ACTION SHIFTS TO SENATE THIS WEEK: One month into the 2019 legislative session and there are still controversial bills to be moved at the Statehouse. This week, the Senate may be the chamber to watch as two attention-catching bills will be heading to committee (Curry, Howey Politics Indiana). Last week, Speaker of the House Brian Bosma expressed that he would prefer to see a Bias Crimes Bill start in the upper chamber. His Senate counterpart, President Pro Tempore Rod Bray, says senators are indeed working on such a bill. “We’re expecting, regardless of what the House does, to try and come up with something here,” Bray said last Thursday. He hopes to see the bill in a committee this week, saying “That’s kind of what I’ve been expecting." The hate crimes issue, which was reignited after the anti-Semitic graffiti incident in Carmel last fall, has been one of the hottest topics this session – but there’s still doubt about what type of bill will satisfy the Republican super-majorities, the governor’s office, and the people of Indiana. Sens. Mark Messmer and Jon Ford’s gaming bill, which has also caught attention, will be getting its first hearing in the Senate Committee on Public Policy on Wednesday. Senate Bill 552 would bring plenty of changes to Indiana’s gaming scene, mainly allowing the relocation of one of Gary’s two licensed casinos to Vigo County and legalizing sports wagering to be managed at several locations throughout the state. Such locations would be the Vigo County casino, riverboats, “racinos” and satellite facilities. The bill would also allow live table games to be played at Indiana horse-racetracks, starting this year. SB552 would help put Indiana among other leading states who have moved to legalize sports gambling. It’s been over a decade since the legislature last opened a new gambling market, however, so there are some in the General Assembly who are hesitant to rush ahead without understanding the impact the bill will have on Indiana’s current gaming. Still, Bray says Sen. Messmer has been hard at work hearing those concerns, and that should likely play out in committee this week. Industry experts have also shown confidence in the passage of the bill, so while SB552 might generate a lot of discussion at its committee hearing or on the Senate floor, its prospects look good.  In the House, bills on raising the cigarette tax and on abortion matters might move into committees this week. While there’s certainly been no guarantee of that, it’s worth keeping an eye on as we approach the late-February deadlines.

MERRITT BILL CONFRONTS OPIOID CRISIS: Other topical bills up for hearings in the Senate this week include two proposals from Senator Jim Merritt meant to tackle Indiana’s opioid crisis (Curry, Howey Politics Indiana). SB33, authored by Merritt and Senator Ed Charbonneuau, establishes an addiction recovery center grant program with an appropriation of $9 million this biennium. That appropriation is then to be distributed evenly to each of Indiana’s nine congressional districts. The second bill, SB274, would make the recovery pilot program for pregnant women and women with newborns a permanent program. The Committee on Health and Provider Services will discuss the bills on Wednesday.

BUTTIGIEG BACKS SINGLE PAYER: South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is ramping up his effort to gain support for a presidential run. Buttigieg was on ABC's "This Week" Sunday, and the mayor said Democrats need to get more comfortable talking about freedom. He says the discussion has to be about more than freedom from issues, like regulation and government (WIBC). "When we talk about freedom, I think Democrats need to get more comfortable getting into that kind of vocabulary," he said. "Conservatives care a lot about one kind of freedom, and it's 'freedom from.' Freedom from government, freedom from regulation. Certainly in my lifetime there are many things, besides government, that can make you unfree." He was asked about his stance on healthcare in the wake of controversial comments made by Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris of California last week. Harris said she believes in doing away with private health insurance companies in an effort to expand access to health insurance. Buttigieg, who said he is for a "single-payer" health insurance system, said private insurance companies should still be allowed to play a role in the countries healthcare system, whatever system that ends up being. "I studied in the UK, where's not only single-payer, but nationalized medicine, which we are not calling for," Buttigeig said. "Even there there is a role for the private sector. I just don't believe leaving Americans to the tender mercies of corporations is the best way to organize the health sector in this country."

