Senate Republicans Conclude 2017 Session with Passage of Key Priorities

STATEHOUSE― The Indiana Senate concluded the 2017 legislative session today, completing work on a variety of key legislative priorities.

“I applaud the Senate’s efforts to deliver on the priorities we laid out at the beginning of this session,” Long said. “Working together, we have crafted a long-term, sustainable road funding plan that will support economic growth for years to come, and enacted yet another balanced budget that prioritizes education, public safety, and fighting illegal drug abuse.”

Long noted the following priorities outlined by Senate Republicans in January are now on their way to the governor for his consideration:

  • Passing another balanced two-year state budget (House Enrolled Act 1001, sponsored by Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville):

Funds important state priorities, including education, public safety, and fighting illegal drug abuse while maintaining our record of fiscal responsibility

  • Creating a long-term road funding plan (House Enrolled Act 1002, sponsored by Sen. Michael Crider, R-Greenfield):

Supports continued economic growth by providing sustainable, long-term funding to improve Indiana’s roads for the next 20 years. When fully phased in, HEA 1002 will provide $1.2 billion per year in new funding for Indiana’s roads – about $850 million for state highways and $350 million for local roads.

Gives Hoosiers the chance to approve an amendment to the Indiana Constitution that would prohibit state spending from exceeding state revenue unless two-thirds of the General Assembly deems it necessary to use emergency spending measures

  • Fighting opioid abuse through prevention, enforcement and treatment:

Prevention: Senate Enrolled Act 226, authored by Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis), limits opioid prescription amounts for patients who are being prescribed opioids for the first time.

Enforcement: House Enrolled Act 1406, sponsored by Sen. Eric Koch (R-Bedford), enhances the criminal penalties for dealing heroin.

Treatment: The state budget (House Enrolled Act 1001) includes $10 million for addiction treatment and other programs overseen by the Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment and Prevention.

Replaces the ISTEP test with a new testing system that will take less time away from classroom instruction, provide faster results, and give high school students multiple pathways to earn a high school diploma.

Increases per-student funding for high-school Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses in high-wage, high-demand job fields and establishes a new Workforce Ready Grant program to provide financial aid to students working toward a job certificate in a high-value industry.

Fixes the unintended consequences of Indiana’s laws on e-liquid manufacturing by eliminating the rules that created unfair competition and bringing us into compliance with federal rules.

The Senate is now adjourned “sine die”— which signifies the end of the 2017 Indiana General Assembly.

SOURCE: News release from Indiana Senate Republicans