Foreshadowing Not Just for High School Freshman
As Ken Jennings won his cool million in the Jeopardy “Greatest of All Time” (GOAT to the hardcore fans) on Tuesday evening, political junkies were salivating between the Governor’s State of the State address and the final Democratic debate prior to the Iowa caucus. (Okay, there’s probably some crossover audience there …) Nonetheless, it’s all led to a week’s worth of recaps and synopsis but the most important thing to remember is GOAT participant Brad Rutter’s answer to the final question, “What is, ‘You are the best, Alex.” Now, on to the politicos.
Looking Beyond 2020 . Governor Eric Holcomb attempted to navigate the increasingly loud voices of state educators and the firmly planted and resounding “nope” of the Republican caucus during Tuesday’s State of the State, as he called for $250 million from the state surplus toward teacher retirement funds, freeing up an additional $50 million in education funding that districts could put toward salaries … NEXT year. Despite a $2 billion-plus in rainy day fund and an election year barreling toward him, the Governor has decided to wait until next year’s budget session to make this change. State Superintendent of Education Jennifer McCormick was less than enthusiastic, quipping while she was glad to see it included in the speech, she was disappointed nothing was proposed for this year. In other news, Holcomb called for state lawmakers to raise the smoking age to 21 (which the Feds did earlier this year and a OneZone policy priority ) and announced that Fiat-Chrysler will invest $400 into its Kokomo facility.
Business Enemy No. 1 . If you ask any business owner – whether they employ 50 or 500 workers – about their biggest challenge, they will report the rising cost of healthcare. Rep. Donna Shaibley (R-Carmel) has introduced a bill (HB 1005) into this session that would create an online pricing transparency portal, requiring health care providers provide a good faith cost estimate of non-emergency procedures if requested by a patient. The issue of high health care costs has become a priority for Indiana businesses as the expense continues to increase for companies. recent Rand Corp. study showed that  Indiana had the highest hospital care costs when compared to 25 other st ates.
Mental Health Services Back in the Mix . Last year’s school security bill limped through passage, but without what many believed important: financial support for mental health services for students who indicate they are having a problem. School security remains in OneZone’s top three legislative priorities for the 2020 session, and we were happy to see SB 246 introduced, requiring school corporations to certify mental health and addiction service providers are in place to serve students prior to applying for a grant from the Indiana secured school fund. The rub has been a concern that schools were over stepping parental roles. That said, the bill received support from both representatives of the mental health and education communities. According to Lisa Hutchinson (Mental Health America of Indiana), a recent survey shows that 18% of 9 th - 12th graders say they have considered suicide and 14% say they have made plans. 
Plus 1 : As women throughout the country celebrate the 19 th Amendment and the Women’s Suffrage movement, congrats to the City of Carmel who made history this week by electing a leadership team made up of two women – the first time that’s happened since Carmel became a city in 1976. Laura Campbell was elected president of the Council and Sue Finkam is vice president for the 2020 year. Carmel has a pretty good track record in that area. Out of five mayors in the last 43 years, two women have served as mayor, one woman (Gail Bardach) served as Carmel City Judge and seven as City Council representatives (Minnie Doan, Jane Reiman, Virginia Kerr, Sue McMullen, Annabelle Ogle, Luci Snyder and Carol Schleif). And a nod to a well circulated coffee mug motto: well-behaved women RARELY make history.