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IN General Assembly begins second half of session

Indiana lawmakers get back to work this week for the second half of their legislative session. Besides the budget bill, roughly 200 other measures are being considered in the House and Senate between now and the April 29th deadline.

Representative Randy Truitt (R-West Lafayette) says there are a number of education-related bills still up for debate.

“There are some calendar flexibility bills that are coming over for schools, K-12, that I’m keeping an eye on, because I’ve filed one in the past for the last couple sessions. There are some high-performing school grant bills that I’m keeping an eye on.”

He says he is sponsoring a bill on school policies dealing with gang activity.

Two other bills before the House deal with abortion, one of which would make the Lafayette Planned Parenthood facility meet the same licensing requirements as a surgical abortion clinic.

Truitt says he has not looked at it closely yet, but he’s hearing from constituents.

“I told a group last week I’m looking forward to learning more about it, understanding what their position is. And I’ve heard from very emotional feelings and thoughts on both sides of that issue. So, I’m sure that’s one that’s going to get some good debate as well.”

The Republican says he’s pro-life, but feels there has to be a balance to bills such as those dealing with abortion. Truitt says the second bill, dealing with the printing of an informational brochure in color, is less contentious in his mind.

Lawmakers also will be examining is the expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. Truitt says it is not a question of providing coverage to the roughly 440,000 Hoosiers without insurance.

“This is figuring out what’s the best methodology to deliver that. And there’s two different, diverse ways of looking at that,” he says. “I think a big concern of taking those dollars is the fear, the paranoia, whatever word you want to use is: We go ahead and plan for that and everybody else does it and the feds can’t afford it.”

Governor Mike Pence says he does not want to expand Medicaid. He is requesting permission from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan, which serves uninsured adults.

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