STEVE DAVISSONRepublican Birth Date:
Indiana House District 73 includes six counties in the heart of southern Indiana and some of its most iconic landmarks – the hometown of Hoosier astronaut Gus Grissom, the caves and sinkholes of Spring Mill State Park and the ski hills of Paoli. The district is also near the epicenter an opioid epidemic that during the past decade triggered outbreaks of HIV and led to the state’s first needle-exchange program. It is represented by Republican Steve Davisson, a pharmacist from Salem in Washington County, adjacent to the county from which the outbreak first spread in 2015; one of two pharmacists currently in the Indiana General Assembly, his decade-long legislative career has focused on issues of substance abuse and public health.
In 2014, Davisson authored legislation, passed and signed into law, which created caps on the amount of methadone that patients could take home from treatment centers. Davisson said the limitations would keep so-called take-home methadone from being sold on the street while providing exceptions in cases of hardship and less severe limits as treatment continued; opponents of the bill said it would limit their treatment options. In 2017, as overdose deaths in Indiana topped 1,800, Davisson authored legislation which laid the groundwork for mobile addiction treatment centers to expand services to underserved areas. Also in 2017, Davisson was a co-author on legislation which expanded funding for needle-exchange programs to combat opioid-triggered disease and allow counties more authority over their operation.
In 2019, he was a House sponsor of a Senate bill, passed and signed into law, which expanded the number of comprehensive addiction center around the state from five to eight. From some Indiana communities, the drive to a center had taken all day, he said. A bill that Davisson authored in 2020 expanded pharmacists’ authority to dispense epinephrine products for allergic reactions and to delegate more tasks to pharmacy technicians under their supervision; after the new law’s enactment, advocates said the latter provision would be of particular use as resources were stretched during the coronavirus public health emergency.
The district had been held by Democrats for more than 40 years when Davisson was elected to an open seat in 2010. It is now one of many in southern Indiana which form the bedrock of Republican supermajorities in both chambers. Davisson has won reelection by increasingly wide margins and ran unopposed in 2018 and 2020. – Kevin Morgan
- BS, Pharmacy, Purdue University, 1976-1981
- Graduate Studies, Genetic Toxicology, Purdue University