ATOMIC SCIENTISTS CITE 'NEW ABNORMAL': Some scientists say the world is, figuratively, two minutes away from the end. Citing rising threats of nuclear war and a lack of world action against climate change, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has kept the hands of the symbolic Doomsday Clock as close to annihilation as it has ever been since 1953 at the height of the Cold War (Stephens, CNHI). The hands now stand at 11:58 p.m., just two minutes away from midnight. Each year the board of scientists, which includes 15 Nobel laureates, set the hands on the clock as a metaphor for how close they believe humanity is to annihilation. The project was founded by a group of scientists who built the first atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project. In what the scientists deem “a new abnormal,” the time to midnight actually remains the same as in 2017. The Doomsday Clock was influenced by statements from an incoming U.S. president, Donald Trump, regarding the proliferation and the prospect of actually using nuclear weapons, as well as statements made in opposition to U.S. commitments regarding climate change. “These major threats — nuclear weapons and climate change — were exacerbated this past year by the increased use of information warfare to undermine democracy around the world, amplifying risk from these and other threats and putting the future of civilization in extraordinary danger,” said Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

TRUMP WON'T COMMIT TO RELEASING MUELLER REPORT: President Trump would not commit in an interview aired Sunday to making public the results of the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s ties to his campaign, adding that it was time to “get rid” of the inquiry (New York Times). In the interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Mr. Trump reiterated his belief that the attorney general would determine whether the public would see the results of the inquiry by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. But he would not say whether he would be comfortable with the results being made public. “I don’t know,” the president said. “It depends. I have no idea what it’s going to say.” The law does not require the Justice Department to release a report, and Mr. Mueller has been silent on the issue. Last month, Trump advisers were pleased that William P. Barr, Mr. Trump’s nominee for attorney general, opened the door to the possibility that the special counsel’s report could be shielded from the public during a Senate confirmation hearing. Mr. Trump’s wide-ranging interview with Margaret Brennan, the show’s host, was conducted days after the acting attorney general, Matthew G. Whitaker, said the investigation  was nearing its end, and amid stagnant negotiations with Democrats over Mr. Trump’s demand for a border wall. Mr. Trump indicated at various points in the interview that he would use the power of his office to solve that matter and others facing his presidency.

'EXECUTIVE TIME' DOMINATES TRUMP SCHEDULE: A White House source has leaked nearly every day of President Trump's private schedule for the past three months (Swan, Axios). This unusually voluminous leak gives us unprecedented visibility into how this president spends his days. The schedules, which cover nearly every working day since the midterms, show that Trump has spent around 60% of his scheduled time over the past 3 months in unstructured 'Executive Time.' We've published every page of the leaked schedules in a piece that accompanies this item. To protect our source, we retyped the schedules in the same format that West Wing staff receives them. What the schedules show: Trump, an early riser, usually spends the first 5 hours of the day in Executive Time. Each day's schedule places Trump in 'Location: Oval Office' from 8 to 11 a.m. But Trump, who often wakes before 6 a.m., is never in the Oval during those hours, according to six sources with direct knowledge.

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: That was one of the worst Super Bowls ever. Patriots win their sixth title in a boring game with virtuallly no offense. I hope the Colts draft for a wide receiver (they need their "Reggie Wayne" to complement T.Y. Hilton) and an edge rusher. The Colts aren't that far away from the big game. - Brian A. Howey



Campaigns

2 ANNOUNCE FOR TIPTON MAYOR: Two long-time elected officials have announced their candidacies for Tipton mayor in the Republican primary election after current Mayor Don Havens said he would not seek re-election (Kokomo Tribune). Jason Henderson has served as the Tipton County surveyor for 13 years – a job which requires him to sit on the Planning Commission board. Brett Curnutt is a 24-year veteran of the Tipton City Council and currently serves as its president. He has also served as the chairman of the Tipton County Republican Party for the past 15 years – a role he said he is resigning from so “he can efficiently focus on the election for mayor without party complication.” As the two face off in the mayoral primary race, each candidate emphasized their desire to work closely and in unison with county government. Curnutt said, “As mayor, I promise warm smiles and sincere handshakes as the county commissioners and I work together on joint projects. The city council and I will cooperate with county commissioners, and county council to ensure the best interest of Tipton’s taxpayers.” Henderson echoed the same sentiment, saying “I have a perspective on how the city and the county can work together to a common goal, which is symbiotic – they feed off each other.

