Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb released his 2020 Next Level Agenda today, and included on the list of to-dos is getting the minimum age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes raised to 21-years-old.
Holcomb didn’t comment specifically in the press release announcing the agenda, which includes changes he wants to see in the economy, infrastructure, workforce & education, healthcare and good government. Along with raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco, which falls under the healthcare category, the governor is calling for healthcare price transparency for consumers via an all-payer claims database, protecting consumers from surprise medical bills, improving mental health services at schools and hospitals, and incentivizing more community paramedicine programs. He is also calling for specific measures to fight against the state’s drug epidemic, calling for more recovery housing for residents coping with substance use disorder, seeking protection and workplace accommodations for pregnant workers as part of a goal of becoming the best state in the Midwest for infant mortality by 2024.
While the governor can call for an increase, it will be a change that will need to be made through the state’s General Assembly, where previous bills have failed to gain traction. The most recent bill, S.B. 425, cleared the Senate’s Health and Provider Services but stalled in the Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy.
A bill for the 2020 legislative session has not yet been introduced, with a deadline of Jan. 9 looming to get a bill on the agenda.