Protecting Young Hoosiers


Our young people face enough obstacles. The nationwide epidemic of tobacco and electronic cigarette use among high school and middle school students is growing at a rapid rate. Some of our youth are facing abuse and neglect. It’s important we do all we can to ensure they can grow up to be strong and healthy.

What I've Done

Raising the legal age of purchase for tobacco products to age 21 is the best and most achievable public policy measure that we can take to protect our children. I introduced the Tobacco to 21 Act to raise the legal age of sale for tobacco products from age 18 to 21. I will continue working to ensure this important life-saving legislation becomes law.

I introduced the Stop for School Buses Act of 2019 (S. 1254). Last year, in Rochester, Indiana, a driver struck and killed three young siblings and injured a fourth student while they were boarding a school bus. This bipartisan legislation requires a comprehensive evaluation of methods to prevent the dangerous and illegal passing of school buses at loading zones.

Non-traditional families play an important role in our communities, especially where grandparents are primary caregivers. To ensure they have the resources they need, I cosponsored the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act (S. 1091), which establishes an advisory council to help educate grandparents raising grandchildren on the needs of their dependents and their own health and well-being.

I worked to reduce the number of heart-breaking acts of school violence by helping introduce the bipartisan STOP School Violence Act (S. 2495), which would provide funding resources to increase school safety through detection technologies, anonymous reporting systems, and violence prevention education and counseling.

I helped introduce the bipartisan Victims of Child Abuse Act (S. 2961), which would reauthorize the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990. This legislation would provide funding for Children’s Advocacy Centers that serve child victims of violent crimes and help law enforcement hold perpetrators accountable.

I helped introduce the bipartisan Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act (S. 534), which would require amateur athletics governing bodies to report sex-abuse allegations immediately to local or federal law enforcement and authorizes the United States Center for Safe Sport to ensure that aspiring U.S. Olympic athletes can report allegations of abuse to an independent entity.

To combat the rise of dangerous synthetic drug use among adolescents, I helped introduce the bipartisan Synthetic Drug Awareness Act (S. 3356), which would require the Surgeon General report on the effect of synthetic drugs--substances that mimic the effects of illegal narcotics--on children aged 12 to 18 years of age.

I supported research for childhood cancer patients by cosponsoring and ensuring passage of the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research Act of 2018 (S. 292), which provides more opportunities for NIH to study childhood cancer as well as maximize the delivery of cancer treatment.

I introduced the Using Data To Help Protect Children and Families Act (S. 3039), which would create a pilot program to test predictive analytics as a way to protect children most at risk of abuse and neglect.

I was a cosponsor of the School Safety and Mental Health Services Improvement Act (S. 2513) to allow mental health and school safety resources for schools. This bill would allow Title IV funds to be used to improve school safety infrastructure and allow Title II funds to be used to hire and improve the professional development of school counselors.

I helped reintroduce the bipartisan Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act (S. 1583) to require HUD to adopt prevention measures and update its lead regulations to protect children from the risk of lead exposure.