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  • Governor Pence Hails Suspension of Job-Killing Medical Device Tax

    December 18, 2015 No comments

    Indianapolis – Governor Mike Pence, a long-time advocate for the repeal of Obamacare and the medical device tax today issued the following statement regarding the suspension of the excise tax on medical devices for two years as part of the year-end government funding and tax provisions bill.

     

    “The medical device tax is a job killer in Indiana. Hoosier-based medical device companies and the thousands of Hoosiers employed in this industry should applaud the news that Congress has acted to suspend this onerous Obamacare tax for two years. Indiana ranks second in the nation when it comes to the export of life sciences products. I have heard, time and again, from medical device companies throughout Indiana that the medical device tax has forced these employers to reduce operations and wages or put expansion plan on hold.

     

    “The life sciences industry has a $59 billion impact on Indiana’s economy, employing more than 56,000 Hoosiers with 20,000 of them in medical device-related jobs.

     

    “Indiana’s continued economic growth in the life sciences industry is largely dependent upon having a federal and state tax code that encourages continued investments in the products that save and improve lives. I will continue to work with our Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. until the medical device tax is repealed once and for all.”

     

    Governor Pence has long advocated for the repeal of the 2.3 percent medical device excise tax, which was originally created as part of Obamacare.  Governor Pence has previously sent letters to Congress and the President detailing his opposition to the medical device tax. Those letters can be found attached to this release.imagesMSVK9BTE

    Posted by in Statewide News

  • First Lady Shares Behind-the-Scenes Glimpse at Governor’s Residence Holiday Decorations

    December 18, 2015 No comments

    3Indianapolis – First Lady Karen Pence today shared photos she captured of the Governor’s Residence to show a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the holiday decorations adorning the Residence and grounds. This year’s decorations incorporated Indiana’s state colors, blue and gold, in honor of Indiana’s Bicentennial celebration.

     

    The photos can be found on the Governor’s Flickr account here and the First Lady’s photo gallery here.

     

    Recently, the Governor and First Lady announced additional tour dates had been added for Hoosiers to see firsthand the holiday décor at the Residence. Hoosiers overwhelmingly responded, and all tour dates and times for the remainder of December have been filled. Regular tours will resume mid-January on Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. ET and 11:00 a.m. ET.

    Posted by in Statewide News

  • Cover Crop Workshop Openings

    December 17, 2015 No comments

    IMG_1850Farmers who want to attend a special local cover crop workshop have until Jan. 1 to reserve seats. Reservations for those who are not attending the National No-Tillage Conference in Indianapolis will be accepted on a first-come basis for the Jan. 6 event at Starkey Farms.

    Cost is $15, which covers the workshop and lunch. Advance payment, due Jan. 1, should be made to the Hendricks County Soil & Water Conservation District, 195 Meadow Dr., Ste. 2, Danville, IN 46122

    Workshop topics include cover crop interseeding, managing residual herbicides, cover crop equipment engineering; and a no-till planter, interseeding drill and air flow unit.

    Starkey Farms is located at 10132 E. CR 700 N outside Brownsburg.

    Call the Hendricks County SWCD, 745-2555, ext. 3, for details.

    Posted by in Local Events

  • Representative Steuerwald Recognized as Legislator of the Year for Work on Mental Health

    December 17, 2015 No comments

    123Indianapolis, IN, December 17, 2015 — The Indiana Psychological Association (IPA) is proud to announce that it has selected Representative Greg Steuerwald as Indiana’s 2015 Legislator of the Year.  This award is presented annually to an outstanding mental health leader in the Indiana legislature.

     

    IPA announced the award at their Annual Meeting in November and presented Representative Steuerwald with the award at their December board meeting. Upon acceptance of his award, Rep Steuerwald said, “It is an honor to be recognized by the Indiana Psychological Association. I look forward to continuing to work with the association on important issues, which positively impact public health and access to mental health services for all Hoosiers,”

     

    Representative Steuerwald represents House district 40 which covers portions of Hendricks County including the towns of Plainfield, Brownsburg, and Avon.  During the 2015 legislative session, Representative Steuerwald co-authored House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1269, which makes the Department of Corrections (DOC) an inmate’s authorized representative for applying for Medicaid for those who are potentially eligible for Medicaid and who incur medical care expenses that are not otherwise reimbursable.

