The 2018 legislative session adjourned at midnight on March 14. New laws will positively impact the lives of Hoosiers by making intersections safer, identifying diseases in newborn babies quicker and improving the adoption process.
I authored legislation that will task the Interim Study Committee on Roads and Transportation with examining possible ways to improve safety at rural intersections and find potential incentives for landowners to increase sightlines.
This bill is a result of a fatal accident in our district. A pickup truck collided with a large crop sprayer when the occupants couldn’t see each other approaching the same intersection because the tall corn blocked their view. With increased traffic in rural areas, we need to ensure motorists are safe and sightlines are clear.
Other legislation I co-authored is now law and works to save the lives of children by adding two new tests to Indiana’s newborn screening panel: spinal muscular atrophy and severe combined immunodeficiency disease.
SMA is a severe genetic disorder that alters the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, which can eventually lead to the inability to walk, talk and breathe. SCID makes those affected highly susceptible to life-threatening infections caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi. Newborn health conditions, whether common or obscure, can have devastating consequences if they are not detected early. With both diseases, early detection is key to better ensure healthy lives for Hoosier children.
I also supported legislation that gives adoptive parents a clear path to voice concerns or ask questions during the adoption process. According to the Department of Child Services, there are nearly 150 children up for adoption in Indiana at any given time. This law will task an adoption agency with submitting reports to prospective adoptive parents containing the contact information of the agency’s employees, which will provide applicants multiple avenues to voice concerns, ask questions and receive feedback during the adoption process.
Though a number of bills failed due to time constraints, substantive progress was made on many important issues. Our House Republican legislative priorities passed, including those addressing school funding, strengthening workforce development, attacking the opioid epidemic and increasing government efficiency.
While the legislative session is over, I will work to continue moving Indiana forward. As always, please contact me with questions or input at 317-232-9651 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate hearing from you in order to better represent our district.
Stay up-to-date with the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/h53.
State Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) represents House District 53,
which includes portions of Hancock and Madison counties.
A high-resolution photo of Cherry can be downloaded by clicking here.