TRUMP CAMPAIGNS SEEKS TO BLOCK GOP CHALLENGER: Worried about a potential Republican primary challenge, President Donald Trump's campaign has launched a state-by-state effort to prevent an intraparty fight that could spill over into the general-election campaign (ABC News). The nascent initiative has been an intense focus in recent weeks and includes taking steps to change state party rules, crowd out potential rivals and quell any early signs of opposition that could embarrass the president. It is an acknowledgment that Trump, who effectively hijacked the Republican Party in 2016, hasn't completely cemented his grip on the GOP and, in any event, is not likely to coast to the 2020 GOP nomination without some form of opposition. While any primary challenge would almost certainly be unsuccessful, Trump aides are looking to prevent a repeat of the convention discord that highlighted the electoral weaknesses of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter in their failed re-election campaigns.

GABBARD KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, kicked off her presidential campaign with a rally in Honolulu. Perhaps most famous for her controversial foreign policy views, Gabbard said she "will end the regime change wars that have taken far too many lives and undermined our security by strengthening terrorist groups like al Qaeda" (CBS News). "These powerful politicians dishonor the sacrifices made by every one of my brothers and sisters in uniform, their families - they are the ones who pay the price for these wars," Gabbard said. "In fact, every American pays the price for these wars, trillions of dollars since 9/11."

POLL SHOWS WIDE SUPPORT FOR TAXING THE RICH: Surveys are showing overwhelming support for raising taxes on top earners, including a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Monday that found 76 percent of registered voters believe the wealthiest Americans should pay more in taxes. A recent Fox News survey showed that 70 percent of Americans favor raising taxes on those earning over $10 million — including 54 percent of Republicans.

POLL SHOWS SCHULTZ COULD IMPACT RACE: Democrats have broken into a panic over Howard Schultz's talk of an independent bid for president. A new poll suggests they have reason to be worried. The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows anti-Trump and Democratic voters are more open to supporting third-party candidates than Republicans — evidence supporting the prominent Democrats who spent the last week warning that a credible, well-funded independent could improve President Donald Trump’s chances of reelection. While only 26 percent of voters who approve of Trump's job performance as president are very or somewhat likely to consider a third-party candidate, a larger percentage of Trump disapprovers, 41 percent, would consider voting for an independent. By party, nearly a third of Democrats, 31 percent, say they would consider a third-party candidate — greater than the 25 percent of Republicans who would consider voting for someone other than the two major-party nominees. But the data don’t suggest Schultz, the billionaire ex-CEO of Starbucks, could do more than play spoiler in the 2020 presidential race. While 35 percent of all voters in the new poll say they’d consider a third-party candidate, only 12 percent say they’d be very likely to look outside the two major parties.

CNN POLL SHOWS LACK OF FAITH IN GOVERNMENT: With a looming February 15 deadline to fund parts of the US government, few are optimistic the President and Congress will be able to reach agreement in time to prevent another partial shutdown, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS. Nearly two-thirds (64%) say an agreement is unlikely to happen before the deadline, with pessimism stretching across party lines. Majorities of independents (67%), Democrats (65%) and Republicans (57%) say an agreement is unlikely. Almost 7 in 10 say the federal government is doing a bad job of governing, including 43% who say it's the worst job of governing in their lifetimes. That's about double the share who said the same in early 1996 (21%) following a government shutdown that was the longest on record until last month. Just 19% say the federal government is doing a good job.

CBS POLL SHOWS NO SUPPORT FOR EMERGENCY DECLARATION: Sixty-six percent of Americans overall in a CBS Poll say President Trump should not declare a national emergency if Congress does not fund a border wall, although most Republicans (73 percent) think he should (CBS News). If government funding runs out on Feb. 15 and there's still an impasse over wall funding, Americans don't want either side to force another shutdown. Seventy-three percent of Americans want Mr. Trump to continue negotiating while keeping the government open, rather than demand wall funding if that forces a shutdown. A similar number (75 percent) say congressional Democrats should also continue negotiating, rather than deny funding in a move that might force a shutdown.