     

    Representative Steuerwald also co-authored HEA 1304 that allows a person with an Intellectual Disability, Developmental Disability, or Autism Spectrum Disorder to participate in a forensic diversion program. The law also authorizes a prosecuting attorney to require a person participating in a prosecutorial diversion program to receive mental health treatment to reduce recidivism, and allows diversion and deferral fees to be used to fund mental health treatment programs to reduce recidivism.

     

    Representative Steuerwald has served in the Indiana House of Representatives since 2007.   He is currently Assistant Majority Caucus Chair and serves as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.  In addition, he serves on the Courts and Criminal Code and Criminal Code Evaluation Committees.  In these roles he has been instrumental in recognizing the need to treat substance use and mental health disorders in the corrections system.   Dr. Tom Barbera, IPA Governmental Affairs Committee Chairperson, noted that “Representative Steuerwald has been an effective leader in shifting the corrections system culture in Indiana from one of labeling and stigmatizing Hoosiers with substance use and other mental health disorders to one focused on treatment and prevention.”

     

    Past recipients of IPA’s Legislator of the Year Award include Representative Ron Bacon, Senator Vaneta Becker, Senator Ron Alting, Representative Charlie Brown, Senator Brent Steele, and Representative Peggy Welch.

    Posted by in Local News

  • State Parks begin 100th anniversary celebration

    December 16, 2015 No comments

    2497980-MThe Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday used a three-stop tour to kick off a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Indiana state parks system.

    The tour began with a pancake breakfast and ceremonies at Indiana’s first state park – McCormick’s Creek in Owen County – and included a proclamation from Gov. Mike Pence declaring the day as Indiana State Parks Day.

    Additional stops were at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, where First Lady Karen Pence was the featured speaker, and at Turkey Run State Park in Parke County.

    “Indiana’s citizens have certainly enjoyed this birthday gift they first unwrapped in 1916,” said Karen Pence, recalling childhood memories of state park camping trips. “Today there are an estimated 15 to 16 million visits each year. People hike, camp, stay in our great Indiana State Park Inns, ride a mountain bike, or visit a nature center.”

    Fritz Lieber, great grandson of Col. Richard Lieber, read a passage from his great grandfather’s report to the 1916 Indiana Historical Commission that proposed development of a state parks system.

    “The chief purpose of State Parks is to refresh and strengthen and renew tired people, and fit them for the common round of daily life,” Richard Lieber wrote. “In conclusion, I hope and trust that the small beginning we have made will have laid the foundation for a comprehensive system of State Parks which will not only stand forever as a token of the past, but which will bring health, wealth and happiness to our own generation and the many that will come after us.”

    McCormick’s Creek and Turkey Run were presented to the State on Dec. 16, 1916, as Indiana’s first two state parks, representing a gift to Indiana citizens to mark the first 100 years of statehood.

    Richard Lieber later became the first director of the Department of Conservation, the predecessor of today’s DNR.

    DNR director Cameron Clark noted at the morning ceremony at McCormick’s Creek that the agency’s Division of State Parks has grown to include 24 state parks, eight reservoir properties, and seven state park inns. The division encompass about 170,000 acres with 2,000 building, 700 miles of trails, 38 state-dedicated nature preserves embedded with parks, 8,400 campsites, more than 200 shelters, 22 nature centers, 16 swimming pools, 15 beaches, 631 hotel/lodge rooms and 149 cabins.

    Other speakers at the three events included DNR deputy director John Davis; DNR State Parks director Dan Bortner; Perry Hammock and Mary McConnell from the Bicentennial Commission; and students from McCormick’s Creek Elementary School, Crestview Elementary School in Lawrence Township, and Turkey Run Junior Senior High School, who spoke about their appreciation for state parks.

    State Parks all across Indiana will continue the celebration through 2016 with a variety of special events. For more information on dates and locations, go to INStateParks100.com.

    Posted by in Statewide News

  • 2016 Hoosier Heroines Essay Contest launched by Indiana’s First Lady and Female Elected Officials

    December 16, 2015 No comments

    Banner_SH_EssayContestIndianapolis – Indiana’s First Lady Karen Pence, along with female statewide elected officials, announced details for the 2016 Hoosier Heroines Essay Contest for students in the 5th through 9th grades.

    The annual competition was established to celebrate Women’s History Month, annually celebrated in March. For 2016, in honor of Indiana’s Bicentennial, students are asked to write about currently living or women from history who have made contributions in the following categories:

    • 5th grade – Agriculture
    • 6th grade – Suffrage
    • 7th grade – Business
    • 8th grade – Science
    • 9th grade – Education

    The submitted essays are then divided by grade and judged by the female statewide elected officials:

    Application forms, suggested topics and further details can be found and submitted electronically here. Applications are being accepted until February 22, 2016.

