Author Senator Ed Charbonneau, (R-Valparaiso), spoke before the Senate Chamber last Thursday to testify on his Senate Bill 4. Charbonneau said the bill seeks to bring more state funding and assistance to local health departments.
Indiana’s public health rankings have fallen short recently. In Governor Eric Holcomb’s proposed budget, he announced wanting to invest $240 billion in public health due to Indiana being ranked 45th in the nation for public health funding.
Additionally, according to the Governor’s Public Health Commission, “Since 2000, the state budget only provides $6.7-$6.9 million of direct funding each year to local health departments.”
With these concerns in mind, over 20 senators are listed as authors and sponsors of the bill, crossing party lines.
If passed completely through the House and turned into law, SB 4 would “require each local board of health to establish a local public health services fund to receive state funding” and allow the Indiana State Health Department to offer guidance to smaller local health departments. The bill also covers such matters as the creation of new local health departments, vision tests in schools and more.
The bill passed out of the Senator with a vote of 41-7.
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