[r75] BLT: Making progress quickly (1/21/2011)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Start Date: 1/21/2011 All Day
End Date: 1/21/2011

Making progress quickly

It has been an exciting week in the Statehouse. We have been moving quickly with bills, some of which have already been passed through the House and onto the Senate. Multiple other bills have been thoroughly discussed and passed through committee onto the House floor for second readings.

On Wednesday, the House Public Health Committee, on which I sit, discussed and voted on a bill that would ban smoking in public places across the state. I want to say that while I did vote to pass it through committee, I did so to get the bill moved on to the House floor for further discussion by all of the state representatives and am not committed yet to pass the actual bill itself. This bill would have a tremendous effect on my constituents and Hoosiers across the state, and I feel that the bill is an intrusion upon individuals' rights. I want to hear what my constituents and other representatives have to say on the matter so that I can make a more informed decision before voting on the bill.

Another bill that passed through committee this week was one that would ban texting on cell phones while driving. Certainly this would have a major effect not only on Hoosiers, but on all drivers and passengers on our roads, so I am interested to see how the bill progresses.

I mentioned last week a bill I wrote that would remove a student athlete from a game if they have a head injury until they can be examined by a doctor. Another component of this bill was requiring the Indiana Department of Education (DOE) to create and hand out information sheets to student athletes and their parents about head injuries, as well as forms for the students and parents to fill out acknowledging that they received that information. This bill passed the first reading on the House floor and has been assigned to the Education Committee. I have met with the DOE to address their concerns about the bill, and they feel that they would not be able to regulate their part of the bill because it is not exactly a part of education. As such, I will be re-writing and amending the bill before the committee hearing to address these concerns, so stay tuned for further developments on this bill.

It was amazing how much was accomplished in the House this week despite having Monday off, and I look forward to keeping you updated on further developments as the 117th General Assembly progresses.

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Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler)