This week, the Senate considered several measures to improve school safety in our state.
One measure would increase funding for schools to help students dealing with mental and emotional health issues. Additionally, at Indiana colleges, every teacher preparation program would be required to provide instruction to future teachers on mental health issues.
Another proposed effort would prohibit school buses from picking up and dropping off students at locations that force students to cross highways, unless there is no way to avoid it. This legislation would also increase penalties for people who fail to stop when a school bus stop arm is extended.
Finally, senators are discussing giving school districts the ability to use referendums specifically for school safety costs. This option would give residents voting on a safety referendum certainty that 100 percent of the property tax revenue raised would be used for school safety.
As your state senator, I will continue to work on ensuring the safety of our students and teachers.

Indiana Sees Small-Business Growth
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation recently announced a record-breaking year for small-business growth in the Hoosier state.
In 2018 alone, the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) and Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) helped launch more than 300 small businesses and create more than 1,500 new jobs.
The ISBDC helps entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a business by providing resources, including expert guidance and market research. Similarly, the Indiana PTAC assists Hoosier businesses in competing for federal, state and local contracts.
Indiana continues to support small businesses and outranks neighboring states in entrepreneur friendliness. With the increasing number of small businesses launched and new jobs created, I look forward to seeing Indiana’s economy continue to thrive.
Sen. Phil Boots represents Indiana District 23 which includes Montgomery, Boone, Fountain, Parke, Warren and Vermillion counties. In addition, Sen. Boots is one of the owners of Sagamore News Media and The Paper of Montgomery County. You can reach him at senator.boots@iga.in.gov