Legislators recognize city’s MIH program


State legislators present Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton with a proclamation at Saturday’s Crawfordsville/Montgomery County Legislative Breakfast. State representatives Sharon Negele, Beau Baird, Jeff Thompon along with state senators Jeff Thompson and Brian Buchanon wanted to acknowledge the city’s Mobile Integrated Health program for being a national leader in like programs.

Baird said during the presentation that legislators understand how important the program is and state legislators understand the importance of the program regarding improving local health issues.

“We want to express the importance of the city’s integrated health program and we understand what is going on in Crawfordsville,” Baird said.

Barton accepted the award and spoke about how the program is leading the way to integrated health and other communities are looking to Crawfordsville to learn how to start their own similar program.

“We are the epicenter of the nation in integrated health,” Barton said. “The city thanks you for this recognition.”

Each legislator presented an update on the recently concluded legislative session in the Capital Building. The topics were varied but the recent controversy of the LEAP Project in Boone County received a lot of attention from large number of attendees.

Senator Deery took the lead on the discussion of the LEAP project that is expected to send millions of gallons of water from the aquifers below the Wabash River to Boone County.

Most of the criticism was directed at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation which is in the lead for the LEAP Project. After an uproar ensued after the announcement of the project, Governor Eric Holcombe suspended further work on the project until more information is available.

Deery desires more understanding of how the IEDC operates and how the decision to carry the water to Boone County was made.

“We have a major water issue in the LEAP District,” Deery said. “We need procedures in place to protect individuals. Thank goodness the Governor place a pause on the project.”

Deery said the state needs to enact laws that deal with the transfer of large amounts of water from one county to another.

Legislators agree another problem that has been created deals with land values have skyrocketed  beyond what anyone would pay for normal crop land. The concern lies with nearby farmland will be unsellable because it would be difficult to sell at a comparable price to recent sales.

Another topic of concern is the use of Artificial Intelligence. All legislators agree the AI technology is moving along quickly, and the state needs to step in to protect Indiana residents.

Other issues discussed were minors using digital applications, education, loss of farmland in the state, Department of Natural Resources, childcare, local taxes and eliminating sanctuary cities in Indiana.

U.S. Representative Jim Baird was at the event and spoke. Baird listed his major concerns with the nation include immigration, inflation and agriculture. The representative said he expects the national ag nill to be signed before Memorial Day this spring.