INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana General Assembly is underway and State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) has authored a number of initiatives this session focusing on issues related to family leave, legalizing medical marijuana and preventing further erosion of the Indiana Shoreline.
In Indiana, not all workers have access to paid time off to care for a newborn baby or sick child, spouse or parent. To address this, Sen. Tallian is proposing a bill to allow Hoosiers the option of paid leave to care for their family members. Senate Bill (SB) 309 would create a Family Leave Insurance Program, a voluntary program that would allow employers and employees to contribute to a fund that would then pay a percentage of an employee’s salary when they need to take leave.
“The ability to care for family members is important for every Hoosier, and an option that should be available,” Sen. Tallian said.
Sen. Tallian passed a bill last session to create a study of voluntary paid family and medical leave, but the topic was never assigned to a study committee by legislative leaders.
For the eighth consecutive year, Sen. Tallian has filed legislation to reform the state’s marijuana laws. SB 307 seeks to establish a unified medical marijuana program in Indiana.
“Medical marijuana is backed by medical professionals and is proven to be beneficial for those afflicted by epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases. Patients deserve options when it comes to their healthcare,” Sen. Tallian said. “Terminal cancer patients should be allowed access to palliative care.”
The legislation establishes a state agency to oversee and develop the medicinal marijuana program.
Lake Michigan beach conservation
SB 178 would require that any sand dredged from Lake Michigan under a permit from the Department of Natural Resources may only be deposited on the beach of Lake Michigan. Providing sand to sand-starved beaches is referred to as “beach nourishment,” and is required to maintain the natural protective beach and offshore sand bar system.
“The coast of Lake Michigan is a national treasure, and Indiana has a duty to preserve our part of that coast,” Sen. Tallian said.
Sen. Tallian will represent her constituents by serving on the following Senate committees: Ranking Minority Member of Appropriations, Environmental Affairs, Local Government, Pensions and Labor, Rules and Legislative Procedure, Tax and Fiscal Policy, and the School Funding Subcommittee.