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Raatz: 2018 Session Recap & Updates

With the close of another productive session, I wanted to write and share a few highlights:

My Family

My family has adjusted successfully to the life change of serving in the General Assembly. I have served district 27 for four years now and I count it my high honor to do so. My wife Lisa and I moved to Richmond from Centerville in 2017. Our oldest daughter, Samantha, graduated in 2017 from IU with a nursing degree and is now a Registered Nurse at Reid Hospital in Richmond. Our youngest daughter Robyn is a junior at Miami University in Oxford Ohio studying psychology. Finally Samantha will be getting married in the fall of 2018 to a young man from Centerville, Brandon Searcy. Samantha and her mom are on schedule to get all the plans in place for a successful wedding. Jokingly my place is to pay for the wedding and be present to give her away, of which I am apprehensive.

During my time in the Indiana General Assembly I have championed many topics that I believe have helped in our district and the State. When I first ran one of the central themes I pledged to accomplish was to help Indiana become an economic powerhouse in the Midwest. The following are pieces for legislation I have either authored or spent a great deal of time on to assist in shaping an environment that helps Hoosiers be better prepared for life and boosts the economy.

K-12 Education

We created graduation pathways for high school students which focuses more on vocational pathways including direct connections between employers and high schools thus creating a better prepared direct workforce pipeline. In 2018 I authored SB172 which required school districts to embed computer science in their K-12 curriculums by 2021. High school students would have, as an elective, the ability to take a computer science course. This is critical as we know technology is moving at a rapid pace and the future workforce will depend on technology in every sector.

Opioid Crisis

I spent a great deal of the 2017 session authoring SB499 which created a trial Opioid Program that utilized current law and coupled with an in-house treatment program that will be tested in Wayne, Marion, and Tippecanoe Counties. The program in Wayne County is set to open and begin the trial in the spring of 2018.

School Safety

In 2018 I authored legislation in reaction to the school shootings in Florida. I wanted to be thoughtful in creating an impact on school safety without a kneejerk reaction. My language was amended into HB1230 which I sponsored in the Senate. This bill had many parts that helped with school safety. Indiana is a leader in school safety as we had in prior years budgeted 9 million annually as matching funds for school districts to use for school safety. As it turned out we have a school in Shelby County that was named the “Safest school in the United States”. While we can be proud of where we are much still needs to be done. We designated additional funding in this bill at the Governor’s request to propel the programs quickly.

Finally, I am asking for your continued support at the polls in 2018 both in the primary and general elections. I believe I have learned to work effectively both for our district and the state and there is MUCH WORK TO BE DONE.

I desire to continue to serve our area and look forward to it enthusiastically and humbly ask for your continued support at the polls in 2018. Together for Indiana in becoming an Economic Powerhouse in the Midwest!


Jeff Raatz

State Senator

Indiana District 27

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