It was a very productive week at the Statehouse. Each day, new legislation is being passed and amended to create a better quality of life for Hoosiers. I wanted to take a moment to highlight three bills this week that I have authored or have great interest in.
First, a piece of legislation I authored: House Bill 1027 is concerned with civil immunity for services in a state of emergency. This type of legislation is commonly referred to as the “Good Samaritan Act”, because it gives a pass to individuals who assist in a state of emergencies, such as the Indiana state fair stage collapse or the tornadoes that occurred in Henryville last year. Because these individuals are volunteers who are asked to provide their services, they will not be held liable. In this bill, civil immunity would be granted to a registered architect, land surveyor, or professional engineer. Indiana joins a group of 25 other states with similar ‘Good Samaritan Act’ laws. House Bill 1027 passed out of the House on Monday with a 93-0 vote and is on its way to the Senate.
Another bill that I support is House Bill 1002, which creates the Indiana Career Council. The council will work together to align participants in the state’s education, job skills development, and career training system to match the education and skills training that are currently in demand. House Bill 1002 will help align Hoosiers with jobs they are trained for and get people back to work. I am very pleased with the bipartisan support 1002 received and believe it shows that Indiana representatives on both sides of the aisle are committed to working together on issues that affect Hoosiers. It passed through the House on Tuesday with a 99-0 vote and now heads on to the Senate.
Finally, a bill that I am not authoring but fully support is House Bill 1483. This bill deals with drug testing of individuals who are receiving assistance from the state. This bill would require the office of the Secretary of Family and Social Services to administer a drug testing program for individuals who are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) assistance. It would establish requirements for the drug testing program and ineligibility penalties. In feedback from my pre-session survey that was sent out to House District 63 in December, this concept has received a 91 percent approval rating from those who responded to the survey. It has been referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
As I reflect over the past week I am proud to say your Indiana legislators are working hard every day to make Indiana a better place to live. I believe Indiana is moving in the right direction and I know we can continue on that path to even brighter days ahead.