Sunday Talk

CARSON SUPPORTS COATS: Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) appeared on this week's edition of IN Focus, to discuss a number of issues making news in Washington, including last week's back and forth between the President and his intelligence chiefs, and next week's State of the Union address (Fox59). A member of the House intelligence committee, Carson responded to the President's tweets criticizing his own intelligence chiefs after they briefed Congress last week, contradicting the President's views on some issues relating to national security, including the withdrawal of troops from Syria, and the President's assertion that ISIS has 'been defeated.' "Constantly disparaging the fourth estate, the media, and the intelligence community is not a wise thing to do," said Carson. "Director Coats, who I consider a friend, knows these issues. We see him regular in the intel committee, and I think he's right."

General Assembly

TEACHER PAY ISSUE STILL UNSETTLED: Statehouse Republicans haven't come up with more than modest proposals toward boosting Indiana teacher pay even as they continue touting that step as a top goal for the new state budget (AP). Initial requests from Gov. Eric Holcomb seek about $210 million more in education funding for next school year, although a new report from education advocacy groups says $658 million is needed to boost average teacher pay to the midpoint of Indiana's neighboring states. The steep price tag—which would amount to a 9 percent increase in state school funding—stems from average Indiana teacher salaries dropping 15 percent since 2000 when adjusted for inflation, according to the report from Stand for Children and Teach Plus. Justin Ohlemiller, executive director of Stand for Children Indiana, said the state is facing a "crisis" that developed over many years leading to declines in new teachers entering the profession and struggles for schools in finding qualified teachers for vacancies. "There's no question there's a significant gap that needs to be addressed," Ohlemiller said. Holcomb has proposed roughly a 3 percent increase in school funding for each of the next two years and is creating a teacher pay commission to make recommendations for legislators to consider in 2021 on how best to boost salaries. Leaders of the Republican-dominated Legislature say they are looking for additional school funding increases but haven't given specifics.



Congress

WALROSKI TO HONOR VETERAN, CANINE: U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) on Monday will honor Hoosier veteran Joseph Steenbeke of Culver, Ind., and welcome home Tess, the bomb-sniffing dog Joe was partnered with in Afghanistan (Howey Politics Indiana). Joe this weekend officially adopted Tess, a Belgian Malinois, nearly five years after their deployment ended. Walorski worked to ensure Joe would be first in line to adopt Tess after Joe’s wife Stephanie contacted the congresswoman’s office last year.

YOUNG SEEKS TO UPDATE FAA CHARTER: U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, and three colleagues have reintroduced legislation to update and modernize the charter for the FFA, with a goal to better reflect agriculture education in the 21st century (KPC News). The National FFA Organization’s Federal Charter Amendments Act updates the FFA’s charter to allow for student officer vice presidents to reflect the regional diversity of the United States. It also provides governing flexibility for national officers to reduce operational delays caused by vacant seats.

SENATORS FRET TRUMP ADMIN VACANCIES: From the Justice Department to Veterans Affairs, vast swaths of the government have top positions filled by officials serving in an acting capacity — or no one at all. More than two years into Trump’s term, the president has an acting chief of staff, attorney general, defense secretary, interior secretary, Office of Management and Budget director and Environmental Protection Agency chief (Washington Post). To deal with the number of vacancies in the upper ranks of departments, agencies have been relying on novel and legally questionable personnel moves that could leave the administration’s policies open to court challenges. The lack of permanent leaders has started to alarm top congressional Republicans who are pressing for key posts to be filled. “It’s a lot, it’s way too many,” Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said of the acting positions in Cabinet agencies. “You want to have confirmed individuals there because they have a lot more authority to be able to make decisions and implement policy when you have a confirmed person in that spot.”

State

ECONOMY: BIG JUMP IN INDIANA PORT TRAFFIC - Indiana’s three major shipping ports handled a record amount of cargo last year as a big jump in coal shipments helped them see 25 percent growth from 2017 (AP). The Ports of Indiana agency says the two Ohio River ports at Mount Vernon and Jeffersonville and the Lake Michigan port at Burns Harbor handled 14.8 million tons of cargo last year. That’s 21 percent more than the previous record in 2015. The agency says coal shipments grew 58 percent from 2017. Other factors in the business growth include a 26 percent jump in soy products, 17 percent more grain and a 4 percent increase in steel. The Burns Harbor and Jeffersonville ports together shipped more than 2 million tons of steel, making that each port’s largest commodity.

