Opioids, Alcohol, Training on Legislative Slate

Posted: Updated:
(Image courtesy of the State of Indiana.) (Image courtesy of the State of Indiana.)

A political observer says, while this year's Indiana legislative session could be more routine than past years, some major issues will be on the table. WIBC/Network Indiana Statehouse Bureau Chief Eric Berman says workforce development, alcohol laws and the battle against the opioid epidemic will be among the top topics on the legislative agenda. The session gets underway Wednesday with some notable absences, including State Senator Brandt Hershman (R-7), who is resigning after 18 years and Rep. Mike Braun (R-63), who is running for U.S. Senate.

A successful session for legislators, he says, will take a "do no harm" approach. "In 2018, if they get out of there without anything blowing up that they would have to explain between then and election day, I think they'll be happy," Berman told Inside INdiana Business Multimedia Journalist Mary-Rachel Redman.

Workforce development has long been an issue in Indiana, with some companies reporting challenges finding qualified employees for available openings. It has not gone unnoticed by Governor Eric Holcomb, who in July hired former La Porte Mayor Blair Milo as Indiana's first secretary of career connections and talent. She is tasked with working with businesses, trade associations and colleges and universities to identify employer needs and help connect workers with training opportunities to meet those needs. In August, Holcomb and Milo unveiled the $20 million Next Level Jobs program to support training efforts.

Indiana's alcohol laws took the statewide spotlight once again in November when the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers and the Indiana Retail Council agreed to support legalizing carry-out Sunday alcohol sales, while opposing the expansion of the sale of cold beer. Days before, Ball State University released results of a survey suggesting a majority of Hoosiers support both Sunday and expanded cold beer sales.

Opioid misuse, as is the case nationally, has become an epidemic in Indiana. In addition to the human toll, the 2018 Indiana University Kelley School of Business pegged the issue's economic cost at more than $1 billion per year. One of Governor Holcomb's first acts in office was to task former Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana Chief Executive Officer Jim McClelland with leading the state's fight against drug abuse. In October, Indiana University announced its third $50 million Grand Challenges initiative would focus on the addiction crisis.

WIBC/Network Indiana Statehouse Bureau Chief Eric Berman says a successful session for legislators will take a "do no harm" approach.
  • Perspectives

    • Expand Your Workforce to Include The Deaf Community

      While there are arguably many minority groups that are grossly underutilized in the workforce, I’d wager that most people do not consider the Deaf community when thinking about diversity and inclusion strategies. The Deaf community shares a unique culture that is closely networked, but few employers know how to tap into this community, which comprises 10 percent of the population. In fact, many people probably see barriers for the Deaf community when it comes to employment...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • First Office Tenant Locks in at Bottleworks District

      Indianapolis-based High Alpha will be the anchor office tenant of a high-profile development. The $300 million Bottleworks District, which broke ground three months ago, will also include hotel, residential, theater and retail spaces, as well as a food hall. Wisconsin-based Hendricks Commercial Properties LLC Vice President of Development Isaac Bamgbose says a tenant like the tech-focused venture studio and investor will help create more vibrancy and...

    • Italian Company Picks Daleville For Continental HQ

      An Italian filter manufacturer is detailing plans to locate its North American headquarters in Delaware County. Filtrec S.p.A. says it will invest $1.3 million into a Daleville operation that could create 25 jobs by 2022. Governor Eric Holcomb announced the plans along with Delaware County and company officials during an economic development mission to Italy. Initially, Filtrec says it will occupy 5,800 square-feet in Daleville and it intends to double or triple that presence...

    • Cottongim Joins Taft’s Municipal And Legislative Team

      Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP has added Ann Cottongim as director of municipal and legislative relations. In this role, she will direct the firm's objectives involving local and state government affairs by maintaining and nurturing relationships with municipal, county and state officials. She previously served as deputy director and CFO of Aim (Accelerate Indiana Municipalities, formerly known as Indiana Association of Cities and Towns (IACT)).

    • Salesforce, Pacers Partner on Digital Experience

      Indianapolis-based Pacers Sports & Entertainment Inc. and one of the largest technology industry employers in the state are joining forces to deliver what they say will be the "ultimate fan experience." The partnership with Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) will allow PS&E to connect with fans and concertgoers using email marketing, social media, digital advertising and customer service tools. The collaboration, PS&E and Salesforce say, will help...

    • PGA TOUR Superstore to Open in Indy

      A popular golf retailer will Saturday open its first location in Indiana. The PGA TOUR Superstore location in Indianapolis replaces the recently-closed Babies"R"Us location at the Clearwater Crossing Shopping Center.