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Senate Bill Would Give More Money To Stage Collapse Victims

The legislation would also dedicate more funds to full-day kindergarten.

State Fair Wreckage

Photo: Bill Shaw/Indiana Public Media News

The bill would give more money to the Indiana State Fair stage collapse victims.

A bill in the Senate would boost compensation to State Fair stage collapse victims and give more money to full-day kindergarten. The money comes from recently-discovered state revenues.

The bill would distribute five million dollars among the victims on top of the five million already given out through the state’s tort claim fund. The money would be given to the estates of those who died and fully-reimburse the medical expenses submitted by the other victims.

Brad Humphrey is an 18-year-old Indianapolis high schooler who was left paralyzed by injuries suffered in the stage collapse. He says he is worried the additional five million dollars isn’t big enough to really help all the victims. His mother Sue says Brad’s costs will continue the rest of his life.

“So far his medical expenses exceed five-hundred thousand dollars,” he says. “It’s estimated that his future cost of medical expenses will exceed five million in his lifetime.”

The bill’s author, Uniondale Republican Representative Jeff Espich, says no amount of money will ever be enough to compensate the victims. Espich’s bill also allocates money to fully fund full-day kindergarten in the state. Portage Democratic Senator Karen Tallian says she applauds that effort but thinks it needs another component.

“How can we justify paying for full-day kindergarten when we don’t even require kids to go to half-day kindergarten?” she says.

Espich says he did not want to get into that issue. He says his bill focuses on spending extra money the state discovered after corporate tax revenue had been misplaced for several years.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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