careers, and seeking advancement in their careers or work lives, as well as stay-at-home moms entering the workplace who are in need of additional education and training, can earn a scholarship of $750 to put toward their education.

Through this scholarship, nontraditional female students can receive financial help as they further their education. Obtaining higher education credentials can open doors and POWER wants to help hardworking Hoosiers meet their career goals and aspirations, regardless of their age, family structure or previous work experience.

There will be 18 scholarships awarded – two per congressional district – to women who are residents of the state of Indiana and who are pursuing their educational endeavors in the state.

The primary criteria for selecting the scholarship recipients includes financial need, personal vision, service to the community and future plans.

Scholarships will be awarded at a ceremony in February. To fill out an application before the Oct. 18 deadline, click here.

Know sepsis and its symptoms

Sepsis is the leading cause of death in hospitals, claiming the lives of over 3,500 Hoosiers last year. Despite its prevalence, only 65% of Americans have heard of the condition, and even fewer know the symptoms. With September being Sepsis Awareness Month, it is important to know about sepsis and its warning signs.

Sepsis is the body’s response to infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death. From strep throat to pneumonia, almost any infection can lead to sepsis, making it all the more difficult to diagnose due to the wide variety of symptoms. However, signs of the condition can include shivering, extreme pain, pale or discolored skin, and shortness of breath. Early diagnosis is critical, as sepsis becomes deadlier the longer it goes undetected.

To raise awareness of this deadly condition and help prevent sepsis from taking more Hoosier lives, House Republicans supported legislation establishing the Sepsis Treatment Guideline Task Force. The task force develops best practices and provides guideline recommendations to the Indiana State Department of Health, which will work to ensure the guidelines are adopted and implemented throughout Indiana.

For more information on this deadly condition and its symptoms, click here.

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