    On March 30, 2016, a reception will be held with the First Lady and elected officials to honor the selected winner from each participating grade level at the Indiana Statehouse.

    Posted by in Statewide News

  • Governor Pence Announces Plan to Build a New State-of-the-Art Neuro-Diagnostic Institute

    December 16, 2015 No comments

    untitledNew institute in Indianapolis will be hub for advancing public mental health care and addiction treatment in Indiana

     

    Indianapolis – Governor Mike Pence today unveiled the state’s plans to build a new state-of-the-art neuro-diagnostic institute that will provide major advancements to Indiana’s public mental health delivery system. The institute, scheduled to begin serving patients in 2018, will be a key component of the state’s initiative to improve Indiana’s network of state-operated mental health facilities.

     

    “This new institute will serve as the centerpiece of our ongoing commitment to improve mental health care and address the scourge of addictions in Indiana,” said Governor Pence. “This new institute is another part of our strong commitment to improving health care in Indiana and to caring for our most vulnerable fellow citizens, including those living in poverty, with disabilities and impaired from psychiatric illnesses, brain diseases and addictions.”

     

    This new 159-bed institute is projected to have the capacity to treat 1,500 patients each year. With the establishment of the new institute, which will be located on the campus of Community East Hospital in Indianapolis and operated in partnership with Community Health Network, Indiana will be better equipped to deliver expert neuro-diagnostic evaluations and treatment for patients upon their arrival and move them more efficiently and effectively into the most appropriate treatment settings within the state’s mental health system.

     

    “’Neuro’ is a word that pertains to the brain,” said Dr. John Wernert, Secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). “’Diagnostic’ reflects the techniques used in diagnosing illnesses.”

     

    Dr. Wernert explained that the focus of this new institute would be on the precise diagnosis and assertive treatment of brain-based disorders, including:

    • acute and chronic mental illness
    • chronic addictions
    • intellectual and developmental disabilities
    • traumatic brain injury
    • neuro-degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease

     

    Dr. Wernert said precise and comprehensive diagnosis drives more effective treatment and better outcomes for patients. He added the term “neuro-diagnostic” also encompasses the integration of medical care, which will be made possible by locating the institute at Community East Hospital.

     

    “As a practicing psychiatrist, I recognize that advances in brain research and clinical care of mental disorders have made it imperative that we strive to significantly move our public mental health delivery system forward,” said Dr. Wernert. “FSSA is engaged in an ongoing effort to integrate the state’s mental health facilities and other elements of the public mental health system into a comprehensive, integrated mental health network. This new, cutting-edge neuro-diagnostic treatment center will complement the development of the state-operated facility network and significantly improve the quality of care.”

     

    Construction will begin on the institute in April of 2016 and it will open for patient admissions in late 2018. It will eventually replace one of the state’s six current facilities, Larue Carter Hospital in Indianapolis, which will be phased out of operation.

     

    “As the largest provider of mental health services in Indiana, we know firsthand the desperate need that exists for these services,” said Bryan Mills, president and CEO of Community Health Network. “We are committed to training providers through our psychiatric residency program and we are honored to work with the state to provide cutting-edge services through the Indiana Neuro-Diagnostic Institute.”

     

    This new facility represents a novel model of care for Indiana and will be a Center of Excellence and best practices, where modern genetic and imaging techniques will drive precise diagnosis and appropriate treatment regimens that maximize recovery and stable community placements.

     

    Co-locating the institute with an acute care hospital and clinical partner will leverage the emergency services, specialty medical care and neuro-diagnostic techniques of the clinical partner, and provide needed integrated medical services currently unavailable to patients throughout the state system.

     

    Additional information about the new Indiana Neuro-Diagnostic Institute, including a copy of a feasibility study, is available on FSSA’s website at http://www.in.gov/fssa/dmha/2935.htm.

    Posted by in Statewide News

  • Indiana Receives $2.7 Million in Federal Funds to Support State’s Defense Industry

    December 16, 2015 No comments

    dataIndianapolis – Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann and the Indiana Office of Defense and Development (IODD) announce that Indiana has been awarded $2.7 million in federal Defense Industry Adjustment (DIA) funds from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA). This grant will be used to better understand and develop an action plan for Indiana to assist businesses and communities who are impacted by reductions in DOD defense spending nationally, procurement accounts, as well as the uncertainty in the federal budgeting process.

