Indianapolis, IN, December 17, 2015 — The Indiana Psychological Association (IPA) is proud to announce that it has selected Representative Greg Steuerwald as Indiana’s 2015 Legislator of the Year. This award is presented annually to an outstanding mental health leader in the Indiana legislature.
IPA announced the award at their Annual Meeting in November and presented Representative Steuerwald with the award at their December board meeting. Upon acceptance of his award, Rep Steuerwald said, “It is an honor to be recognized by the Indiana Psychological Association. I look forward to continuing to work with the association on important issues, which positively impact public health and access to mental health services for all Hoosiers,”
Representative Steuerwald represents House district 40 which covers portions of Hendricks County including the towns of Plainfield, Brownsburg, and Avon. During the 2015 legislative session, Representative Steuerwald co-authored House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1269, which makes the Department of Corrections (DOC) an inmate’s authorized representative for applying for Medicaid for those who are potentially eligible for Medicaid and who incur medical care expenses that are not otherwise reimbursable.
Representative Steuerwald also co-authored HEA 1304 that allows a person with an Intellectual Disability, Developmental Disability, or Autism Spectrum Disorder to participate in a forensic diversion program. The law also authorizes a prosecuting attorney to require a person participating in a prosecutorial diversion program to receive mental health treatment to reduce recidivism, and allows diversion and deferral fees to be used to fund mental health treatment programs to reduce recidivism.
Representative Steuerwald has served in the Indiana House of Representatives since 2007. He is currently Assistant Majority Caucus Chair and serves as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. In addition, he serves on the Courts and Criminal Code and Criminal Code Evaluation Committees. In these roles he has been instrumental in recognizing the need to treat substance use and mental health disorders in the corrections system. Dr. Tom Barbera, IPA Governmental Affairs Committee Chairperson, noted that “Representative Steuerwald has been an effective leader in shifting the corrections system culture in Indiana from one of labeling and stigmatizing Hoosiers with substance use and other mental health disorders to one focused on treatment and prevention.”
Past recipients of IPA’s Legislator of the Year Award include Representative Ron Bacon, Senator Vaneta Becker, Senator Ron Alting, Representative Charlie Brown, Senator Brent Steele, and Representative Peggy Welch.