Mahan: Session crosses halfway mark

Posted by: Lydia Kirschner  | Monday, March 11, 2019 10:34 am

The 2019 legislative session crossed the halfway point, with 201 House bills and 218 Senate bills passing out of their original chambers. The House will now consider Senate proposals, and the Senate will consider House proposals. During the first half of session, I worked on key issues to improve the Indiana Department of Child Services, enhance school safety and save lives by implementing new sepsis treatment protocols.

I supported House Bill 1006, which would implement recommendations based off an independent evaluation of DCS by the Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group. According to the evaluation, nearly 45 percent of family case managers have caseloads above the state standard. DCS reports also show that nearly 1,800 case managers have resigned since 2016. This legislation I supported would require smaller caseloads, helping case workers manage their workload more efficiently and effectively. House Bill 1006 would also extend the deadline for assessments to be completed by caseworkers from 30 days to 45 to provide adequate time for employees to do their work. This will ensure that every case receives the proper time and attention it deserves.

House Bill 1004 is a priority bill I co-authored, which would implement recommendations from Gov. Eric Holcomb’s school safety report in order to improve mental health resources for students and strengthen physical security. As a former law enforcement official, I am co-authoring this proposal for a new law to improve building security, provide funding for law enforcement and school resource officers, conduct threat assessments for schools and continue increasing investment into school safety and security. To date, the state has invested over $53 million in matching grants to increase security for our schools. By investing in school safety and mental health resources, we help ensure that our students will have the best possible environment for learning and growing.

Sepsis, which is the leading cause of death in hospitals, is a serious condition resulting from a harmful infection that spreads to the bloodstream or important tissues. I authored House Bill 1275 to create the Sepsis Treatment Protocol Task Force, which would develop best practices and provide protocol recommendations to the Indiana State Department of Health. Without timely treatment, sepsis can cause tissue damage, organ failure and death. Sepsis has claimed more lives than prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined, according to the Indiana Hospital Association. With only 55 percent of the population knowing what sepsis actually is, more needs to be done to combat this deadly infection. With this legislation, we can raise awareness and work to prevent it from claiming more lives.

To learn more about legislation moving through the process, visit iga.in.gov. As session continues, let’s stay connected. For questions or input, please call 317-234-9499 or email H31@iga.in.gov.

 

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State Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) represents House District 31,

which includes all of Blackford County and portions of Delaware,

Grant and Wells counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.