The 2016 legislative session came to a close last week, and legislators worked together to make significant progress on important issues facing Indiana.
House Republicans set out with priorities focused on supporting educators and schools and funding Indiana’s infrastructure needs.
House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1005 will allow school districts to have the option to devise and implement their own Career Pathways and Mentorship Program, which would recognize and reward teachers who take on extra roles and leadership positions. Along with strengthening teacher background checks, the bill allows school corporations the option to offer supplemental pay to educators who teach advanced placement and dual-credit courses. The bill also removes barriers to license reciprocity. HEA 1005 is now awaiting the governor’s consideration.
I also supported a plan to improve Indiana’s roads. Throughout session, the House Republicans were committed to passing a responsible, comprehensive and sustainable plan to address our state’s road and bridge funding needs. House Enrolled Act 1001 directs $186 million upfront to a local road and bridge matching grant account. The bill also redirects 1.5 cents of the 7 cents of sales tax on gasoline to the matching account as a source of ongoing funding and codifies the current equivalent of one cent already being dedicated to road funding. About $328 million would go toward state road and bridge preservation and maintenance over the next two years. In addition, about $505 million in local option income tax reserves currently held by the state will be returned to local units with $330 million dedicated to roads. The enrolled act also creates a task force, which will conduct a deep-dive study this summer into state and local road funding needs and options. The bill now moves to the governor’s desk where he is expected to sign it into law.
This session, I also worked to protect the rights of Hoosiers by authoring a bill that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry firearms on government property, and another doing away with gun permits that force citizens to get the government’s permission to exercise their Second Amendment right. Next session, I will continue my work to eradicate current gun laws infringing on our Second Amendment right to “Keep and Bear Arms.”
I enjoyed the opportunity to serve the citizens of District 69 during the 2016 legislative session. For more information, visit iga.in.gov. If there are any questions or input, please contact me at H69@iga.in.gov or 317-234-9499.
Rep. Lucas (R-Seymour) represents Jackson, Jennings, Jefferson, and Bartholomew counties.