Senate Democrats provide an update on needle exchange to combat HIV outbreak in southern Indiana

Senate Democrat Leader Tim Lanane, Assistant Democrat Leader Jean D. Breaux and Senator Mark Stoops held a media availability to discuss negotiations that occurring in the final week of the legislative session to combat the HIV outbreak in southern Indiana. The Senate Democrats offered a three-pronged approach to fight the spread of the disease that consists of needle exchanges, testing and ultimately drug treatment.


Democrats continue the push for affordable health care

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states were given the ability to expand Medicaid services to their most vulnerable citizens with 100% of the expansion being funded by the federal government through 2016. Since 2012, Senate Democrats have made this health care expansion a legislative priority by offering a number of proposals that would for the first time offer affordable health care options to 400,000 Hoosiers, create 30,000 high-paying jobs, and bring billions of dollars of additional economic activity to the state of Indiana.

After a year of negotiations to establish Indiana’s mechanism for expanding Medicaid under the ACA, the governor recently submitted a proposal to the federal government to expand health care coverage in Indiana. Although the final details of the proposal have not been approved by the Center for Medicaid Services (CMS), Senate Democrats are encouraged by the governor embracing the president’s health care law and working with the federal government to expand health care to working Hoosiers.

However, members of the Senate Democratic Caucus have long pointed to the years of federal funding, health care coverage, job growth and economic development that have been lost due to the indecision of the governor and Statehouse Republicans.

We have compiled an easy-to-read timeline of what has taken place in Indiana government and highlighted the most significant events regarding the expansion of Medicaid in Indiana.

Medicaid Expansion Timeline

VIDEO: Sen. Breaux discusses important Marion Co. legislation at the close of 2013 session

State Senator Jean D. Breaux discusses important pieces of legislation for Marion County at the close of the 2013 General Assembly session. Topics include Marion County reorganization, mass transit expansion for Central Indiana and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Call for public study of Marion County overhaul denied

Sen. Breaux debates an amendment to SB 621

Sen. Breaux debates an amendment to SB 621 that would create a committee to study the impact of eliminating Marion-County Council’s at-large seats. The amendment was rejected by a vote of 13-37.

On a party-line vote, members of the Indiana Senate rejected an amendment to study a major overhaul of Marion County government. The amendment to Senate Bill (SB) 621, proposed by Assistant Democratic Leader Jean D. Breaux, would have created a summer study committee to examine the impact of eliminating the City-County Council’s At-large councilor seats and reducing mayoral residency requirements, among other significant changes.

Sen. Breaux’s proposal to study the move aimed to lengthen the conversation on the issue; however, it was rejected, 13-37. Members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, particularly those representing areas within Marion County, expressed their disappointment that more public discussion was not had before passing such a substantial shift of power.

SEN. BREAUX: “I was hoping, with the amendment I offered to 621, to do as I said on the floor and that is to slow this process down…”

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SEN. LANANE: “It seems very clear to me that the elimination of the…”

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SEN. LANANE: “I was disappointed our amendment was defeated because…”

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SEN. TAYLOR: “I think the amendment would have done something we always do in the legislature. We allow the public to have public input…”

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