Session reaches halfway point

Written by emallers on February 2nd, 2018

The 2018 legislative session is in full swing, and we just reached the halfway point of this short session.  Bills that have been supported by the House can now be heard by the Senate, and the House will consider Senate bills. House Republicans have made great progress with our top priorities, including increasing K-12 funding, strengthening Indiana’s workforce, attacking the opioid epidemic and increasing government efficiency.

In addition to those legislative priorities, several of my proposals made it through the process.

My top priority this session is increasing accountability and transparency during adoption proceedings. I authored legislation that would provide prospective parents with a clearly defined pathway to voice concerns or ask questions at any time during the adoption process. This bill would require an adoption agency to supply these prospective adoptive parents with the contact information for all of its employees. Followed by an explanation of the document’s contents, the prospective parents would be asked to sign it. As a result, it is my hope that those considering adoption will be better able to work with caseworkers and, if need be, contact their supervisors. My ultimate goal has always been placing more children in safe and loving homes.

Another bill that is still moving through the process came from a dilemma brought to my attention by a Johnson County commissioner. The county did not have the authority to repair a subdivision’s drain that was endangering a county road. This proposal would allow counties or Indianapolis to enter into contracts with subdivision homeowners associations in order to finance and repair storm drains. If the HOA’s membership agrees, a special assessment would be charged to cover only the costs of the repair. This commonsense legislation will empower communities across the state to collaboratively resolve local infrastructure issues in a timely and efficient manner.

I also authored legislation to clarify unclaimed property laws. Right now, there are a lot of inconsistencies with the automatic renewal process for deposits like certificate of deposits. When a deposit comes up for renewal, there are several practices that have been unclear in the past. If the customer does not renew it for another period of time, banks can consider these funds unclaimed property and send them to the state’s unclaimed property fund. When this happens, that money can no longer accrue interest, and then there is a lengthy process the customer must follow to get funds back. I’ve heard many banks are already informing their customers of this practice, preventing funds from being incorrectly classified as unclaimed property. My proposal would ensure every bank is following this practice.

Some of my other proposals, however, did not get considered in committee this year, but they still remain priorities to me. For example, I filed a bill that would require schools to put an emphasis on civics education. Too many Hoosiers are graduating high school without fully understanding our country’s history or how to be an engaged citizen. My bill would have required schools to administer a final exam developed by the State Board of Education at the end of a U.S. government course. Because this legislation did not get a hearing by the committee report deadline, it cannot be considered going forward this session. Nonetheless, I strongly believe that all Hoosiers should be equipped with every tool available to be an engaged citizen. I will continue to advocate on the importance of civics next session.

The House of Representatives will begin considering Senate bills in committees in the coming weeks. To keep track of the bills as they switch chambers, visit A great way to stay up-to-date with what is happening at the Statehouse as well as see events that are going on in our community, is to sign up to receive my weekly e-newsletter at As always, I encourage you to contact me with your thoughts or concerns regarding legislation 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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