     

    “We know that the defense industry has a profound impact on Indiana’s overall economy,” said Lt. Governor Ellspermann. “Through the OEA grant, we will continue to foster a culture that supports our businesses and helps to identify defense related opportunities for continued growth and prosperity.”

     

    Indiana will develop an Indiana Defense Community Transition Strategy, which supports defense diversification strategies at the local and regional levels. Initially, the grant will allow for an assessment to identify small and mid-sized manufacturers and companies as well as cities and towns most at risk to be affected by DOD budget reductions. The results of the analysis will assist Indiana in aligning its existing assets, as well as determining opportunities for businesses to enter new markets and develop the workforce necessary to provide the defense industry services that provide economic growth.

    “IODD continues to be an advocate for Indiana’s strong defense ecosystem,” said IODD Executive Director Duane Embree. “It’s critical that we continue to help our defense companies diversify their scope and provide further assistance to ensure our workforce is equipped with the skill sets needed for the future. The OEA grant will aid in this mission as we continue to work together to enhance economic development throughout our state.”

     

    The scope of the grant includes the development of a defense-related supply chain in Indiana, workforce development recommendations for sustained growth and identifying defense technologies to expand entrepreneurship opportunities.

     

     

     

     

    About the Indiana Office of Defense Development: The Indiana Office of Defense Development (IODD) was created through an executive order by the Governor on his first day in office in 2013. With a focused effort on expanding the defense sector business in Indiana by keeping and growing high value defense and national security jobs for Hoosiers.

     

    The IODD is part of the Lieutenant Governor’s family of businesses which also includes the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Office of Tourism Development, Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

    Posted by in Statewide News

  • Governor Pence Announces Plan to Fund North Central, Northeast & Southwest Indiana Regional Development Plans at $42 Million Each

    December 15, 2015 No comments

    IEDCState commits to partnering with all regions to advance talent attraction

     

    Indianapolis – Governor Mike Pence and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) Board of Directors approved plans today to award $126 million to support regional development plans in North Central, Northeast and Southwest Indiana. Subject to legislative approval, each region will receive up to $42 million in state matching funds through the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative to implement their plans, which aim advance talent attraction through quality of place initiatives.  “As a destination for business, every day we see Indiana companies taking action to create new, quality jobs for hardworking Hoosiers, with more than 132,000 jobs added over the last two years,” said Governor Pence. “Through the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative, we saw seven regions working in partnership to inspire and generate the development of long-term and dynamic plans that could provide the blueprints to transform our state.” The IEDC Board, chaired by Governor Pence, voted today to seek legislative approval in order to award full funding to three regions based on the financial success of the 2015 Tax Amnesty program, which has, to date, collected $137.6 million in cash payments. During the Indiana Regional Cities Strategic Review Committee’s presentation to the board, the committee highlighted the bold visions planned in North Central, Northeast and Southwest Indiana. North Central Indiana: The Innovate Indiana plan includes an unprecedented level of collaboration with the University of Notre Dame, building on the university’s research and educational efforts, as well as landmark projects such as the redevelopment of the 1 million-square-foot, vacant Studebaker plant which will be transformed into an entrepreneurship and technology center of innovation. The North Central region plan consists of 39 projects with a total investment of $703 million.  “On behalf of half a million of us who live in Elkhart, Marshall and St. Joseph counties, I want to thank Governor Pence, the state legislature and the IEDC for providing such an innovative catalyst for economic development,” said John Affleck Graves, executive vice president of the University of Notre Dame and chair of the Regional Development Authority for the North Central Region. “Every other state in the union is watching Indiana closely right now. And we’re honored to be chosen as one of the first grant recipients. Regional Cities has already led our communities to collaborate in unprecedented ways and going forward, our responsibility is to further galvanize this new found regionalism, as we work together to create a vibrant, thriving economy in all of the South Bend-Elkhart region.” Northeast Indiana: The Road to One Million plan encompasses 11 counties and 70 projects to be implemented over the next 10 years. As the largest Regional Development Authority in the state, Northeast Indiana plans to invest more than $400 million to implement 38 projects in the next two years, including the redevelopment of Fort Wayne’s riverfront and the revitalization of downtown communities across the region.  “We are now positioned to accelerate our pace and deepen our focus on building a regional city that harnesses the imaginations of our people and welcomes those from afar,” said John Sampson, president and chief executive officer of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. “We have the momentum and regional consensus necessary to inspire timely implementation of an investment portfolio that defines our community over the next few years and for decades thereafter. We are ready to build a bigger, bolder future for Northeast Indiana.” Southwest Indiana: This region’s Indiana’s Great Southwest plan encompasses 19 projects that focus on strengthening the heart of the region by leveraging the new Indiana University academic medical education and research center, improving livability and connectivity, and attracting talent and workforce to the community. With nearly every major private sector business involved in planning and funding, the region is prepared for swift implementation of these quality of place plans.  “Traditionally, the focus of economic development is about building a better climate for business,” said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. “The forward thinking of the Regional Cities Initiative has been the catalyst to help us think strategically about what will attract tomorrow’s workforce and how that will not only strengthen Indiana’s Great Southwest, but the entire state.” Additionally, Governor Pence and the IEDC Board voted to continue to support the regional development plans in Central, East Central, Northwest and West Central Indiana. This support from the IEDC may include the identification of public or private funds to encourage and enable the continued development of regional plans and projects.  “The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative has been a catalyst for collaboration and action across the state, and it is crucial that this focus on quality of place and talent attraction continues statewide,” said Governor Pence. “The initiatives planned in these regions – including connectivity projects and 16 Tech in Central Indiana, platforms to support entrepreneurship and innovation in East Central, improvements to the South Shore line in Northwest Indiana, and education-focused collaboration in West Central – focus on improving the livability of Indiana communities for the benefit of current Hoosiers and future Hoosiers.”  The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative encourages communities to work together to develop and implement regional plans. After months of planning, seven regions – representing 70 percent of the state’s population – submitted plans for more than 420 projects which encompass $3.78 billion in planned state, local and private sector investment.  A video debuting today at the IEDC Board of Directors meeting highlights the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative, showcasing planning and projects in each of the seven regions

