STATEHOUSE — State Representative Sharon Negele (R-Attica) wasted no time getting to work during her first legislative session in the Indiana General Assembly. In total, she authored one bill, coauthored four, sponsored two and cosponsored two. In fact, two of her bills are waiting to be signed into law: House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1001 and HEA 1029.
As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Negele played a significant role in crafting HEA 1001, the state’s biennial budget. The budget prioritizes funding for education and infrastructure improvements all the while protecting Hoosier taxpayers by paying down debt and providing tax relief.
“After several years of fiscal restraint, we can now say that we have the prudent amount of reserves and projected growth to increase funding for vital areas like transportation and education,” said Rep. Negele. “Funding for K-12 education will increase by $390 million over the biennium. In looking at the budget as whole, funding for K-12 and higher education makes up 58 percent of the budget; clearly outlining our top priority.”
The budget will build and maintain infrastructure with sustainable funding. Road and bridge funding will increase by $215 million per year. This investment in Indiana’s infrastructure will help attract jobs and businesses which will further stimulate the economy.
“Passing a balanced budget is important to providing financial security for future generations of Hoosiers,” said Rep. Negele. “Indiana’s business environment continues to be recognized as the best in the Midwest. Through high-quality education and job creation incentives, we will continue on this path of success.”
HEA 1029 allows the relative of an adoptee and a pre-adoptive sibling to obtain medical history information about an adopted child. The person requesting this information must include the reason why the release of this information may be beneficial and a judge must approve the request.
“This new law is a testament to the fact that one person truly can make a difference,” said Rep. Negele. “I was prompted to author this legislation after hearing the story of a Kokomo women whose deceased husband was an adoptee and the problems she had obtaining medical history information about him. This law will allow her to request such information for the benefit of their children.”
HEA 1029 also requires the court to appoint a confidential intermediary if certain requirements are met and the petitioner has shown an emergency medical need or good cause relating to the welfare of an interested person. This helps strike a balance between the privacy of individuals and the benefit of the information to those seeking it.
“This session, we passed a fiscally responsible budget, and I believe the end result proves our continued dedication to education, infrastructure and protecting Hoosier taxpayers,” said Rep. Negele. “Focusing on jobs and education is what will propel us forward and make a stronger Indiana for generations to come.”