FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Elizabeth Vos, Press Secretary
State Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) made the following statement today
regarding the conclusion of the 2019 legislative session:
STATEHOUSE (April 29, 2019) – “This year’s legislative session of the Indiana General Assembly has now come to a close, and I am proud of the work my colleagues and I accomplished on behalf of our constituents and all Hoosiers.
“We passed an honestly balanced budget with bipartisan support that provides a $763 million funding increase for K-12 education, all without raising taxes, and maintaining strong rainy-day reserves.
“I authored legislation to increase public safety and tackle the drug epidemic, provide better educational opportunities for our children, improve services for children in foster care and strengthen foster parent rights, support the elderly, and more.
“It continues to be my high honor to serve District 47 in the State Senate, and I am thankful to have been given this opportunity. Giving a voice to Southern Indiana values in the General Assembly is my top priority, and I look forward to continuing our work to make Indiana an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”
Below are brief summaries of some of the legislation Houchin authored or sponsored, which will soon become law.
SEA 1 (Department of Child Services): Reforms the Department of Child Services to ensure the best interests of vulnerable Hoosier children are being addressed and met in the midst of increasing child services cases, due in part to the opioid epidemic. Provides for better in-home placement processes to keep children in the most family-like settings possible, and provides greater support for foster families.
SEA 141 (Office-Based Opioid Treatment Providers): Imposes modest regulations on Office-Based Opioid Treatment Providers (OBOTs) to ensure addicted Hoosiers are receiving adequate care and are not abusing their treatment. Approximately 650 OBOT facilities currently operate in Indiana without any oversight or regulation to ensure proper care.
SEA 280 (Over 65 Property Tax Deduction): Increases the maximum allowable tax deduction for the assessed value of an individual’s real property, or mobile home or manufactured home, which is not assessed as real property for disabled veterans and individuals at least 65 years of age. This will allow veterans and elderly Hoosiers to keep more of their hard-earned money when they need it most. This has not been updated since 2010, and many Hoosiers over age 65 are finding themselves above the current cap.
SEA 281 (School Administrator Contracts): Limits contract buyouts for school Principals and Assistant Principals to not more than one-year’s salary, and contract buyouts for Assistant Superintendents to not more than one-year’s salary or $250,000, whichever is the lesser amount. This protects school districts from outrageous buyouts of hundreds of thousands of dollars that could be spent on teachers and classrooms. This follows SEA 182 from 2017, which put the same restrictions in place for Superintendent Contracts.
SEA 392 (Medicare Supplement and Medicaid Study): Requires Medicare insurers to offer at least one supplemental policy to eligible individuals with disabilities. Currently, disabled Hoosiers under age 65 who do not qualify for Medicaid are falling through the cracks, and are facing extreme hardships when it comes to paying for medical expenses. This legislation will provide them with an option to acquire supplemental insurance coverage to aid with these expenses.
SEA 393 (Charity Gaming): Allows certain bona fide civic organizations to apply to the Indiana Gaming Commission for an annual charity game night license for a term of two years. The number of licenses would be limited to one per county, and would not affect organizations who can currently apply for or hold these licenses. Allowing these civic organization to participate in additional charity gaming activities would provide added support to local communities.
SEA 558 (Election Security): Protects the integrity of our elections by providing enforcement mechanisms for election law violations, adding safeguards to absentee ballot applications, and requiring voting system vendors to disclose information about foreign nationals with ownership interests in the company. Ensuring our elections are safe and secure is a top priority.
SEA 561 (Forensic Medicine): Establishes the Office of Forensic Medical Studies under the Indiana State Police Department (ISP). Requires the ISP, in consultation with the Indiana State Coroner’s Association and Indiana Sheriff’s Association, to study the need for a State Medical Examiner, who would assist the State Police and local officials in performing autopsies for criminal investigations and suspicious deaths. This would help modernize Indiana’s law enforcement and give police and prosecutors the necessary tools to conduct forensic pathology investigations.
HEA 1349 (State Police Supplementary Death Benefit): Clarifies existing law to ensure the families of retired Indiana State Police Troopers who pass away would receive an increase in special death benefit pay, regardless of when the trooper retired. Men and women in law enforcement are among the finest individuals our state has to offer, and it’s critical for them and their families to receive the benefits they deserve.
More information on this and other legislation authored by Houchin can be found here: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/legislators/legislator_erin_houchin_1/
For a high-resolution photo of Houchin, click here.