Obviously, I’m crushed. Outraged. Livid. Repealing that basic civil right after 50 years is a crushing blow to women’s rights. It’s a crushing blow to democracy. But it’s not just that. The hood has come off the GOP complex, and they have revealed unmistakably the misogynist, white supremacist, homophobic, anti-democratic foundation of Republican’s beliefs.
Right wing officials are starting to speak those beliefs out loud.
And not just tearing down same-sex marriage, relationships and contraception. Also integrated schools.
This session, Governor Holcomb made it a priority to pass bias crimes legislation. With the governor’s support, Senate Democrats were confident that Indiana would finally get a comprehensive bias crimes law on the books. Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) worked with the Republican author of SB 12, the bias crimes bill chosen to advance in the Senate, to get a clear, concise proposal containing a list of protected characteristics, passed out of the Senate Committee on Public Policy. Once the bill reached the floor, however, the Supermajority removed the list from the bill’s language. Despite protests by the Democratic caucus, Republicans chose to advance the watered down bill. After receiving backlash, however, Republicans took a different route, amending bias crimes language into an unrelated SB 198. Though the language included a list of protected classes, it left out age, sex and gender identity. Democrats fought to get these important characteristics added back into the bill with no success. Governor Holcomb, who promised to pass an inclusive and comprehensive bias crimes bill, mysteriously had a change of heart and decided that a non-inclusive bill that was ageist, sexist and transphobic was sufficient and signed the bill into law once it reached his desk.
All Democratic amendments removed from budget
Every single item that Senate Democrats have fought for over the past four months was removed from the budget in the final days of session. The Democratic Caucus fought to pass legislation that would improve the lives of Hoosiers and every one of our efforts was eliminated. Those efforts included protecting the Lake Michigan shoreline from erosion, providing adoption subsidies for foster parents to keep kids out of foster homes, relief for Hoosiers unable to pay interest fees on property taxes and funding the Mortgage Foreclosure Program requested by Indiana’s Supreme Court to help Hoosiers not lose their homes.
Shifting funding away from public education
The Statehouse Republican budget prioritizes private and voucher schools over public schools. Many schools in urban or poorer communities saw cuts to their complexity funding, and many of those that saw their total dollars increase, still did not receive increases that match the inflation rate. Moreover, funding for private and charter schools saw large increases, sometimes as much as 10 percent.
No teacher pay raises
This year, the General Assembly appeared to be in agreement that raising the salary of Indiana teachers was a priority. Despite that, only Indiana Democrats actually drafted and fought for legislation that would allocate new dollars to accomplish this goal. SB 399, drafted by Sen. Eddie Melton (D-Gary), was the only legislation drafted that would provide school corporations with a grant that would be used to specifically to raise teacher pay. The bill would have granted a 5% increase to teacher pay over the biennial, but it died without ever being given a committee hearing. Sen. Melton again attempted to ensure that a guaranteed teacher raise, offering an amendment to the budget with the same language included in his SB 399; it was defeated along party lines. Another Senate Democratic amendment to the budget would have placed a tax on cigarettes and mandated that some of the proceeds be used to raise teacher pay. The amendment was also defeated along party lines.
Attempt to legalize the shooting of teachers
In March, Indiana made national news when several news articles reported that teachers were left with bruises and welts after being shot with rubber pellets during school shooting simulations. To address this issue, language was added to Senate Bill 1253 that would require teachers to consent to being pelted during training. This came after language, added in committee, banning the practice altogether was removed from the bill. Unfortunately, the new proposal requiring teachers to consent failed to become law after Republican author Representative Jim Lucas stopped it from progressing due to other changes in the bill — changes that would have mandated training for all teachers who planned to carry firearms in schools since there are cheap revolvers for sale that are available in the market nowadays.
Discrimination in publicly-funded private schools
Sen. J.D. Ford filed a bill this session, SB 344, and also offered an amendment to the budget to bar private schools receiving state voucher funds from discriminating against their students, staff and teachers. Both his bill and his amendment were defeated by the supermajority. Sen. Ford fought for this language in response news that Roncalli High School, which has received over $6.5 million in tax dollars, is terminating the employment of two employees simply because of their same-sex marriages.
After some committee shenanigans, (in which Brian Bosma moved the bill from House Judiciary committee to the Elections and Apportionment committee when it became clear that it wouldn’t pass the first one) HJR-3 passed out of committee on Wednesday, and will be heard on the floor of the Indiana House on Monday at 1:30 p.m.
