Moving Indiana forward  

Written by emallers on January 19th, 2018

As your state representative, it has always been my priority to keep you informed about what is happening at the Statehouse and to listen to what you believe needs to be done for our community. One way I do this is by hosting town halls throughout the year. I recently held two town hall meetings to hear from you and share my legislative priorities. Thank you to all the people who attended. We were able to discuss the current legislative session and address top issues.

During the town halls, several community members brought up redistricting and asked if I support an independent redistricting commission. Every 10 years, with updated census information, the Indiana General Assembly is tasked with drawing congressional and state legislative districts. The next time we analyze our maps will be after the 2020 census. At this time, I support an independent commission that will ensure greater transparency during our redistricting process.

This year, since we won’t be considering a biennial budget, the General Assembly will only be meeting for 10 weeks. During this short time, House Republicans will be focused on addressing K-12 funding, strengthening Indiana’s workforce, attacking the opioid epidemic and increasing government efficiency.

Each year, Indiana spends $7 billion on K-12 education. While crafting our budget, we base school funding on calculated estimates of student enrollment. Due to a higher than expected increase in the number of students attending traditional public schools, we will boost funding for K-12 education to ensure students, educators and schools have the tools needed to be successful.

Indiana currently spends $1 billion on 30 different workforce programs across nine state agencies. Even with an unemployment rate below the national average, employers are still struggling to find qualified workers to fill high-demand, high-wage jobs. This session, House Republicans are re-evaluating workforce-related programs and working to better connect Career and Technical Education students with local employers.

Over the last few years, addiction has scarred communities across the state and has left devastating effects on many Hoosiers. As the fight against the opioid epidemic in Indiana continues, I will support efforts to expand opioid treatment programs, as well as provide licensure flexibility for mental health professionals. Under proposed legislation, up to nine new opioid treatment centers could be opened, which would greatly improve access to addiction treatment programs throughout the state, ensuring Hoosiers have options to begin and sustain their recovery processes.

Last year, U.S. News and World Report ranked Indiana No. 1 in state government. To continue pushing for even greater government efficiency, House Republicans will consider efforts to further reduce government bureaucracy, streamline local and state government reporting requirements and consolidate townships that have a population of less than 1,200. These measures could enable local governments to achieve greater cost savings for their constituencies while preserving the same level of service and accountability.

Ensuring that Hoosier children have a safe and loving place to call home is an issue near and dear to my heart. I am eagerly awaiting the findings of a top-to-bottom audit of the Department of Child Services by a highly-respected national firm. These results should be available this spring. In the meantime, I have introduced legislation that would make Indiana’s adoption and foster care systems more efficient and transparent.

To keep up with legislation being considered in committee or in the House and Senate chambers, visit I encourage you to subscribe to my weekly e-newsletter at Please contact me anytime to share your thoughts on state issues or if there is any way I can help you and your family. You can email me at or call 317-232-9648.


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