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CONDO & SON FUNERAL HOME
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 Home Legislation Not Revealed

February 11, 2009 - While several state lawmakers have expressed support for keeping the Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s Home open, the proposed legislation that would accomplish that has yet to be made publicly available, even though it’s scheduled for a committee hearing next week.

Rep. Scott Reske (D-Dist. 37) had previously said he would lead the legislative initiative to keep the Home open. Speaking to The Banner last month, he said he intended to do this by amending a piece of legislation that deals with foster care issues through a “strip-and-insert” process.

Reesa Kossoff, press secretary for the House Democratic Caucus, confirmed on Monday, however, that Reske no longer plans to amend the foster care bill, which was designated House Bill 1599. Instead, she said issues involving the Home will be addressed in House Bill 1722, the text of which has not yet been published.

Reske previously told The Banner the legislation he’ll introduce will take away the power to close the Home away from the Indiana State Department of Health, and possibly shift oversight of the Home to another agency. He also said he and other lawmakers want to better define the Home’s mission and improve the efficiency of its operation.

Besides Reske, other area lawmakers that have expressed support for keeping the Home open include Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Dist. 54), Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Dist. 53), Rep. Bob Barnes (R-Dist. 89) and Sen. Jean Leising (R-Dist. 42). Persons hoping to avert the ISDH’s plans to close the Home are encouraged to keep in contact with their state representatives and senators and encourage the lawmakers to do all they can to keep the Home open.

According to Kossoff, there will be a committee hearing on HB 1722 on Wednesday, Feb. 18. When she spoke to The Banner on Monday, she was not sure which committee would hear the bill or what time the hearing will be. The Banner encourages interested readers to monitor legislative developments by going to www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch and clicking on HB 1722.

 

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