If you’d like to contact all of the state legislators in the house and not just your own, here is a cut and paste list of house email addresses. TIP: put addresses in the bcc box – that way, each recipient sees only their email address, not all 100.
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
HPI Analysis: Bosma defends 2d sentence, McNamara opposes
NASHVILLE, Ind. – The second sentence of the constitutional marriage amendment has been endorsed by House Speaker Brian Bosma, while State Rep. Wendy McNamara is saying she won’t vote for the resolution if it remains. “If an amendment were to be brought up to remove the second sentence I will fully support this resolution,” said McNamara, R-Mount Vernon, in a prepared statement. “If the second sentence remains, I will not support the resolution.”
How a Bill Shouldn’t Become a Law – Sheila Kennedy
Regarding HJR3 – “Even more incredibly, the Speaker has scheduled the new committee’s vote for tomorrow. The vote will be taken without the benefit of evidence or testimony–but then, as we’ve seen, the Speaker considers evidence and testimony irrelevant. The only thing committee members need to to know is what the Speaker wants them to do. Usually, the power plays and the wheeling/dealing is done behind the scenes. This time, that wasn’t possible. This time, everyone got to see what is seldom on public display: the House leadership’s absolute contempt for democracy and the rules of fair play.”
First – let’s be clear on who’s responsible for this debacle:
The truth of what happened Monday night, as almost all political reporters know full well, is that “Republicans staged a series of last-ditch efforts to use a once-routine budget procedure to force Democrats to abandon their efforts to extend U.S. health insurance.” (Thank you, Guardian.)
And holding the entire government hostage while demanding the de facto repeal of a president’s signature legislation and not even bothering to negotiate is by any reasonable standard an extreme political act. It is an attempt to make an end run around the normal legislative process. There is no historical precedent for it. The last shutdowns, in 1995 and 1996, were not the product of unilateral demands to scrap existing law; they took place during a period of give-and-take budget negotiations.
As the rest of the world laughs at the United States:
“The world looked on with a little anxiety and a lot of dismay, and some people had trouble suppressing smirks,” wrote Kevin Sullivan in a piece for Malaysian outlet Awani entitled, “US shutdown leaves the world scratching its head.”
While Russia Today devoted an entire article to U.S. shutdown comedy, featuring noteworthy images and tweets carrying the #govtshutdown hashtag, photojournalist Lynsey Addario tweeted from India that the shutdown was not being taken too seriously.
“I’m in India, and my driver and translator are laughing at U.S. govt shutdown. So much for world’s great superpower. It’s closed,” she said in a Tuesday tweet.
SECTION 1. The following amendment to the Constitution of the State of Indiana is proposed and agreed to by this, the One Hundred Seventeenth General Assembly of the State of Indiana, and is referred to the next General Assembly for reconsideration and agreement.
SECTION 2. ARTICLE 1 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF INDIANA IS AMENDED BY ADDING A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS: Section 38. Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.
The second sentence of this bill has a terrible effect on ALL unmmarried couples, not just same-sex couples, in Indiana. In other states, similar language has been used to strip away spousal abuse laws for unmarried partners, leaving domestic partners who are not married vulnerable to violence with no legal protections.
This is the second trip for this bill through the Statehouse; it was passed in a previous year. If it is passed again this year, it will be added to the ballot to be ratified as an amendment by the public.
1) To figure out your district and state legislators visit this link: District Look Up and enter your address. Contact information – usually a phone number and the legislator’s website – is listed. Call their 1-800 number, or visit their website and find contact information for an email.
The analysis of this bill by Indy Democrat Blog: “Where to begin? It’s pretty easy. Almost everything in this bill is designed to reduce the power of Democrats in Marion County. From reducing the power of the County Commissioners (the Marion County Treasurer, Assessor, and Auditor) to deleting the At-Large seats on the Council, this bill would, as it stands now, reduce the power of the City-County Council in one majorly blue county.”
This was a bill requested by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard to try to control the city-county council. It significantly tilts the balance of power in city government to the mayor and gives them unprecedented and unnecessary control of the city. It’s out-of-bounds.
1) Spread the word: Make sure your friends and family know about SB 621 and how it hurts our city by eliminating the independent power of the City-County Council and the elimination of the four at-large Council seats.
