INDIANAPOLIS -- On Wednesday, Gov. Joe Kernan signed two pieces of legislation that 44th District State Representative Andy Thomas (R-Brazil) moved through the legislative process.
During the bill signing, the governor praised Thomas for working "in a bipartisan fashion to move this important legislation."
In a session that many political insiders, as well as political outsiders, were claiming would have little to no successful bill movement, Thomas cut through politics and bureaucracy to achieve results. The two bills that have now been signed into law include House Bill 1265 and House Bill 1300.
House Bill 1265 establishes a bulk prescription program for over 430,000 Indiana employees of state and local government, universities, and local public school corporations. The goal of the bill is to reduce the cost of prescriptions 30-40 percent. Currently, state pharmaceutical expenditures other than Medicaid total about $104.4 million annually. The bill also allows Indiana to enter into multi-state bulk medication purchases. Next year, it is hoped that the program will be expanded to include senior citizens without prescriptions and retired teachers.
House Bill 1300 provides that a defendant who interposes a defense of insanity may not introduce evidence from a medical witness with whom the defendant cooperated unless: (1) after being ordered to do so by the court, the defendant cooperates with the medical witness appointed by the court; or (2) the defendant shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant's failure to cooperate with medical witnesses appointed by the court was caused by the defendant's mental illness.
"Our community came together and presented our ideas to the state of Indiana," said Thomas. "I was pleased that community leaders, local media, and area residents emphatically voiced their opinions. We came together and got the job done."
In addition, Thomas moved 12 other important bills through the legislative process. His success in the legislature has been staggering for a freshman lawmaker.
Thomas represents House District 44, which includes portions of Putnam, Clay, Parke and Vigo counties.