INDIANAPOLIS – During the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly, State Representative Gail Riecken (D-Evansville) will focus on several bills that would positively impact constituents in House District 77 while providing benefits to Hoosiers statewide.

Rep. Riecken is encouraging legislators to consider bills to address the ongoing concerns created by vacant and abandoned housing, provide an option for riverboat casinos to be land-based, and fund the construction for a state-of-the-art medical school in the Evansville area.

One bill would speed up the process where a legally defined abandoned and vacant property would be ready for new owners a year earlier. The bill clears up bill drafting errors of law enacted last session that prevented cities like Evansville from using the new law.

“Vacant and abandoned housing in Indiana is more than just an eyesore. These properties are linked to increased crime and cause neighborhood property values to decrease,” explained Riecken. “Demolition is a significant expense for cities, and sometimes the money just isn’t there.” We find some of these properties are valuable to our history and we would rather rehab them but can’t get them through the system before they fall into costly repair.

Land based casinos are getting another look in the Legislature. Lawmakers looking more favorably on land based casinos are interested in preserving the revenue stream to the state and understand our casinos must be more competitive with other states. Evansville’s riverboat is the oldest in the state. The hope is that developing a new, vibrant casino on land would add revenue.

“Constituents of District 77 have spoken and what they’re saying is this: drop the dock and move Tropicana Evansville on land!” said Riecken.

IU School of Medicine Dean Jay Hess has endorsed downtown Evansville as the future site for an ultramodern medical school. The facility will also have a high-tech simulation center for teaching and research, and programs such as nursing and related fields, physical therapy and the four-year medical school programs.

“Having a medical school in Evansville that introduces the model of a consortium of four colleges and universities in one unique program and headed by Indiana University will provide expanded professional opportunities for students and Hoosiers in our state,” Riecken said. “There are still some details to work out, but the proposal is gaining momentum locally and statewide.”

Proponents of the plan are working to secure funding for the school in the biennial state budget that the Legislature must pass in the 2015 session.

Rep. Riecken said she also will ask the Legislature to study two topics of concern. “We need a summer study committee to hear testimony about juveniles, who are incarcerated and deemed incorrigible, being serviced by the Department of Child Services instead of the Department of Correction,” she said. “I also want us to examine the definitions of child abuse and neglect that have evolved since 2006 and determine if the legal definitions are adequately protecting the safety of our children and meeting their needs for services in today’s environment.”

In response to an ongoing local controversy, she has also introduced legislation that would give area residents a greater voice in determining a local issue, giving residential neighbors more control in the determination of a renewal permit for a liquor store at its existing location.



  1. More downtown medical school garbage. Moldy already. Land based casinos yeah, private venture, that’s a confirmed return TiF. As long as this one, or the other campaigns stick with the grotesque illusion of that horrible logistical balance offered by a downtown Evansville IU medical school, we’ll never support them. The aspect is fiscally dead straight upon its conception on that horrid logistically failed location in old downtown evansville’s archaic costly broken down infrastructure. A loss in the delivery box.
    Build the school in the area that’s already thriving privately and get the most for your money line the site with infrastructure and logistics already in place in your eastern corridor.
    Or support the ongoing failures and just keep lining cronies pockets down in the old zombie infrastructure that continues to bleed your town dry.

    We’re advising our people and who they might perceive as their smart contacts to avoid those candidates supporting that selfish unbalanced downtown medical school plan like the plague itself.

    That’s junky downtown site fails in the box. Once the box is opened you have no return option, you’ve bought the piece of junk. “Again. ” How many times can they pull that three card shell game crap on you dummies? Man the inequity per the citizens valuation is on the revenue base. The cruds that schemed it up walk with the cash, you just have to keep propping up the massive progressive sink hole down there surrounding the roadblock gulag some older slicks slapped in there to choke and kill it’s logistical prosperity for good.

    Evansville needs some “metro smart candidates” . Real bad! Real time fast.

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