[76] Strengthening our community and state part 2/2 (6/13/2014)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Start Date: 6/13/2014 Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 6/13/2014
Last week, I highlighted many different issues that are facing our state, and in particular southwestern Indiana. I have worked to address various issues and over the past four years I have had the opportunity to author many different pieces of legislation. However, two areas that I have always paid close attention are education and the problem of methamphetamine.

Having been in the educational field for 20 years, I have been able to work one-on-one with students, teachers, parents and legislators to discover different ways we can improve Indiana’s educational system. This year, I authored two educational bills that became law. 

House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1213 dealt with the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Diploma. This law calls for a committee to study the diplomas Indiana currently offers, make recommendations on whether those need to be updated and decide if there is a need for a CTE diploma. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses offer training for high wage, high demand jobs in Indiana. I want to promote these courses so more Hoosiers can find rewarding employment opportunities.

Another bill I authored this year was HEA 1064, concerning the study of career and technical education in the fields of STEM. CTE programs are crucial to giving students the proper preparation for jobs in the technical field. CTE programs are aimed at decreasing the skills gap and making it easier for students to find jobs once they graduate. HEA 1064 will take an in-depth look at the career and technical education programs that are already in place in Indiana. By focusing on specific programs in schools we can begin to address where we need to improve and think of ways in which our students can be better prepared for their careers.

An issue facing our state and particular southwestern Indiana is the meth epidemic. HEA 1141 will provide a clearer history on homes, specifying whether or not a house has ever contained meth. Even if a home’s history has been taken off the public list, the Indiana State Police – as opposed to the Criminal Justice Institute – will maintain records of homes where methamphetamine was dumped or manufactured.  Additionally, a home that has ever had a connection with meth must have its history stated within the buyer’s agreement or realtor’s statement, clearly describing if the property has ever been properly decontaminated. The transparency that this law creates will allow for safer and stronger communities. Indiana is now one step closer to more collaborative neighborhoods and an overall cleaner state.

As always, I am humbled to be your voice in Indianapolis and will continue to do all I can to move our community forward. If you have suggestions, questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at 317-232-9671 or via email at h76@iga.in.gov.

McNamara_Memo_Strenghthing our Community and State Part 2-2.docx