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State lawmaker tackles opioid epidemic

By Makenna Mays TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, said Tuesday he will author for the 2018 legislative session he hopes will combat the opioid epidemic. “Our goal this session is to work towards prescription reform along with, as we’ve talked about before, drug-dealing reform,” Merritt said. Merritt’s proposed legislation includes: mandatory registration […]

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New device eliminates the pain of opioid withdrawal

By Makenna Mays TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a neurological device that could help those suffering from opioid withdrawal symptoms. “This is something, I think, will revolutionize the country in the way of addiction and the epidemic in our world,” said Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis. The NSS-2 BRIDGE, was […]

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Opioid epidemic gets $50 million treatment

By Makenna Mays TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana’s opioid crisis has educators and lawmakers proposing cutting edge measures to the combat the growing problem. Indiana University is investing $50 million in a project to reduce addiction while Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, wants tougher criminal penalties. “We’re attacking this epidemic on all fronts,” said Gov. Eric Holcomb […]

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30 Laws in 30 Days: Indiana Housing First Program to provide homes for mentally ill, addicted people

By Ashley Shuler TheStatehouseFile.com Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories about new laws that are taking effect, most of them on July 1. INDIANAPOLIS – Through salvaged bikes and acoustic guitar, Billy Young is starting to feel like his old self. “That’s who I was before everything happened,” he said. […]

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‘Baby box’ bill sent to the governor’s desk

By Lucas Lloyd TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Legislation designed to protect distressed mothers who want to anonymously drop off their newborns is taking the final steps toward becoming law in Indiana. Under the Safe Haven law, a mother is allowed to give up her baby at a police station, fire station or a hospital emergency room […]

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Patient access to opioid prescriptions could be limited

By Shelby Mullis TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — Some patients who need Oxycodone or Vicodin may find that their doctor can only prescribe the medication for a week if bill continues to advance through the General Assembly. Minors and first-time users would be limited under Senate Bill 226 with the hopes of preventing opioid addiction. With only […]

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Bill would shorten length of opioid prescriptions

By Dustin Beach TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Patients who are in need of pain medication may soon find their doctor can only prescribe them for a shorter period of time. Senate Bill 226, authored by Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, would limit the amount of time a physician can prescribe opioids to minors and first-time adult users […]

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Proposal to expand school employee background checks raises concerns about pay

By Quinn Fitzgerald TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS ­– A bill requiring more extensive background checks on school employees has some questioning whether those employees should pay for the checks themselves. Testimony was heard for Senate Bill 34, authored by Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, during the Education and Career Development committee hearing on Wednesday. This bill, if implemented, […]

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Taylor’s new strategy for proposing hate crime legislation

By Adrianna Pitrelli TheStatehouseFile.com  INDIANAPOLIS — For the fifth time, Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, will try to get a hate crime law on the books in Indiana. During the 2017 legislative session, he wants to add the hate crime provision to another proposed piece of legislation that is designed to protect police officers. A hate […]

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New protections for police officers being discussed by lawmakers

By Ashley Steeb TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana lawmakers are discussing strengthening penalties when a law enforcement officer or their family is harmed, regardless of whether they are on- or off-duty. “With the recent targeting and violence against police officers, it’s imperative for Indiana to update its laws to protect our public safety officers both on- […]

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