House Republicans release 2018 legislative agenda

Posted by: Erin Reece  | Thursday, January 4, 2018 11:00 am

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 4, 2018)  House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) released the House Republican legislative agenda today, which focuses on supporting a funding boost for K-12 schools, strengthening Indiana’s workforce, attacking the opioid epidemic and increasing government efficiency.

“Indiana’s strong fiscal foundation and economic momentum positions us well to handle the challenges ahead,” Bosma said. “This short session will be fast and our hope is to act quickly on our top priorities, including fulfilling our funding commitments to local schools, reforming our workforce system, continuing our attack on the opioid epidemic and cutting government red tape. We look forward to working with our House and Senate colleagues and Gov. Eric Holcomb to accomplish our agenda on time and under budget.

Bosma said the top priority will be a boost in funding for K-12 schools to account for a higher than expected increase in enrollment at traditional public schools. The funding boost will be in addition to the $7 billion annually Indiana currently spends on K-12 education.

To build on Indiana’s growing economy and top-rated business climate, Bosma said lawmakers will work with Holcomb to implement a workforce strategy that is employer driven and puts Hoosiers in a position to be successful. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development estimated that the state will need to fill 1 million jobs by 2022. Bosma said $1 billion is currently 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. House Republicans plan to re-evaluate workforce-related programs using return-on-investment metrics enacted in 2017. Legislators will also work 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 will support efforts to expand substance abuse and treatment options, and provide licensure flexibility 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 will work to streamline local and state government reporting requirements, and consolidate townships that have a population of less than 1,200.

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House District 88 includes the northeast corner of 

Marion County and portions of Hancock and Hamilton counties.

View the 2018 Indiana House Republicans Legislative Agenda here