Davisson: Itís halftime at the Statehouse

Posted by: Abigail Campbell and Kayla King  | Friday, February 9, 2018

The 2018 legislative session reached its halfway point, with Senate bills moving to the House for consideration and approved House bills crossing over to the Senate. House Republicans advanced our agenda priorities, including passing bills addressing K-12 funding and attacking the opioid epidemic.

As always, education remains a top priority for House Republicans. We have more students than ever enrolled in our public schools, which is great news. House Bill 1001 would boost funding for traditional K-12 schools to account for a higher than expected increase in enrollment. We want to ensure schools are provided the funding they anticipated upon the passage of last year’s state budget, and this legislation would restore all of that funding and reaffirm our commitment to Hoosier educators and students. This increase would be in addition to the $7 billion annually Indiana spends on K-12 education.

Perhaps one of the most pressing issues we are addressing this session is the opioid epidemic that is ravaging Hoosier communities. House Bill 1007 would expand the number of Indiana’s current opioid treatment program facilities from 18 to 27. Nine certified community mental health centers or general acute care hospitals could apply to the Division of Mental Health and Addiction to operate a new opioid treatment program after June 30, 2018. The approval process will ensure these facilities are strategically dispersed throughout the state so that no Hoosier is more than an hour-long drive from the treatment they need. Pairing these addiction programs with local hospitals will also allow for additional wrap-around services like medical treatment and counseling. 

During the second half of session, bills that originated in the Senate can now be considered by the House and sponsored by representatives. A senate bill I am sponsoring would require county coroners to further investigate suspected overdose deaths. The legislation would have a coroner obtain information about the deceased from INSPECT, Indiana’s prescription monitoring program, if they reasonably suspect a cause of death to be an accidental or intentional overdose of a controlled substance. Coroners would also have to forward test results from the decedent’s body to the Indiana State Department of Health with their notice of death and information about the controlled substance that may have been involved. Detailed and geographic-specific information like this is essential to saving future lives in our fight against the opioid epidemic. This bill was assigned to the House Committee on Public Health and may receive a hearing this month.

As the session progresses, I will continue to use any input you have to help guide me when voting on policies impacting our community and state. As your representative, I appreciate your questions and opinions. Please feel free to email me at 317-232-9769 or email h73@iga.in.gov.

-30-

Rep. Steve Davisson represents Washington County, and portions

of Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties. 

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