Search

Around the House

Author

inhousegopblog

The Indiana House Republican Caucus is the majority caucus of the Indiana House of Representatives & has 67 legislators, led by House Speaker Todd Huston.

Halloween Tips For Safe Tricks, Treats

As Halloween gets closer and closer, Hoosiers are excited and brainstorming what to dress as this year. As you make your costume plans, consider these tips from the  Centers for Disease Control on how you can celebrate safely by protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.

The latest CDC guidance reminds Hoosiers to wear a mask and always practice good hygiene. If you plan to hand out candy, consider doing so outside by setting up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take and avoid direct contact with the ghosts and goblins at your doorstep. If your family plans to participate in trick-or-treating, please know a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. Instead, find a creative way to make your cloth mask part of your costume.

Other safe, socially distanced activities include carving pumpkins and visiting an orchard or corn maze. The CDC says in order to do this safely, Hoosiers must try to maintain a 6-foot distance from one another. Click here for more tips.

Please be aware of counties coded in red on the Indiana State Department of Public Health’s coronavirus dashboard, as those areas may have more restrictions on gatherings and events for Halloween. To learn about your county, click here and visit the county metric tab.

Celebrating More First Birthdays

Indiana’s infant mortality rate fell in 2019 to the lowest level in state recorded history, marking the third year of decline.

Indiana is stepping up and investing in critical resources to keep moms and babies healthy before, during and after birth, so more families can celebrate their baby’s first birthday. The Indiana State Department of Health released preliminary data showing the statewide infant mortality rate fell from 6.8 per 1,000 births in 2018, to 6.5 in 2019. The mortality rate among Black infants fell from 13.0 in 2018, to 11.0 in 2019. Infant mortality is defined as the death of a baby before their first birthday.

To help protect our youngest Hoosiers, House Republican lawmakers championed a 2019 law creating an obstetrician-gynecologist navigator program to ensure more expectant mothers have access to critical care and support during every step of their pregnancy.

The program, My Healthy Baby, connects expectant and new mothers to early prenatal care, addiction treatment, wrap-around services and home-visit programs. My Healthy baby also provides resources and support for new moms throughout the baby’s first year. The program is implemented in 20 counties so far, with 25 other counties expected to be added next year.

Expectant women, new mothers and individuals from anywhere in the state can call the MOMS Helpline at 1-844-MCH-MOMS (1-844-624-6667) to find resources available in their communities. Click here to learn more.

Early Voting Opportunities for Hoosiers

It is time once again for the American people to decide who represents them in office at local, state and national levels. Although the upcoming general election takes place Nov. 3, Hoosiers do not have to wait to make their voices heard at the ballot box. All Indiana registered voters are eligible and can now vote early in-person through Nov. 2.

When voting early in-person, Hoosiers need to head to designated early voting locations in their counties. To find out where to vote early, contact the county clerk or visit IndianaVoters.com and click on “Find Your Polling Place” to view the hours, dates and locations. A valid photo ID must be presented when voting on or before Election Day.

Another option to vote before Election Day in Indiana is absentee-by-mail. Visit IndianaVoters.com to check eligibility requirements and fill out the online application as quickly as possible. Applications can also be downloaded and mailed, emailed or hand-delivered to the local county office.

Polling places statewide will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3. For more information on the 2020 General Election, including polling locations and to see who is on your ballot, visit IndianaVoters.com.

With 5,000 precincts across the state, 30,000 poll workers are needed on Election Day. Hoosiers can earn up to $150 for their service, and the state is providing masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfectants to local election officials to protect poll workers, election staff and voters. To get started and learn more, contact the county clerk or other local party representative, or visit the state’s website at workthepolls.in.gov.

Investing In Our Local Roads

Applications for the next round of state matching grant funding for local road and bridge projects are now available.

The Community Crossings Matching Grant program, established through a 2016 law championed by House Republicans, provides matching grants to cities, towns and counties for transportation infrastructure projects. Along with maintaining essential infrastructure, Community Crossings grants also stimulate economic development and new job opportunities.

Since launching, Hoosier communities received more than $739 million in Community Crossings grants. Over 200 grants, for a total of $126.5 million, were awarded during the last round of funding in the spring. After a delay due to the pandemic, it is now time to submit applications for the next round of funding.

The state awards two rounds of grants annually through the Indiana Department of Transportation. Local officials can use these funds to rebuild and maintain roads and bridges, replace guardrails and signs, and improve intersections. The process for obtaining Community Crossings grants is competitive, and criteria includes need, road and pavement condition, traffic volume and potential impact on mobility and connectivity in the community.

Counties with fewer than 50,000 residents and cities and towns with less than 10,000 residents contribute 25% of the matching funds, with larger communities contributing 50%. The program requires half of its available matching funds be awarded annually to municipalities with populations of 50,000 or less. The maximum amount given to a community is $1 million annually. Applications for the current round of Community Crossings matching grants are due by 5 p.m. EST Oct. 23, and can be submitted online here. Grant award announcements are expected in late November or early December. Learn more on INDOT’s website.

Expanding Education Options For Students

Every child deserves to thrive and grow, and House Republicans understand that parents are the ones who should be determining where their child learns. In Indiana, families are empowered and have a number of schooling options – including traditional public schools, public charter schools, nonpublic schools, virtual schools and homeschool – to best fit the needs of their child, regardless of where they live or their income. Our state continues to be a leader in school choice opportunities, teacher quality and innovation, ranking third in the nation on the Center of Education Reform’s Parent Power! Index.

