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Over $3.6M to fuel Johnson County road improvements

Saturday, October 12th, 2019

Johnson County communities were recently awarded over $3.6 million in state matching grants to accelerate road and bridge improvements, according to area lawmakers.

This local funding is part of the nearly $100 million recently awarded to Indiana cities, towns and counties through the Community Crossings Matching Grant program, according to State Reps. Woody Burton (R-Whiteland), Chris May (R-Bedford), Dollyne Sherman (R-Indianapolis) and John Young (R-Franklin).

“Indiana continues to maintain its reputation as the Crossroads of America through strategic investments like the Community Crossings Grant program,” Burton said. “These funds are dedicated to helping communities make progress and complete local road and bridge projects.”

As part of the program, Johnson County received $1 million for local road projects. In addition, several communities in the area were awarded grants, including:

  • Bargersville, $999,750;
  • Edinburgh, $639,075;
  • Greenwood, $874,130; and
  • Princes Lake, $166,816.

“So many of our public roads are in rural areas,” May said. “Preserving our local infrastructure saves everyone time and money, and makes all of us safer.”

This grant funding can be used toward road and bridge preservation, road reconstruction, intersection improvements, guardrail replacements and signage. Smaller municipalities must provide a match of 25% in local funds, while large communities must provide a 50% match.

“As our community continues to see increased construction on state roads, these grants are critical to improving our own local infrastructure,” Sherman said. “Maintaining the integrity of our roads and bridges will help ensure motorists remain safe.” 

Since 2017, state road investment is up 50% as Indiana has dedicated $3 billion to road and bridge projects across the state.

“This is a significant investment in our area,” Young said. “With these grants, our local governments can continue improving our roadways, while still funding other community priorities.”

More information about the program and recipients can be found at www.in.gov/indot.

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Reps. Burton, Young invite students to page at the Statehouse

Thursday, December 20th, 2018

State Reps. Woody Burton and John Young encourage students who want to learn more about state government to participate in the Indiana House Page Program during the 2019 legislative session.

“Paging at the Statehouse provides students with another opportunity to learn about Indiana’s state government,” Burton said. “For those interested in social studies and current events, the page program is a great way to engage with your state and local leaders while also getting a firsthand look at the lawmaking process.”

According to Young, those who are between the ages of 13 to 18 can spend a day at the Statehouse in Indianapolis helping staff and local legislators, touring government offices, and learning about the legislative process.

“It is always exciting to meet young people from our community at the Statehouse,” Young said. “This is a unique opportunity to experience how a bill becomes a law and see what state legislators are working on. Because the program fills up quickly, interested students should apply early to reserve their spot.”

Student pages receive an excused absence from school and groups can participate together. For more information and to sign up, visit www.indianahouserepublicans.com/pageprogram or call 800-382-9841.

The 2019 legislative session begins Thursday, Jan. 3, and must conclude by April 30.

Whiteland Community High School recognized for AP success

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

The Indiana Department of Education on Tuesday awarded Whiteland Community High School for student success on AP exams for the 2016-2017 school year, according to State Rep. Woody Burton.

During the 2018 Indiana AP Recognition Ceremony, the DOE and College Board recognized more than 70 schools for having 25 percent or more of their graduating class earn a score of 3 out of 5 on at least one AP exam.

“Students who enroll in AP courses can jumpstart their college education and prepare for higher-level work while they are still in high school,” Burton said. “These college-level classes are more rigorous than traditional high school coursework, and if a student scores high enough, colleges and universities will award them credit. Our community is fortunate to have excellent educators teaching these courses, as they are instrumental in ensuring students are successful once they graduate high school.”

Burton said high school students take AP exams after they complete courses designed to demonstrate they are prepared to handle college-level work. With a successful AP exam score, a student can usually earn college credit. AP exams are developed by the College Board, a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that connects students to success and opportunity in higher education.

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State Rep. Woody Burton represents a portion of Johnson County.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: State Rep. Woody Burton  joins State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick at the Statehouse on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, to recognize Whiteland Community High School for having 25 percent or more of their graduating class earn a score of 3 out of 5 on at least one AP exam. Pictured left to right: McCormick, Clark-Pleasant Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Spray; Brian Lukich, math teacher; Whiteland Community High School Principal Tom Zobel; Burton; and Dave McMillan, counselor.

 

Helping children find a stable home

Friday, January 5th, 2018

In Indiana, there are nearly twice as many children in the foster care system than there are available foster homes. In 2017, more than 23,000 Hoosier children were in need of a foster home. Almost 60 percent of all kids that enter the child welfare system are under 6 years old, and many leave home with only the clothes on their backs or what can fit into a trash bag.

These staggering statistics are heart wrenching. They highlight the need for a more streamlined adoption process and foster care program in Indiana. At any given time, there are 75 to 100 children in the Department of Child Service’s database waiting to be adopted. Appreciating the growing demands placed on the system, state lawmakers and the Holcomb Administration increased DCS funding nearly $600 million during the current two-year budget cycle.

Since the start of the New Year, a highly-respected national firm is performing a top-to-bottom audit of DCS procedures and policies. While I eagerly await their findings and recommendations this spring, I have already been working to improve efficiency and transparency within Indiana’s adoption and foster care systems. This session, my goal is to create measures that ensure and accelerate the placement of children in safe and loving homes. With my legislation, I hope to provide a clear process and guidelines for those involved in foster care and adoption. While often a thankless job, fostering or adopting a child is a rewarding experience. I respect anyone who is considering or currently participating in this process. You are needed!

This issue is very near and dear to my heart.

As a child, my father frequently abused my mother, siblings and me. When my mother tried to stop him, he would knock her unconscious. It wasn’t until my mother threatened to kill my father that she was granted a restraining order.

One night, while we were staying with my grandmother, my father barged in and forced my mom to leave with him at gun point. I remember waking up in the back of a police car, not knowing what was going on and then being taken to a group home where I was separated from my brother and sister. Eventually, my mother was able to escape and come back to us.

That was more than 60 years ago, but I still remember vividly how terrified I was as a child. I experienced the same confusion and emotions similar to what children in foster care experience today, and I want to ensure that no child has to go through what I went through.

Over the last few months, I have been meeting with adoptive and foster families, DCS officials, the governor and his staff, and other lawmakers to find the best solution for kids. I want to hear from Hoosiers about their experiences with the Indiana foster program and adoption process. You can share your story with me at h58@iga.in.gov or 317-232-9648.

Rep. Burton invites public to attend town hall meetings

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

State Rep. Woody Burton will host two town hall meetings next week to share information about the 2018 legislative session.

“I encourage constituents to attend a town hall meeting and participate in the discussion,” Burton said. “I’ve also invited other local and state officials from our area. I’m looking forward to productive conversations and hearing what is important to you and our community.”

Burton will discuss legislation he plans to introduce and issues that will likely be addressed during the upcoming legislative session during town hall meetings in Greenwood and Whiteland:

6-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4

Greenwood City Hall

300 S. Madison Ave.

Greenwood, IN 46142

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6

Whiteland Town Hall

549 Main St.

Whiteland, IN 46184

Those unable to attend can contact Burton with questions by emailing h58@iga.in.gov or calling 317-232-9648. The 2018 legislative session begins Wednesday, Jan. 3.