By Heather Collins
Indiana State Sen. Mike Delph held a town hall meeting Aug. 30 at the Carmel Clay Public Library. Delph represents District 29, which includes portions of Boone, Hamilton and Marion counties.
Constituents raised concerns about the security of the electrical grid in Indiana, medical marijuana, road funding and Senate Bill 276 regarding funding for early childhood education.
Carmel resident Sylvia Kemp attended to hear Delph’s stance on medical marijuana. She said she suffers from multiple sclerosis and was able to utilize medical marijuana in Illinois and would like access to its medical benefits in Indiana.
Delph said the federal illegality of medical marijuana needed to be addressed before the issue can move forward. He said he would like to have Indiana medical experts weigh in. Delph said he did support CBD oil for epileptic patients.
A former registered nurse and the wife of an IU Health physician, Kemp said medical marijuana alleviates some of her symptoms of multiple sclerosis as well as the burden of taking multiple medications and costly transfusions. Delph said he supports having the discussion about medical marijuana.
For the 2018-19 budget, highlights include an increase in K-12 funding by $345 million over the biennium and appropriating $30 million per year for the Teacher Appreciation Grant program, which awards stipends to high-performing teachers in each school district.
The budget also includes a dedication of $1 million per year for Veterans Problem Solving Courts and allocates new funding to the Indiana Dept. of Veterans Affairs, including $300,000 per year to hire six additional state veteran services officers, $910,000 per year for Veteran’s Service Organizations to improve assistance for veterans seeking benefits, $500,000 per years to assist homeless veterans and $500,000 per year to create a hyperbaric oxygen treatment pilot program to help veterans struggling with post traumatic stress disorder.
The budget also provides a $193.4 million for Carmel Clay Schools, which is an $8.7 million funding increase. The 2018-19 budget breakdown also includes an increase in Indiana State Police pay over two years, with a 10 percent increase in 2018 and a 14 percent increase in 2019.