STATEHOUSE (Jan. 6, 2020) — Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) today announced Indiana Senate Republicans’ legislative priorities for the 2020 session.
“In this short session my caucus members and I will focus on some key areas where we want to move our state forward,” Bray said. “Chief among them is reducing health care costs for Hoosiers and holding schools harmless for the 2019 ILEARN results as we transition to the more rigorous test. Though session will move quickly, I’m confident we will make strides that will positively affect our state.”
In the 2020 legislative session, Senate Republicans will prioritize the following initiatives.
Increase health care cost transparency
Recent studies have demonstrated that Hoosiers pay considerably more for some health care costs than citizens in other states. Senate Republicans believe price transparency is a critical first step, and will support efforts to provide transparency, including creating an All-Payer Claims Database and eliminating surprise billing.
Hold K-12 schools harmless for 2019 ILEARN test results
Transitioning from one state test to another can create challenges for schools and teachers, as Indiana saw with the 2019 ILEARN results. Senate Republicans will support legislation that will hold K-12 schools and teachers harmless for the lower scores.
Reduce government debt
Indiana revenue is performing above projections, meaning that the state has some unexpected one-time cash on hand that can be used to cash fund projects. Senate Republicans will support efforts to pay for capital projects that were approved in the 2020-21 budget with cash in order to save taxpayers millions of dollars in interest payments.
Raise smoking and vaping age to 21
Indiana has significant room to improve public health ratings. Even though the federal government recently raised the smoking and vaping age to 21, taking action at the state level will ensure that, regardless of future federal action, Indiana is taking steps to prevent Hoosiers from starting an unhealthy habit that costs the state and businesses millions of dollars annually.
The General Assembly reconvenes today for the 2020 legislative session, which is expected to run through mid-March.
For a high-resolution photo of Sen. Bray, click here.