As we are nearing the end of session, it is appropriate to look back on what has been accomplished thus far and to prepare for the work to be done in the coming weeks. That’s why I decided to write a progress report, which measures how effective House Republicans have been in meeting the goals we laid out in our legislative agenda earlier in the year.
Road funding was one of our top priorities going into this year’s session and, as I wrote last week, the House passed House Bill (HB) 1001, a comprehensive plan to fund Indiana’s short- and long-term transportation infrastructure needs at the state and local level. The bill strengthens our dedicated funding mechanisms for our state’s roads and bridges while also providing both matching grants and tools to help local roads.
Attracting and retaining the best teachers in Hoosier classrooms was also a top priority.
The House passed HB 1005, which would allow schools the flexibility to devise and implement their own Career Pathways and Mentorship Programs for teachers. These local efforts will support new educators as well as recognize and reward experienced teachers’ work beyond the classroom. Professional development tools and opportunities like these will only help teacher recruitment and retention.
Curbing the epidemic of illegal drugs afflicting our state, particularly methamphetamine, was also a top agenda item for House Republicans.
Indiana has led the nation for three consecutive years in meth labs. Each one is a fire or explosion away from harming children, neighbors or first responders. We have to better restrict meth cooks’ access to the drug’s key precursor, pseudoephedrine (PSE), which is one type of cold medication.
Under HB 1390, which the House passed, a consumer could still purchase PSE without a prescription if they have a prior relationship with a pharmacy or they either agree to purchase a smaller package or tamper-resistant formulation. A prescription would only be required in the small number of case when a person refuses those options. This commonsense measure would empower local pharmacists to help in our fight against meth labs.
The House also passed HB 1157, which would bar drug felons from purchasing or possessing PSE without a prescription.
These bills are currently being considered by the Senate.
The progress we have made on these critical issues facing Hoosiers is a step in the right direction, but there is always more work to be done. As we continue to lead Indiana forward, it is important that we close out the second half of the session strongly and deliver practical solutions to Hoosiers across the state.
As always, please contact me with questions or input at (317) 232-9793 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am eager to help and always appreciate hearing from you in order to better represent our district at the Statehouse.
Rep. Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.