Cook: Important issues facing our state

Posted by: Allison Vanatsky and Katherine Mayo  | Friday, February 16, 2018

The 2018 legislative session crossed the midway point, with House bills now being reviewed by the Senate and Senate bills being reviewed by House members. I am sponsoring Senate bills that would help protect Hoosiers from misleading telemarketers, help prevent youth suicides and ensure rape kits are processed in a timelier manner.

Misleading calls from telemarketers and scammers is a problem plaguing Hoosiers throughout the state. When calling, they disguise their number to make it look as if calls are from personal contacts or a local number. By enacting a new law clarifying these calls as deceptive or misleading, victims of these scams would be able to work with Indiana’s Attorney General to pursue violators.

I am also supporting efforts to establish a new program that would offer additional tools to health care providers to better identify and treat children who are considering self-harm. Emergency medical technicians would also participate in the program and better understand suicide assessment, treatment and management. By utilizing effective and promising procedures recommended by the Indiana Suicide Prevention Network Advisory Council, we will be able to help more children and save lives.

Based on a recent audit, thousands of rape kits are going untested within the state. Policymakers want to create a statewide sexual assault team to be responsible for kit testing and tracking. The bill I am sponsoring would better assure the forensic exams from the victims of sexual assault cases are moving through and not being lost in the system. Results from sexual assault exams would be considered a standard procedure for the inspection relating to any sex-related crime. This legislation would help more victims get the justice they deserve and send rapists to jail.

As I work on these proposals for new laws and consider whether or not to support other proposals, please contact me with any questions or comments at 317-232-9678 or by email at h32@iga.in.gov. For more information about my bills and other legislation, visit iga.in.gov. Learn more about my work at the Statehouse by signing up to receive email updates at www.in.gov/h32.

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State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) represents House District 32, which includes all of Tipton County and portions of Hamilton, Madison, Delaware, Howard and Grant counties.

A high-resolution photo of Cook can be downloaded by clicking here.