Senator Randy Head 2019The Indiana General Assembly adjourned last week, concluding the 2019 legislative session. Earlier this year, the Senate Republican Caucus developed their top legislative priorities.

IN Senator Randy Head said, “Below are the goals we set and the bills we passed to achieve them.”

He continues, “Like all hardworking Hoosiers who balance their checkbooks, we know responsible government means making tough choices and spending within our means. My colleagues and I passed a two-year state budget with strong “rainy day” reserves in order to protect our state in the event of an economic downturn. The budget also continues our strong support of education with a funding increase of nearly 5% for K-12 schools.”

Due in part to the drug epidemic, the Indiana Dept. of Child Services is struggling to keep up with the number of children needing services in our state.  Senator Head said, “This session, we created measures aimed at improving services for vulnerable children and addressing the concerns of foster parents dealing with the court system. If we want more Hoosiers to become foster parents, it’s important our laws do not create roadblocks that discourage them.”
With more than half of the state’s General Fund devoted to K-12 education, Indiana spends a higher percentage of its budget on education than all but two other states. Senator Head said, “We continued to put education first this session by increasing K-12 funding by $763 million. This increase includes an additional $539 million in tuition support, an increase in per-student funding and an increase in Teacher Appreciation Grants.”
Protecting schools from violence takes vigilance on the part of every Hoosier. Legislators have worked hard to improve school safety by making changes to requirements regarding the Indiana Safe Schools Fund and Indiana Secured School Fund. One bill passed this session allows grants through the Indiana Secured School Fund to be used to employ a law enforcement officer. This measure also requires schools to conduct active-shooter drills. The bill does not include language allowing trainers to shoot projectiles during the drills.

To address Indiana’s long-term skills gap, the General Assembly has implemented many workforce-development reforms in recent years. Senator Head said, “This session, we continued our efforts to improve career prospects for Hoosiers.  One initiative we implemented aims to strengthen high school career and technical education programs, make students and teachers more aware of Indiana’s in-demand careers, and reform adult job-training programs.”

Head closed his comments saying, “I am proud of the work my colleagues and I accomplished this session, and I will continue to work hard to find ways to further improve our state.”

For more information on legislation passed this session, click here