ENERGY: NIPSCO SHIFTING TO WIND FARMS - Northern Indiana Public Service is planning three wind farms in an effort to gradually shift from coal-fired power to renewable energy. The Merrillville-based utility announced Friday that the wind farms would be in Benton, Montgomery, Warren and White counties and have nearly 300 wind turbines. NIPSCO says the northern and western Indiana farms will generate 800 megawatts of power, helping it move toward a goal of being coal-free by late 2028. The NWI Times reports that the projects involve partnerships between the utility and private companies. NIPSCO has asked state regulators to approve the wind farms, which it expects to be in operation by late 2020.

Nation

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP TO USE IMMIGRATION DIVIDE IN SOTU - President Donald Trump is carving new divides on immigration ahead of his State of the Union address that likely offer a more reliable guide to the year ahead than the ritual calls for national unity he is expected to issue on Tuesday night (CNN). "With Caravans marching through Mexico and toward our Country, Republicans must be prepared to do whatever is necessary for STRONG Border Security," Trump wrote in a tweet on Sunday evening. "Dems do nothing. If there is no Wall, there is no Security. Human Trafficking, Drugs and Criminals of all dimensions - KEEP OUT!" The Twitter blast shattered the White House spin that Trump is intent on healing old wounds, reaching across divides and using showpiece annual address before a vast television audience to project optimism.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP WON'T PULL TROOPS OUT OF SOUTH KOREA - President Trump said Sunday he has no plans to withdraw U.S. troops from South Korea, potentially assuaging worries in Seoul as Mr. Trump’s end-of-the-month summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un approaches (Wall Street Journal). “I have no plans, I’ve never even discussed removing them,” Mr. Trump said in an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” program. The U.S. president repeated his complaint that maintaining what he said are 40,000 U.S. forces in South Korea—the actual number is about 28,500—is “very expensive.”

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP VOWS TO KEEP TROOPS IN IRAQ -  President Trump said he wants to keep U.S. military forces in Iraq to keep a "watch" on Iran (Washington Examiner). During an interview that aired Sunday morning, Trump said an "expensive military base in Iraq" would monitor any trouble in the region, including efforts to build nuclear weapons. "I want to be able to watch Iran," Trump said in a "Face the Nation" interview on CBS. "All I want to do is be able to watch. We have an unbelievable and expensive military base built in Iraq. It's perfectly situated for looking at all over different parts of the troubled Middle East rather than pulling up. And this is what a lot of people don't understand. We're going to keep watching and we're going to keep seeing, and if there's trouble, if somebody is looking to do nuclear weapons or other things, we're going to know it before they do."

WHITE HOUSE: IMMIGRANTS TO ATTEND SOTU - When President Trump delivers his State of the Union address on Tuesday, the debate over immigration that spurred the recent government shutdown will be well-represented in the guests invited to view from the House gallery (Wall Street Journal). Mr. Trump’s insistence that Congress fund part of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico led to the 35-day partial shutdown that ended last month, when the president backed off that demand. Lawmakers now are working to hash out a deal on that and other immigration issues before funding again runs out at midmonth. Democratic lawmakers have invited refugees and immigrants, including two who were undocumented when they worked for Mr. Trump’s Bedminster, N.J., golf club. Republicans are offering seats to law-enforcement officers, including those who work on or near the border with Mexico.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP SCHEDULE - President Trump will have lunch with VP Mike Pence at 12:45 p.m. in his private dining room.

FDA: CRITICS URGE SLOWDOWN IN E-CIG REGS - A coalition of conservative and libertarian groups is demanding President Trump “pump the brakes” on the administration’s crackdown on e-cigarettes, arguing the anti-vaping efforts will hurt “an innovative industry that is helping American smokers quit” (Washington Post). The letter, sent to the White House on Monday, criticized the Food and Drug Administration — and specifically its commissioner, Scott Gottlieb — for waging an “aggressive regulatory assault” on e-cigarettes. The signers include Americans for Tax Reform, ALEC Action, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Goldwater Institute. The groups acknowledged concern about a sharp increase in youth use of such products, but said Gottlieb’s reaction has amounted to “regulatory panic and significant government overreach.” It said FDA’s plans to curb youth vaping would hurt adults and should be subjected to cost-benefit analyses.

