This is part three of a four part series about our 2015 legislative accomplishments. This week focuses on public safety.
In the last installment of this series highlighting our legislative accomplishments, I focused on legislation benefiting Hoosier veterans. This week I will discuss one of our 2015 legislative agenda priorities: public safety.
In 2010, 12.7 percent of mothers in Allen County reported smoking while pregnant. The state average was 17 percent. Smoking while pregnant as well as not receiving prenatal care increases the risk of infant mortality, or a newborn's risk of dying before their first birthday. In fact, Indiana is ranked 5th worst in the nation for infant mortality.
To combat this troubling epidemic, House Republicans created the Safety P.I.N. (Protecting Indiana's Newborns) grant program to incentivize communities as well as public and private organizations to work together and create proposals to lower the infant mortality rate. The goal is to have experts and leaders across Indiana come up with innovative plans that lead to tangible results.
Our budget set aside more than $13 million in funding for this outcomes-based grant program as well as $10 million for domestic violence treatment and prevention. Additionally, the budget allots nearly $60 million for criminal justice reform efforts over the biennium. All of this funding will be used to improve public safety in Indiana by providing needed resources and tools to local communities.
The security of all Hoosiers is a necessity and I was pleased to advocate for legislation that works to keep our community safe. Stay tuned for the last installment of this series which focuses on ethics reform legislation.
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