Around the House



Ways To Save At The Indiana State Fair

After being canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indiana State Fair is back in full swing starting July 30, celebrating the resiliency of the Hoosier Spirit. From deep-fried foods to 4-H projects, and from farm animals to carnival rides, the fair has something for everyone to enjoy.

The fair will run through Aug. 22, and if you’re planning to visit, be sure to check out the following deals and discounts:

  • BMV Discount Day, Wednesday, Aug. 4
    Click here to download a voucher to get $6 gate admission.
  • $3 Thursdays, Aug. 5, 12 & 19
    On Thursdays, fairgoers will pay $3 for gate admission, midway rides and food options at each food stand.
  • Free IndyStar Ticket, Wednesday, Aug. 11
    Buy a copy of the IndyStar on Aug. 9 for free admission on Aug. 11.
  • AAA Day, Wednesday, Aug. 18
    AAA cardholders get free admission with a valid AAA membership card presented at the gate. One valid card per person.
  • Military and First Responders Day, Friday, Aug. 20
    First responders, current and former military members, and their families get free admission with valid ID presented at the gate.

The Free Stage will host a variety of musical acts, including Josh Turner, Noah Cyrus and the Beach Boys. The Hoosier Lottery Grandstand will also feature a number of free and paid admission events, such as a hot air balloon race, and traditional events like the high school band and cheerleading competitions.

This year, the fair will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays weekly, and will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays, and from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. all other days. Click here for a complete list of events, exhibits, activities and more. Tickets are $10 in advance or $13 at the gate.

For more information about the Indiana State Fair, visit

Apply For Women’s Scholarship

Non-traditional female students in Indiana can now apply for a scholarship through the Political Organization for Women’s Education and Representation (POWER) Caucus.

Non-traditional female students include women who are returning to school following a hiatus, changing career paths, seeking advancement in their work life, and stay-at-home mothers entering the workplace who need additional education or training. POWER scholarships are not intended for recent high school graduates or women who are eligible for or have already received other significant financial aid.

Additionally, scholarships are given to women who are Indiana residents and pursuing higher education in the state.

The POWER Caucus provides two types of scholarships – one for students enrolled at Indiana colleges or universities, and another students majoring full time in science, technology, engineering or mathematics at one of the state’s higher education institutions.

A bipartisan selection committee awards 18 scholarships – two from each congressional district – for $750 each. The scholarship check will be made directly to the institution with instructions to apply the funds to the student’s current account to pay for school tuition, books and fees. Qualified applicants include female college students whose education may have been delayed or interrupted, and the committee will consider financial need, personal vision, service to community and post-education plans.

Scholarships can be used for the 2022 spring semester. The application deadline is Nov. 15, 2021, and recipients will be announced on Dec. 17, 2021, and granted before Dec. 31, 2021. Scholarship applications can be found here.

New Laws To Help Improve Hoosier Health

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted Indiana’s health challenges and underscored the need for action. This session, House Republicans focused on supporting initiatives to improve Hoosiers’ physical and mental health across the state.

House Enrolled Act 1007 creates a new grant program that directs $50 million to initiatives targeting chronic health conditions across Indiana in order to increase overall health. Preference will be given to proposals focused on improving health problems such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

With Senate Enrolled Act 82, more licensed professionals can diagnose mental health disorders to help Hoosiers obtain quicker access to treatment. Clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, clinical addiction counselors or physicians assistants can diagnose and refer an individual to start mental health treatment.

More licensed practitioners can offer telehealth services to Hoosiers as long as they ensure the same standard of care patients expect with an in-person appointment. Senate Enrolled Act 3 builds on efforts to help those in rural and underserved areas maintain access to care.

Those with autism, Down Syndrome and other diagnoses often receive specialized services through behavior analysts. Thanks to House Enrolled Act 1516, these professionals can now be licensed in Indiana, which will help families more easily find qualified practitioners.

These new laws will help us tackle some of the most critical health issues we face, and improve Hoosiers’ overall wellness and quality of life. For more information on these and other new laws addressing public health issues, visit

Supporting Lawful Hoosier Gun Owners

Lawful Hoosier gun owners no longer have to pay a state fee to obtain a lifetime license to carry a handgun thanks to House Enrolled Act 1001, which took effect July 1.

To apply for a free lifetime or five-year handgun gun license, or renew current permits, visit The Indiana State Police reported receiving 7,136 applications in the first 24 hours after the permits became fee exempt on July 1. Due to the high volume of applications, there could be a delay in accessing the website or scheduling your fingerprint appointment.

In 2019, House Enrolled Act 1284 waived the fee to obtain a five-year permit.

It’s important to note the application process for a carry permit has not changed, and the fee exemption does not apply to the costs associated with background checks or fingerprinting. After starting the application process, Hoosiers need to finish the following steps within 180 days:

  • Complete an online firearm license application;
  • Schedule a fingerprint appointment; and
  • Complete local law enforcement processing.