Local

CITIES: HOGSETT TO ANNOUNCE BODY CAM STUDY - Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Chief Bryan Roach will launch a process to study the feasibility of a body-worn camera program in Indianapolis. The process is designed to be community- and stakeholder-driven, seeking feedback from neighborhoods as well as rank-and-file officers (Howey Politics Indiana). Large police departments across the country have reported benefits from body-worn camera programs that include increased transparency with the community, a reduction in complaints against police, and improved officer training. The captured audio and video can assist in the prosecution of offenders as well as the investigation of citizen complaints. In December 2018, Chief Roach selected IMPD’s first body camera program manager who has been tasked with overseeing the study period.

CITIES: HEP C AT MARION COUNTY JAIL - For the second time in less than a week, there is word of a second Hepatitis A outbreak in Indianapolis, but this time it is at the Marion County Jail (WIBC). According to an e-mail sent out Friday, jail officials say they discovered four cases of  Hepatitis A in the inmate population. Both the State and Marion County Departments of Public Health have been notified. Officials did note that an outbreak might be possible last year and took steps to vaccinate the jail population as well as offer vaccinations to jail staff. They are working to clean all inmate housing areas. Last week local public health officials warned that some residents may have been exposed to Hepatitis at the Burger King on Kentucky Avenue and Mann Road. Since January 2018, there have been nearly 80 reported cases of Hepatitis in  Marion County.

CITIES: SOUTH BEND SCRAMBLES FOR PLAN FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL - After Navarre Middle School received a failing accountability grade from the state for the sixth straight school year in 2017-18, leaders of the South Bend Community School Corp. began scrambling to come up with a plan to turn things around (Booker, South Bend Tribune). And at its monthly meeting on Wednesday in Indianapolis, the Indiana State Board of Education will review where things stand with that comeback plan. Under state law, schools with six straight years of failing grades face the potential for drastic action, such as a forced merger, closure or state takeover. The Board of Education has the right to take such action. But Kenneth Spells, the outgoing superintendent of South Bend schools, is optimistic that drastic measures will be avoided at Navarre, which is on the city’s west side.

COUNTIES: RELIEF SOUGHT FOR BIG BOX TAX APPEALS - For years, Elise Nieshalla has served as an at-large council member for Boone County, where she oversees one of the fastest-growing regions in Indiana (Irish, Statehouse File). But 2018 ended with a series of challenges regarding such growth, shifting her perspective about taxation issues and prompting county leaders like her to seek statewide help. For Nieshalla, it all started with a popular grocery and general merchandise store in the heart of Whitestown. When Boone County assessors priced the real value of the Meijer grocery store at $14 million, the company disagreed, noting that its properties elsewhere in the state—particularly those in economically distressed communities—were valued at a lower price. Meijer operates at least 30 stores in Indiana, according to its corporate website. After the Midwest retail chain received an $11.5 million assessment, Meijer decided to appeal the decision. Even after a third party appraised the property at $14 million, Meijer demanded its Whitestown property’s worth be lowered to almost 50 percent less than the appraisal. Under the original assessment, Boone County taxes the property at $61 per square foot each year. If Meijer succeeds in its appeal, that annual rate would drop to $49 per square foot. After several hearings in late December, both parties were told it could take up to a year for a final opinion from the Indiana Tax Court, Nieshalla said.

COUNTIES: SHERIFF GOODIN TAKES AIM AT SCOTT DRUG SUPPLY - Jerry Goodin took over as Scott County Sheriff on Jan. 1 and immediately promised to make the county a drug-free zone. His office recently put together a press release titled "We Mean What We Say." It details more than a dozen drug-related arrests officers made during the first two weeks of January. The charges range from unlawful possession of a syringe to marijuana dealing (Indiana Public Media). But, public advocates worry about how the aggressive stance on drugs could impact rehabilitation efforts in the county at the heart of a devastating HIV outbreak a few years ago. "When  you have these systems that are kind of counteracting each other, it often creates more barriers as well as other harms," says Carrie Lawrence, director of Project Cultivate at the Rural Center for STD/AIDS Prevention. "Because the individual is less likely to seek out treatment or help."