State GOP Unveils Agenda

Alcohol, school funding and civil forfeiture reform are part of Senate Republicans’ legislative agenda for this year’s session.

Like House Republicans, senators are pledging to set aside extra money for schools because of higher-than-expected enrollment, especially in Indy and Fort Wayne. Appropriations Chairman Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen) says it’ll be between 16-and-25-million dollars, depending on special-education enrollment.

The Senate Public Policy Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on legalizing Sunday alcohol sales. Broadening rules on who can sell cold beer is not on the official priority list , but Public Policy Chairman Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) has scheduled a hearing on that bill too, and is promising the committee will vote.

Republicans want to require prosecutors to show probable cause within a week of seizing a suspect’s assets. They’re advancing one of Governor Holcomb’s priorities, to require schools to offer computer science. And they’re staking out their own pieces of the effort to streamline job training and fight back against the opioid epidemic. They’ll advance a Holcomb-backed bill to require doctors and hospitals to check a statewide prescription database before prescribing opioid painkillers. And they’re calling for expanded financial aid for college-level job training programs.