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[r29] Column - New Laws Part II: The Health and Safety of Hoosiers
Start Date: 7/10/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 7/10/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

New Laws Part II: The Health and Safety of Hoosiers

 Now that we are in the second week of July all the pieces of legislation passed last session have been enacted. I saw many of you during Independence Day celebrations, and I received a lot of great feedback on what we accomplished during session. The two specific issues I wanted to focus on this time were Indiana’s health care sector and the safety of Hoosier children.
 
The health of Hoosiers and the safety of children are of the utmost importance to the Indiana General Assembly. Just last week, as I was watching families play during 4th of July celebrations, I was reminded how many of these new laws will hopefully allow for more quality time with one another over the years. 
 
Here are a few of those laws that popped into my mind:

House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1034 – Allows patients to have direct access to a physical therapist for the first 24 days of treatment. This legislation is an effort to save patients time and money. Many patients return for physical therapy periodically when their condition flares up, and direct access would allow them to be seen sooner.
 
HEA 1099 – Expands opportunities and helps widen the abilities of physician assistants so they are able to use a full range of skills. The Affordable Care Act is increasing the need for primary care, and physician assistants help relieve the demands on these physicians. This legislation makes Indiana a better place for physician assistants to practice, bringing both high skilled jobs and increased healthcare access for Hoosiers.
 
HEA 1135 – Allows qualified midwives to become certified and deliver babies at home, provided the pregnancy is low-risk. The law puts safeguards in place giving the Medical Licensing Board the ability to make rules for the profession. For the safety of the mother and child the midwife must also collaborate with a physician. 
 
HEA 1423 – Focuses on improving school safety and limiting bullying. Bullying is a significant issue for students today. One in four kids has been bullied in the last twelve months, and one in five kids were bullied online. One in twenty kids did not go to school because they were concerned for their safety. The recognized that cyberbullying is a growing issue nationally and in Indiana, and these statistics simply cannot go on. This bill will help combat cyberbullying by offering training for both students and teachers so that they can better understand bullying and prevent it. 
 
HEA 1464 – Allows pharmacists to administer three additional vaccines, which increases access and reduces health care costs. Every dollar spent on pharmacist immunizations saves Indiana $6.36 in direct medical costs. 
 
HEA 1494 – Requires the employees and volunteers of certain child care providers to undergo national criminal history background checks. It also requires that if an applicant applies for a license to operate a child care home, the applicant's spouse and members of the household must also have a criminal history background check done. While parents are away at work we want to make sure they have the peace of mind knowing their children are in the best of hands.
 
Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 1 – Establishes the Indiana Secured School Fund, under the administration of the Department of Homeland Security. The fund will provide matching grants to allow school corporations and charter schools to establish programs to employ school resource officers, conduct threat assessments of school buildings and purchase safety equipment and technology.
 
SEA 125 – Establishes the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana and the Statewide Child Fatality Review Committee. Together they will work to study child mortality in Indiana, create strategies to protect children and make recommendations to the legislature for the safety of children and prevention of serious injuries or death. It is our duty to fight for the safety of every child, and we will continue to pass legislation that will help the vulnerable. 
 
SEA 345 – Establishes a Commission on Seclusion and Restraint in Schools to help with the appropriate and constructive handling of special needs students in schools. Schools and teachers are not always prepared to deal with disciplinary issues, especially for special needs and emotionally troubled students. This bill attempts to deal with those circumstances and create plans to better prepare school faculty.
 
Hoosier health and the safety of students in Indiana are top priorities for the General Assembly. If you have an idea on how to make those areas even better please get in touch; together, we can continue to make Indiana a great place to live!

My guest column also appears in the Times of Noblesville.

Contact Information:
Name: Nicholas Goodwin
Phone: 3172329831
Email: ngoodwin@iga.in.gov
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