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MUTUALLY ASSURED DEMOCRACY

Indiana Statehouse Check-In: This supermajority is missing the mark

It’s “crossover week” at the statehouse, which marks the halfway point through the 2024 legislative session. Bills that started in each chamber, respectively, will now move to the other in a switcheroo known as “crossing over” or “switching chambers.”


MADVoters has been closely tracking bills, watching committee meetings, and talking with legislators to keep you informed about what the statehouse has been up to. Despite legislators’ assurance that this would be a “quieter session,” the statehouse still managed to generate noise with controversial bills like allowing chaplains in public schools, holding more students back, and outlawing dedicated bus lanes. 


So what are the supermajority’s priorities? 

The supermajority has put their energy into bills to establish a bobcat hunting season, keep Homeland Security away from barrel trains, and legalize throwing stars. While these issues might be important to some Hoosiers (especially Ninjas!), they do not represent the most pressing issues facing Hoosiers, like increasing the minimum wage, permitting ballot initiatives, or expanding access and affordability for childcare. Bills went stale that could have addressed these issues and could have had a real impact on people’s lives, such as:


  • SB203 Reducing Period Poverty - Sen Shelli Yoder, D-Bloomington

  • HB1323 Increasing Minimum Wage to .008% of Governor’s Salary - Rep Ryan Dvorak, D-South Bend/St. Joseph County

  • HB1119 Requiring Consent for Pelvic, Rectal, and Prostate Exams - Rep Carolyn Jackson, D-Hammond/Whiting area

  • SB208 Restoring Law to Medical Guidelines and Reopening Abortion Centers - Sen Shelli Yoder, D-Bloomington

  • HB1040 Increasing Provisions and Oversight to Increase Sex Crime Forensic Exam Test Kit Processing - Rep Sheila Klinker, D-Lafayette

  • HJR1 / SJR18 Amending the State Constitution to Allow Ballot Initiatives - Rep Sue Errington, D-Muncie / Sen Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis

  • HB1037 Increasing Teacher Salary - Rep Sheila Klinker, D-Lafayette

  • HB1024 Codifying Pregnancy Accommodations - Rep Sharon Negele, R-Benton/Warren Counties

  • HB1028 Including Birthing Centers and Midwife Care Options for Persons Relying on Medicaid - Rep Maureen Bauer, D-South Bend 

  • SB292 Expanding Access and Affordability for Childcare - Sen Andrea Hunley, D-Indianapolis / Sen Rodney Pol, D-Indianapolis

  • SB242 Expanding Medicaid Reimbursement for Prenatal, Pregnancy, and Postpartum Care - Sen Mike Bohacek, R-Starke/LaPorte Counties

  • SB94 Prohibiting Racial Discrimination Based on Hair - Sen Fady Qaddoura, D-Indianapolis   


It’s a slap in the face to hardworking Hoosiers. 


And, it gets worse. The supermajority has also been busy pushing their unpopular ideas that the majority of Hoosiers do not want and do not support. We saw legislation attacking public education and educators, the LGBTQ+ community, and libraries. We saw increasing government overreach in local areas and more taxpayer money going to corporations and unregulated, out-of-state nonprofits. Below is a partial list of such bills that are still alive:


COMMUNITY and DEMOCRACY

  • Allowing AG Todd Rokita and other elected officials and their staff to open carry firearms in the statehouse

  • Allowing the state to micromanage and control municipal affairs, including public transit, overriding municipal voters

  • Adding more barriers to voting

  • Giving the AG the power to appoint people as State Police Officers

  • Implementing ID verification to monitor who is accessing “harmful material” online, prompting privacy concerns

EDUCATION

  • Allowing non-credentialed religious leaders to take over school counselor duties

  • Holding more students back based on standardized testing scores

  • Subjecting kids 14+ to work on corporate labor farms during school hours, with reduced safety and labor law protections

  • Giving each district the discretion on what, if any, sexual education program is taught and what material is shared, even if it is not factual

ECONOMIC IMPACT

  • Moving more tax liability from corporations to property owners

  • Reducing the time and compensation of a person who becomes ill or dies from on-the-job hazards


Take Action

The current supermajority seems to have forgotten that they work for us. We must raise our collective voices to push back against unpopular and harmful bills while continuing to advocate for bills that will improve the lives of hardworking Hoosiers. And if the supermajority won’t listen, we must vote them out. 


MADVoters seeks to establish Mutually Assured Democracy in Indiana. When we work together, we can improve equitable outcomes for all Hoosiers. Visit madvoters.org/bill-tracker to view the bills we're tracking.



The legislative process in Indiana


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