Ledbetter: The 2021 legislative session is underway

Posted by: Jordan Wallace  | Monday, January 11, 2021

Last week, I joined my fellow lawmakers in Indianapolis for the start of the 2021 legislative session. While this session is unlike any others due to the pandemic, we are still hard at work tackling important issues like passing a responsibly balanced budget, supporting students and educators, improving public health and more.

A crucial part of this session is creating an honestly balanced budget that makes key investments in areas such as education and rural broadband. House lawmakers are fast tracking a bill to fully fund all K-12 public school students for the 2020-21 school year due to COVID-19. The pandemic caused many traditional public schools to shift to remote learning to help slow the spread of the virus. The bill helps mitigate requirements under current law that says schools receive 85% of the tuition support per virtual student, which is defined as a child learning 50% or more of their instruction online. This bill would ensure schools receive the funding they expected. We are also working to expand rural broadband. The pandemic really highlighted the need for reliable connectivity, especially for our students.

Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed under an emergency use authorization by the Federal Drug Administration, but it has not gone through the same extensive testing as other fully approved vaccines. That's why I am working on legislation to help ensure Hoosiers have the ability to turn down the vaccine even if their employers require it. I believe individuals should have the ability to refuse these vaccinations until all information is available.

As we consider these and other proposals for new laws, there are ways for Hoosiers to be involved in the legislative process. All session meetings and committee hearings are livestreamed online at iga.in.gov, and videos are archived and available to the public.

To stay up-to-date on the work I am doing at the Statehouse, subscribe to my e-newsletter at in.gov/h75. Please contact me by calling 317-232-9769 or emailing h75@iga.in.gov to share your opinion. I look forward to serving Warrick, Spencer, and Pike counties.

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State Rep. Cindy Ledbetter (R-Newburgh) represents House District 75, 
which includes portions of Pike, Spencer and Warrick counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.