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Senate GOP leader doubtful on fully funding Public Health Commission recommendation

The full funding recommendation from the governor’s Public Health Commission may be on life support before the legislative session even begins.

Legislative leaders previewed the session at an Indiana Chamber of Commerce event Monday.

Indiana has one of the unhealthiest populations in the country by just about any metric. And the governor created a commission to produce recommendations to improve Indiana’s public health system.

One of its key proposals: $240 million a year for public health in the state budget.

READ MORE: Governor’s Public Health Commission issues final report with $240M price tag, following study

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Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) balked at that price tag.

“I’m not even sure, if we sent that kind of money to our local health departments, that they would be able to handle that well,” Bray said.

House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) wasn't so quick to dismiss the $240 million recommendation.

"I just want to make sure the additional investments are used in a way that are consistent with the current investments we're making and that they have clear, measurable outcomes," Huston said.

Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said the government needs to step up to improve Indiana’s poor health record.

“Until we just focus on the fact that poor people have a lack of access to health care, we’re going to struggle and we’re going to continue to struggle,” Taylor said.

The session begins in January.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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