From Indiana Young Democrats <[email protected]>
Subject Democracy in the Balance: 2022 IGA Session Update
Date February 21, 2022 4:59 PM
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We are bringing you an update on legislations we have kept our attention on this 2022 legislative session.  

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The 2022 Indiana General Assembly session has officially passed the halfway mark and the GOP Supermajority is racing fast to inflict more harm on our communities!

We are bringing you an update on legislations we have kept our attention on this session.

Our Democratic legislators are working hard to advocate for all Hoosiers and here is an overview of a major win!

This bill provides protections for pregnant inmates by ensuring that restraints are limited and least restrictive in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, and also prohibits restraining an inmate during and immediately after labor.

Rep. Fleming’s bill has advanced to the Senate and assigned to the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law. The bill has passed unanimously out of the Senate Committee and the Senate floor by a vote 48-0.

The Republican supermajority killed the majority of Democratic bills, voted down Democratic amendments that would have improved bills, and advanced major pieces of legislation that should be opposed:

A provision of this bill limiting access to absentee voting by mail was removed last week. It would have required voters to attest - under penalty of perjury - that you will not be able to vote in-person at any time in the 28 days before the election for many of the reasons a voter has to select on their application.

Although the absentee/vote by mail voter suppression language was removed, we are still tracking the bill to see what changes the House Chamber will agree on once it goes to conference committee.

Democratic lawmakers are referring to this as the “voter suppression bill,” and Representative Tonya Pfaff, who is also a member of the IYD Legislative Advisory Committee was quoted ([link removed]) saying “Most voters won’t risk trying to figure out their calendars, transportation needs, child care, work schedules just so they can request an absentee ballot. Instead, they just won’t vote.”

HB 1116 has advanced to the Senate and has been assigned to the Committee on Elections. Please contact committee chair, Senator Jon Ford ([link removed]) , to oppose this effort to restrict voting access!

This bill requires teachers to provide the course curriculum in advance to be reviewed by a committee of 60% parents and community members and 40% educators. Parents can also opt their children out of lessons that they deem as inappropriate and teachers would have to produce alternative assignments.

The Republican controlled Senate signaled that they plan to make changes to the bill which would’ve restricted what teachers can say about race, history, and politics in Indiana classrooms.

Senate and House Democrats have been hard at work, trying to remove language that would be harmful to teachers. While the upcoming amended version of the bill is an improvement, we as the Young Democrats still express concerns.

You can help take action in showing your support or opposition to the bills we have shared by contacting the bills author and the committee chair has they make their ways to public hearings.

How to Take Action:
1. PREPARE - Know the issue you wish to discuss, your goal or the action you want the legislator to take.
2. IDENTIFY YOURSELF & ASK FOR A LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT - Identify yourself as a constituent. Briefly state your your title and position, if relevant. Ask to speak with the legislative assistant responsible for the issue.
3. STATE YOU PURPOSE - Keep the message simple and concise. A good model to follow is: State the issue, support with facts and then state your goal, such as asking the legislator's support for a bill.
4. BE COURTEOUS - Avoid emotional arguments, personal attacks, threats of political influence or demands. Thank the staffer for taking your call and let him or her know how you will follow up.

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