    Posted by in Statewide News

  • Indiana Regional Cities Committee Outlines Three-Part Recommendation for Funding

    December 15, 2015 No comments

    iedc-logo-2Committee to present to IEDC Board for approval at 2 p.m.

     

    Indianapolis – In a report released today, the Indiana Regional Cities Strategic Review Committee outlines three recommendations, which, pending legislative approval, includes full funding of three regional development plans – North Central, Northeast and Southwest Indiana – at $42 million each in state matching funds.  This first recommendation calls for full funding of three regions, instead of two as originally planned, based on the financial success of Governor Pence’s 2015 Tax Amnesty Program, which was primarily created to fund the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative. According to the Indiana Department of Revenue, the program has already collected $137.6 million, with taxpayers agreeing to pay another $21.6 million via payment plans. Additionally, the report recommends that the state and the IEDC continue to support the regional development plans of Central, East Central, Northwest and West Central Indiana due to unprecedented levels of regional activity and collaboration sparked statewide by the initiative. In the report, the Strategic Review Committee identifies the three regions recommended for full funding as Phase I and the four remaining regions as Phase II. While classified as Phase I and Phase II, the recommendations are meant to be carried out concurrently.  The Strategic Review Committee’s three recommendations outlined in the report, which is now available online, are as follows:

     

    • Recommendation No. 1: Seek any necessary approvals to allocate all Tax Amnesty Program revenues in excess of $90 million to the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative.
    • Recommendation No. 2: Subject to any necessary approvals for Tax Amnesty funds, award all three Phase I regional development plans (North Central, Northeast and Southwest) $42 million each.
    • Recommendation No. 3: Continued support of the four Phase II regional development plans (Central, East Central, Northwest and West Central). This support may include assistance in identifying public or private funds for planning in order to encourage and enable the continued development of their regional plans. The amounts of any planning funds would be determined based on availability.

     

    The Strategic Review Committee will vote to adopt this report today during the committee’s final meeting. At 2 p.m., the Strategic Review Committee will present its recommendations for approval to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) Board of Directors and Board Chairman Governor Mike Pence. Both meetings are being held at the Ivy Tech Corporate College and Culinary Center (2820 N. Meridian St.) in Indianapolis. The report also recommends that the state consider continued funding for the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative in future state budget cycles beginning in 2017 based on the impressive and visionary regional development plans and unprecedented collaboration that has occurred in each of the seven regions.

    Posted by in Statewide News

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