Charlie Brown

Public Health Study Committee Wraps Up Summer Work

Oct 26, 2017

A legislative study committee on public health issues voted Thursday to recommend the General Assembly take action on diabetes and the state’s nursing shortage as it wrapped up its work ahead of the next legislative session.

In recent years diabetes action plans have failed at the Statehouse. But this year’s study committee showed momentum.

Eskenazi pharmacist Jasmine Gonzolva, a non-legislative member of the committee, says much of the focus is on screening and prevention.

Indiana Black Caucus Lays Out 2017 Agenda

Jan 26, 2017


The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus’ agenda for the 2017 session is nearly as much about bills they want to halt as measures they hope to pass.

The caucus’ agenda includes bias crimes legislation, a measure to ban private prisons, a healthy food initiative and a bill to improve student discipline and behavior.

And while Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) acknowledges the difficulty in getting many of those bills passed, he says the caucus constantly seeks common ground.

Joe Flintham

A governor-approved bill that would give Indiana counties and municipalities the ability to set up their own syringe exchanges passed its first hurtle, clearing the House Committee on Public Health Wednesday afternoon.

Currently, local and regional governments need the state health commissioner to declare a public health emergency before counties can establish their syringe exchange programs. The new bill still does not allow the state to fund the programs, and communities would still have the option to establish exchanges through the state approval method.

Lawmakers Considering Extending Smoking Ban To Casinos

Feb 13, 2015
Marco Papale /

A bill to lift restrictions on riverboat casinos is reopening the debate of whether the state smoking ban should apply to casinos.

New Albany Representative Ed Clere has introduced a bill to remove casinos’ exemption from the smoking ban.

Gary Representative Charlie Brown co-authored the original law.

With the riverboats seeking to move inland, Brown says he may seek to add the smoking restriction to that bill when it reaches the House floor in the next week or two.

Indiana is poised to lose more than $60 million it was supposed to get from a landmark tobacco settlement in the 1990s.  That's money intended for health programs across the state.

With the governor’s signature, Indiana would become the 28th state to legalize and regulate midwifery after the House and Senate approved a bill Friday. This marked the first session during which a midwifery bill cleared both houses of the General Assembly.  But key roadblocks remained as recently as last week.

September 12, 2012

Dear Inspector General Thomas:

Please consider this letter an official ethics complaint and request for an investigation concerning the inappropriate actions of Governor Mitch Daniels in relation to his recent appointment as future President of Purdue University.

The source of this ethics complaint and the need for an investigation stems from three sources:

Ethics complaint filed against Gov. Daniels

Sep 12, 2012

A state representative has filed a formal complaint with the inspector general over Mitch Daniels and his new role at Purdue.

State Representative Charlie Brown (D-Gary) wrote to the inspector general, asking for a formal investigation of Governor Mitch Daniels. You can see the letter HERE.

Governor Mitch Daniels says supporters of a statewide smoking ban accomplished about 90% of their goal. 

Smoking will officially be prohibited in public places when the legislation takes effect July 1.  The ban exempts gaming facilities, cigar and hookah bars, tobacco shops and social clubs that take votes every two years to allow smoking.

Despite opposition from the bill’s authors, it also fully exempts bars and taverns that require patrons be 21 or older to enter.  Some smoking ban advocates say if the ban doesn’t encompass everything then there’s no reason to have it.

Lawmakers are working on a final draft of a statewide smoking ban,  but there are still significant issues to overcome and only a few days of session left.  Let's made some legislators admit it’s possible the ban won’t get passed this year.