The cliché about this being an important municipal election cannot be overstated. Bloomington is electing a new mayor with three strong candidates on the Democratic side. At a minimum, we will have four new members on the City Common Council. Change is not just brewing, it remains inevitable.
The conversations I have had appear to indicate the winning candidate for mayor needs to reach about 3,500 votes in the primary to pull off a victory. In this demographic, that pretty much entails sailing through the general election. That is not a lot of votes for a town of 80,000. Your vote matters, and statistically has a real impact on the results.
The Chamber is hosting its first of two election events on Tuesday, March 21st at 5:30p with Elect Connect. This will center on the council candidates. Each candidate in a contested race will have an opportunity to speak for 3 minutes. The atmosphere is light, with a networking vibe inclined to provide an opportunity to get to know the candidates.
On February 14th, Indiana Senate Bill 1 was referred to the House of Representatives with unanimous approval from the Senate. This behavioral health matters bill was written by Senator Michael Crider and is expected to make major improvements to how the state responds to mental health issues. If passed, SB1 would allow Medicaid recipients to pay for community behavioral health clinic services through reimbursements. It would also establish the Indiana Behavioral Health Commission as well as a confidential hotline for people who are in distress or seeking mental health services. The House has also referred a mental health bill to the Senate, HB 1006. Where these two bills diverge is their target populations. SB 1 primarily focuses on those who qualify for Medicaid whereas HB 1006 focuses on those who are incarcerated or have been incarcerated. If enacted, HB 1006 would allow those who have been arrested and are in need of mental health services, to be committed to a facility where they can receive proper care. It would also create a referral program for inmates to receive counselling services.
If you or someone you know is currently experiencing thoughts of suicide, or a mental health or substance use crisis, please call 988 to reach Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and speak with a trained crisis specialist 24/7. For more information on 9-8-8, CLICK HERE.