NewsPublic Affairs / January 4, 2018

House GOP Agenda: Township Reform, Treatment Centers

House GOP Agenda: Township Reform, Treatment CentersLegislation this session could eliminate nearly a third of all Indiana townships - potentially getting rid of more than 1,200 elected officials.Brian Bosma, Indiana House Republicans, addiction, township reform2018-01-04T00:00:00-05:00
Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
House GOP Agenda: Township Reform, Treatment Centers

House Speaker Brian Bosma discusses his caucus's priorities for the 2018 session.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Indiana House Republicans will push legislation this session that could eliminate nearly a third of all Indiana townships – potentially getting rid of more than 1,200 elected officials.

Legislative leaders pushed total township elimination about a decade ago – and were met with resounding, bipartisan opposition.

The new effort would apply only to those units with less than 1,200 residents. There’s 309 of those statewide, out of 1,005 total townships. Those smaller townships would be required to consolidate with a neighboring unit. Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the bill has the support of the Indiana Township Association.

“Folks that have said ‘Hands off of our local community’ – to say voluntarily we’re willing to do this and we’re willing to take this step,” he says.

Bosma says he expects the consolidation will create financial savings but can’t say how much.

Indiana House Republicans will also work with the governor’s office this session to advance a measure that will help open nine new drug treatment centers across the state.

Bosma says the legislation follows a stated goal of Gov. Eric Holcomb that no Hoosier should be more than an hour away from an addiction treatment facility. And he says the money to open the centers will come from existing funds that are redirected to the effort.

Bosma says his caucus will also prioritize a bill to streamline licensing for mental health and addiction professionals.

“Lot of red tape for those folks to get certified and we’re trying to streamline that, get them into the system more promptly than is possible today,” Bosma says.

Other House GOP priorities this session include workforce development efforts and government reform.

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