After finishing these steps, the Indiana State Police will conduct a final review and either issue or deny a permit to the individual.

Kicking Off Summer Study Committees

Indiana lawmakers are kicking off summer study committees, where they will examine the state’s top issues in advance of the next legislative session. From the Community Crossings program building up our infrastructure to the overall health of Hoosiers, summer study committees look at a wide range of topics throughout the summer and fall.

These study committees play an important role in the legislative process as they provide a forum for state policymakers to examine current and potential laws, work with members of the public and stakeholders to find solutions on important issues facing our state and communities, and prepare for the upcoming session.

Often, lawmakers serve on committees based on their experience and areas of expertise. State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem), a pharmacist, will serve on the Interim Study Committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health, and Human Services. This committee will be looking into several important issues, including Indiana’s trauma care system and the state’s OB Navigator Program helping mothers and their babies. State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero), a retired school superintendent, is a member of the Interim Study Committee on Education. This summer study committee will work to eliminate burdensome mandates on our schools and examine grant programs supporting students who are at risk of falling behind or scored below academic standards because of disruptions caused by COVID-19.  

Click here to see which committees members will be serving on, and for a full list of topics to be examined, click here.

Members of the public are welcomed to attend and testify at committee hearings, which typically occur at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. Hearings are also livestreamed and archived online at, where committee calendars and meeting agendas are posted.

Build, Learn, Grow Scholarships Available

A new scholarship through the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration is available for working families seeking high-quality early education and out-of-school programs for their children.

Build, Learn, Grow scholarships can be used for children’s early care and education, and summer learning or out-of-school care. The scholarship covers 80% of child care costs for kids up to age 12.

Eligible families must include at least one member who is considered an essential worker, like those who work in health care or food service. There are also income eligibility requirements.

With thousands of jobs currently available in the state, Hoosiers who lost employment or income during the pandemic are looking at obtaining new or better-paying careers. Build, Learn, Grow scholarships can help working families with child care costs, so they can return to the workforce. This program also helps provide support to students whose learning was impacted by the pandemic so they can get back on track academically. Applications are open through Oct. 31. There are 50,000 scholarships available on a first-come, first-served basis. Currently, there are more than 1,400 programs throughout the state accepting scholarships. Learn more and apply at

Nominate A ‘Golden Hoosier’ Today

This past year, many older Hoosiers stepped up and helped others during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the Golden Hoosier Award, we can honor them for their contributions to our communities.

The award, established in 2008, honors Hoosiers age 65 or older who volunteer their time, knowledge and compassion in service to their communities. The lieutenant governor and Indiana Family and Social Services Administration present the honor annually.

The Golden Hoosier Award is the highest honor Indiana confers on its older residents.

From retired teachers to those helping ex-offenders, and from military veterans to volunteers with local festivals, our communities are fortunate to be home to older Hoosiers working tirelessly on behalf of others.

Now is our chance to recognize them with a Golden Hoosier Award. Eligibility requirements include being an Indiana resident and a volunteer in your community for at least the past three years.

Click here for the nomination form, and be sure to submit it before Saturday, June 19. Those selected will be honored later this year during a virtual ceremony. 

Accelerating Student Learning

As many students start enjoying their summer break, many local organizations are preparing to accelerate student learning over the next few months and beyond. Learning loss is an issue some young Hoosiers experience when they return to school in the fall. Since COVID-19 disrupted student learning over the last year, many are still working to try to catch up.  

In an effort to prevent these students from falling further behind, lawmakers this session approved House Enrolled Act 1008, which established the Student Learning Recovery Grant Program. Recently, the Indiana Department of Education awarded more than $122 million in grant dollars to community organizations and schools in 83 of Indiana’s 92 counties to help students get back on track.

As part of this program, grant recipients will focus on literacy, math, and college and career readiness this summer through tutoring, after-school programming and other enhanced learning opportunities.

Click here for more information about local organizations that received grants.

Top Students Receive Teacher Scholarships

Teachers support young Hoosiers every day with the tools and resources they need to be successful in and out of the classroom. To help future educators keep college expenses low while preparing to become licensed teachers, 200 graduating high school seniors, and current college freshmen and sophomores recently received the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship.

Thanks to a law House Republicans championed in 2016, top-performing students can receive $7,500 per year for up to four years of college to obtain a teaching license. This statewide program aims to help Indiana’s best and brightest become educators and lead a Hoosier classroom. In exchange for college tuition, students agree to stay and teach at lower-income schools across Indiana for five years.

According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, more than 400 students applied for this year’s scholarship, with applicants from 84 of Indiana’s 92 counties.

[Click here to view a complete list of recipients.]

Eligible students must graduate in the top 20% of their high school class or earn a score in the top 20th percentile on the SAT or ACT. To renew the scholarship, students must earn a 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete at least 30 credit hours each year in college.

The 2021-2022 application will be available in the fall. Learn more about the program and application requirements at

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