STATEHOUSE (Feb. 6, 2018) — House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) said House Republicans made great progress on their legislative priorities as the session reached the halfway point on Tuesday.
Bosma said House Republicans made headway on key issues including House passage of legislation providing a funding boost for K-12 schools, strengthening Indiana’s workforce, attacking the opioid epidemic and increasing government efficiency.
“We made tremendous progress passing our legislative priorities in the first half and we look forward to working with our Senate colleagues and the governor to get across the finish line,” Bosma said. “Much work remains in the weeks ahead, especially as we continue discussions on addressing the state’s workforce needs, but we look forward to building on our momentum.”
House Republicans’ top priority, House Bill 1001, would boost funding for K-12 schools to account for a higher than expected increase in enrollment at traditional public schools. Bosma said this increase would be in addition to the $7 billion annually Indiana spends on K-12 education.
Currently, $1 billion is being spent on 30 workforce programs across nine state agencies, but employers are still struggling to find qualified workers to fill high-demand, high-wage jobs.
That’s why House lawmakers supported HB 1002 to re-evaluate workforce-related programs using return-on-investment metrics enacted in 2017. The legislation also aims to better connect Career Technical Education students with local businesses and encourage students to complete training in high-demand fields.
As part of Indiana’s continued fight against the opioid epidemic, House Republicans supported HB 1006 and HB 1007 to expand substance abuse and treatment options, and streamline licensure and credentialing for mental health professionals. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, there was a 52 percent increase in opioid deaths from 2015 to 2016.
While Indiana ranked No. 1 for state government administration by U.S. News and World Report, House Republicans plan to build on that momentum by considering efforts to further reduce government bureaucracy. Bosma said House Republicans supported HB 1003 and HB 1004 in order to streamline local and state government operations and reporting requirements.
House District 88 includes the northeast corner of Marion County
and portions of Hancock and Hamilton counties.