A strong education system provides equal opportunities for every student to learn and succeed, and a child’s ZIP code or family’s income should not limit their options. With school choice, families customize their child’s education to ensure they thrive in the right academic environment and learn at their own pace.

Every child learns differently and some schools are better equipped to meet specific health needs, while others offer a completely different learning environment to help students grow outside the classroom. In Indiana, public school funding dollars follow the child, so a student can attend a public school outside their assigned district – the most popular educational choice. Qualifying families can receive a partial scholarship or voucher for their children to attend a nonpublic school.

This ranking reflects the commitment of House Republicans to school choice, and we remain dedicated to offering freedom and flexibility on behalf of all Hoosier children and families. Click here to learn more about your child’s school choice options.

VIDEO: What’s It Like To Intern With The House?

Meet former House Republican interns who are now full-time staff members as they highlight their experience in both roles. Lessons they’ve learned, like showing a willingness to learn and carrying a great attitude, can help future interns get the most out of the opportunity.

Current college sophomores, juniors and seniors, as well as recent college graduates, and law school and graduate students are eligible to apply. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable work experience, learn new skills, strengthen resumes, earn college credits and build a professional network while getting paid.

All majors are welcome to apply online for internships in a variety of areas, including legislative operations, communications and media relations, and policy and fiscal policy. Previous political or government experience is not required. 

These are full-time internships, taking place Monday through Friday, January through April in 2021, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.

The Oct. 31 deadline to apply is quickly approaching! Click here to learn more about the House Republican Internship Program and submit your application today to join our team.

Honoring our first responders on Patriot Day

This month marks the 19th anniversary since tragedy struck our nation on Sept. 11, 2001. During our country’s darkest time, numerous heroes stepped forward to save others at Ground Zero in New York City, at the Pentagon and in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. As we take time to reflect on those who lost their lives that fateful day, we can also use Patriot Day to thank and honor our local public safety officers who serve our communities.

When our country needed help, more than 250 Indiana doctors, police officers, firefighters and volunteers answered the call and went to Ground Zero. Of the nearly 3,000 who died that day, 412 were emergency workers. To our first responders who continuously put themselves in dangerous situations, thank you for all you do keep us safe.

“This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. None of us will ever forget this day.”

– George W. Bush, Sept. 11, 2001


At the state level, we are dedicated to supporting our first responders and their families. In fact, several new laws took effect this year to help. 

To ease some of the economic strain families face when they lose a loved one serving their communities, a new law increases death benefits for Hoosier public safety officers from $150,000 to $225,000.

The use of dangerous firefighting foam containing “forever” chemicals is now restricted under a new law because they break down so slowly and can accumulate in the environment, potentially causing adverse health conditions in firefighters and citizens, and environmental contamination. These foams can only be used for training and testing purposes if containment measures are in place.

Many Hoosier heroes work behind-the-scenes to aid Hoosiers in unsafe or life-threatening situations. This includes 911 dispatchers who keep callers calm and connect them to help. Under a new law, these emergency workers are now designated as first responders, which helps them access key employee benefits.

This Patriot Day, please take time to reflect on those who lost their lives 19 years ago and use it as an opportunity to show gratitude to our first responders serving today. Our communities are home to everyday heroes watching over our families, responding to life-threatening situations and protecting us.

Mortgage Assistance For Hoosiers

Help is available for Indiana homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments or are unable to make future payments due to the financial hardships caused by COVID-19.

The Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network supports Hoosiers at risk of foreclosure through Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund, a federally funded program providing mortgage payment assistance to eligible homeowners for up to six months or $30,000.

To be eligible for Indiana’s HHF, Hoosiers must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an Indiana homeowner;
  • Own only one mortgaged home, and currently reside in that home;
  • Be unable to make past-due or current monthly mortgage payments; and
  • Meet additional eligibility requirements based on income.

Any questions about meeting income requirements for the fund can be answered at 877-GET-HOPE, where certified IFPN counselors will be available to assist homeowners. Additional questions can be answered on Indiana’s HHF frequently asked questions page.

Indiana’s HHF is also available to homeowners who are current on their payments, but are unable to make future payments or have past-due mortgage payments because of an involuntary employment-related financial hardship.

Hoosiers that cannot make future mortgage payments can apply for assistance here and should apply as soon as they experience an involuntary employment-related financial hardship and are at risk of foreclosure.

Hoosier Schools Committed to Military Families

Hoosier schools are leading the way in displaying a significant commitment to our service members, veterans, and students and families connected to our nation’s military. Whether ensuring military families can turn to a designated point of contact for assistance or hosting an event so students can honor veterans, House Republicans appreciate the more than 60 Purple Star Schools throughout the state working hard on behalf of our nation’s heroes.

To be named a Purple Star School, schools met these requirements:

  • Assigning a point of contact for military families;
  • Passing a resolution supporting military students and families;
  • Hosting an annual military recognition event;
  • Recognizing service members and veterans with a public display; and
  • Guaranteeing interviews for service members and their immediate family who meet the minimum job qualifications.

As one of the nation’s most veteran-friendly states, Indiana is dedicated to those who defend our country’s freedoms. From preventing educational disruptions by allowing military families to enroll their children in K-12 schools before moving to phasing in a full income tax exemption by 2023 for military retirement pensions and survivors’ benefits, House Republicans remain dedicated to helping our military families.

Thank you to these Purple Star Schools, their staff and students for supporting our service members, veterans and families connected to our nation’s military.

To view the list of recipients, click here. More information about the Purple Star School designation is available here.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