2) Call the Mayor: Media reports have made it clear – Mayor Ballard requested this proposal. Call his office and let him know that you oppose SB 621. His number is (317) 327-3601.
3) Call your state representative and senator: This bill will be heard in the Indiana General Assembly – call your state rep at (317) 232-9600 and senator at (317) 232-9400 and tell them you oppose SB 621.
According to Stiglitz, the vaunted American market is broken. It has been overwhelmed by politically engineered market advantages—special deals that economists call “rent-seeking.” The term refers to politically-achieved “exemptions” from the market that allow certain individuals to reap economic returns above normal market levels– profits derived from favorable political treatment rather than competitive success.
And another point – business and the wealthy shuffle off the cost of their business production onto the commons, making taxpayers bear the cost:
Stiglitz also argues that much of the rent-seeking that plagues our economy takes a more subtle form. In many cases, the production of a product produces what economists call “negative externalities.” These are costs that are incurred during the manufacturing or development process that end up being imposed on society rather than paid for by the producer and included in the price of the goods or services involved. The most commonly cited example would be a manufacturer who discharges his waste into a nearby waterway rather than properly disposing of it, shifting the costs of cleanup and disposal to others. Society pays for the pollution, and that cost is not included in the market price of the manufactured goods.
Sounds like an interesting book and an interesting course.
In 1886, 7 union members died in the US fighting for the 40 hour work week and 8 hour work day. We seem to forget that many freedoms we take for granted were ideals people had to die for – including the deaths of people who weren’t trained soldiers, but average people who were just standing for their principles.
I was incredulous yesterday when the John Gregg, the Democratic candidate for Indiana Governor actually went on record as being against same-sex marriage, because – how dumb can you be? That position is clearly on the wrong side of history, is clearly not a Democratic position, and will lose you your base in Indiana. It won’t gain you any Republicans. If you’re trying to hedge your bets, just don’t say anything rather than saying something so stupid.
I immediately went to Gregg’s site and told him off for not being a good Democrat or a good progressive, and told him that while he still had my vote, he wouldn’t get any financial support from me, nor would I support him online or in my social networks.
Today, Gregg decided to double-down on the stupid. I got this email in my inbox:
Fact: Congressman Mike Pence has lived in Arlington, Virginia for over a decade.
If you ask me, that’s over a decade too long, if he wants to be Governor of Indiana. That’s over a decade that he hasn’t been living in Indiana, and over a decade that he hasn’t been talking with real Hoosiers.
Watch our latest video, “Out of State, Out of Touch,” and see how Congressman Pence has been gone for too long!
Watch the video!
Want Washington-style fighting and divisiveness in Indiana? That’s what we’ll get with Congressman Pence, because it’s all he knows. John, on the other hand, is still connected to his Southwest Indiana roots, raising his sons in Sandborn. John believes in working across the aisle to get things done, and focusing on what’s important: jobs and education.
Watch our latest video, “Out of State, Out of Touch,” and see how Congressman Pence has been gone for too long!
The Washington way vs. the Hoosier way? I think it’s a clear choice — and I’ll bet you do too.
Gregg for Governor
Richard Mourdock just won the Republican primary, apparently on the platform of “Lugar has been in Washington too long” and Gregg is somehow thinking that same platform will work for him against Mike Pence.
But the reality is that Lugar didn’t lose on the “been in Washington too long” issue. He lost because he’s too centrist, and the Republican party has been moving steadily to the right. The “Out of State out of touch” thing with Lugar was just and excuse for people to ditch a guy who’s worked his ass off for the state of Indiana for a couple decades, which is frankly pretty damned crazy. Lugar was a serious force in Washington, and Indiana lost a lot of clout by voting him out.
But as a whole Indiana is NOT as far right as the Republican Party is. Indiana did vote for Obama, after all and I don’t think that was a fluke. Playing on the same themes that the Republican’s are playing to try to appeal to the center is not going to help Gregg in the slightest, and he’s a fool to think so.
I’d almost not vote for John Gregg at all, except that he’s running against Mike Pence. And Mike Pence is the biggest pinhead in Indiana. You have to get up really early in the day to be stupider than Mike Pence. So who do you vote for in a race between Dumb (Gregg) and Dumber (Pence)?
I guess I’d vote Dumb. But this is one of those times when it really sucks to be a Hoosier.