Waynedale Political Commentaries

HALFTIME AT THE SENATE – Straight From The Senate

The Indiana General Assembly recently reached the half-way point, meaning the Senate and House of Representatives will begin considering legislation passed by their counterpart since session began January 3.

Nearly 440 bills were authored in the Senate this year, and of those, a number continue to move successfully through the legislative process, including those detailed on our legislative agenda.

Senate Bill 1, authored by State Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) to update Indiana’s Sunday carryout alcohol law, passed the Senate by a vote of 39 to 10. Under this bill, package liquor, grocery, convenience and drug stores would be permitted to sell alcohol for carryout on Sunday from noon until 8 p.m.

Senate Bill 50, authored by State Sen. Doug Eckerty (R-Yorktown) to prepare for the one million jobs expected to become available over the next decade, passed by a vote of 45 to 3. SB 50 would help fill these high-wage, high-demand jobs by expanding financial aid for job-training programs and streamlining the state’s workforce-development efforts.

Senate Bill 99, authored by State Sen. Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) to enhance Indiana’s civil forfeiture laws, passed out of our chamber with a unanimous vote. SB 99 would modify the laws to create a better balance between property owners’ Constitutional rights and law-enforcement needs.

Senate Bill 172, authored by State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond) to equip Hoosier students with skills necessary for the future, passed the Senate by a vote of 48 to 1. Under this bill, each Indiana high school would be required to offer a computer science course to its students by 2021.

Senate Bill 177, authored by State Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn) to simplify Indiana’s diploma system, passed the Senate unanimously. This bill would establish four pathways to one Indiana high school diploma, rather than the four separate diplomas our state has now.

Senate Bill 189, authored by State Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen) to ensure our students continue to receive a quality education, passed the Senate unanimously. SB 189 would increase school funding to account for a higher than expected enrollment in our public schools for the 2017-18 school year.

Senate Bill 221, authored by State Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) to combat the opioid epidemic, passed out of our chamber by a vote of 47 to 1. Under SB 221, doctors would be required to check INSPECT, Indiana’s prescription-monitoring service, when prescribing opioids to patients.

My colleagues and I have accomplished a lot in the first half of session, and I am ready to get to work considering legislation authored by the House.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns about these or other issues, contact my office at 800-382-9467 or Senator.Long@iga.in.gov.

David Long - IN Dist. 16 Senator

David is a former Republican member of the Indiana State Senate representing the 16th district which encompasses Waynedale. He served as the President Pro Tempore of the Indiana State Senate. David writes the "Straight From The Senate" column for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer