The 2020 Indiana General Assembly is Underway!
The short session of the 121st Indiana General Assembly began on Monday. This is known as the short session because it is not a budget year and there is a primary election occurring, therefore legislators will end their session in March. Even so, over 1,000 bills will be filed for consideration.
At this point fewer than a third of these bills have been made public. Here are some we are watching:
Senate Bill 40 – Legislation can range from very serious or highly complex issues to ones that are merely one short sentence making a minor change to existing code. SB 40 is an example of what I would call a novelty bill. It simply designates basketball as the official state sport of Indiana. I list it, not because AFA-IN has a position on it, but as an example.
Senate Bill 42 – One may ask how necessary it is to have over 1,000 bills filed each year, and if it only serves to grow government. This bill, by Senator Jim Buck, would eliminate this short session of the legislature, taking Indiana back to where it was prior to the early 1970’s when it met every other year. SB 42 might make the late judge, lawyer, and newspaper editor, Gideon Tucker, happy. In 1866 he observed, “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”
Senate Bill 57 – This bill by Senator Jean Leising has been filed numerous times and passed the Indiana Senate before. It has never made it to the Governor’s desk. (A bill must be voted upon by both chambers before it goes to the governor for his signature or veto.) SB 57 requires schools in Indiana to teach cursive writing. Opponents of this legislation believe that cursive writing is no longer necessary. Supporters believe that cursive writing is still an important discipline, and it matters when reading historic documents.
Senate Bill 74 – This legislation, authored by Senator Jim Tomes, would eliminate the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles proposal to create a genderless driver’s license allowing a person to claim “Gender X” in the sex designation of our state’s highest form of identification. The BMV proposed rule raises several concerns for law enforcement. It also raised the question if our driver’s licenses succumb to political correctness rather than biological truth. (Note: In our January printed newsletter, which should begin arriving in mailboxes later this week, I mistakenly wrote this as SB 78.)
Senate Bill 131 – Later this afternoon I will be testifying on this legislation authored by Senator Dennis Kruse. This bill requires Indiana schools to post the national motto, “In God We Trust.” It also requires that schools have the US and Indiana state flags displayed somewhere in the school. Seventeen states have a law regarding posting the national motto in schools.
House Bill 1031 – Representative Tom Saunders’ bill eliminates straight-ticket voting involving one action, such as pushing a straight-ticket button, in the voting booth. The bill does not prohibit a person from voting for all Democrats, or all Republicans, but to do so, one must look at every race and choose that party’s candidate. The thought behind this is rather than simply pressing one button that automatically casts a party vote for every office, one should see each office and each person for whom they are voting in order to cast a more informed ballot.
House Bill 1088 – This bill, authored by Representative Christy Stutzman, protects fairness and competition in school sponsored K12 sports by prohibiting a male from competing as a female.
In quite the paradox, there are several bills further prohibiting the sale of tobacco and restricting various vaping products this session, but there are also numerous bills promoting marijuana use. On Monday there were some demonstrators who got a lot of media attention for calling for the legalization of recreational use of the narcotic in Indiana.
If you would like to contact your Senator about any Senate bills you can call and leave a message about your support or opposition at 317-232-9400. You can call your House member at 317-232-9600 about House Bills. You can find out who your state Senator and Representative is, at this link: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/
Standing Up for Life
The Indiana March for Life, sponsored by Right to Life of Indianapolis, is Wednesday, January 22nd. The day begins with a memorial service at 10:30 at the Indiana Convention Center. It will be followed by a March to the Statehouse at noon, and a rally at 12:30. You can learn more details about this event, parking, and how to register to participate here: https://rtlindy.org/home/indiana-march-for-life/
What is Your New Year’s Resolution?
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions that many people make is to take better care of their health. This may include eating better or exercising. Many people consider joining a fitness club.
I’d like to recommend a fitness center chain in central Indiana called LiveRite Fitness. LiveRite is a local company that connects physical fitness with spiritual fitness. They make an effort to ensure that their environment is professional, welcoming, family-friendly and (if desired) spiritually affirming.
I recently toured the brand new LiveRite center in Fishers and met with the owner about his vision for the company. I noticed that the facility was playing Christian music, (at a moderate volume), and often had Bible verses on posters in a subtle, refined way. In addition to weights, cardio machines, a pool, a basketball court, aerobic classes, and much more, this LiveRite center hosted an evening Bible study for those interested.
Many people believe that there is a connection between spiritual health, mental health and physical health. There is even quite a bit of scientific research looking at the connection between these three things.
LiveRite has centers in Indianapolis, Fishers, Noblesville and Anderson. You can learn more about this family friendly local company here: https://www.livritefitness.com
Just the Facts:
Are the medical claims about marijuana so often seen on the Internet, or heard in advertisements, backed by good science? Click here for our fact sheet “Up in Smoke.” https://tinyurl.com/yey3d9t8
In Their Own Words:
“I believe that one reason why the church of God, at this present moment, has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church.” – Charles Spurgeon