Category Archives: Indiana Lawmakers

New Chair Appointed To The Indiana Alcohol Code Revision Commission

Former Republican Representative Bill Davis was recently sworn in as the new chair of Indiana’s Alcohol Code Revision Commission, replacing Former Senator Beverly Gard. Many local commentators believe this appointment will put a damper on alcohol sales in Indiana.

 

House Speaker Brian Bosma formally appointed Mr. Davis to this position on May 30th. In an interview with the press, House Speaker Bosma assured the public Davis will work on sensible policies to make the states alcohol laws more efficient.

 

Gard had a far more lenient attitude towards alcohol sales throughout the state than Davis. While Davis was serving in the Indiana House, he voted against proposals for selling liquor on Sundays and for the expansion of beer sales.

 

Created by Indiana’s Legislative Council, the Indiana Alcohol Code Revision Commission’s main goals are to figure out how to simplify the state’s alcohol legislation. Members of this commission are set to gather in the summer to discuss findings from a recent two-year study.

 

Davis was first elected in 2004 as a representative of House District 33 and has served in the Indiana House till 2013. Besides his legislative career, Davis is well-known for his work at the Portland stone-crushed business Meshberger Bros. Stone Corporation. A few of the communities Mr. Davis is actively involved in include the Jay County Hospital Board, the Delaware Country, Club, and the Jay County Boys Club.

 

Anyone can learn more about the Indiana Alcohol Code Revision Commission’s meetings on the Indiana General Assembly’s official website https://iga.in.gov.

Indiana’s Senate Hopeful Rokita Called Out For Racist Ad

Unfortunately for everyone throughout the United States of America, the political landscape involves endless fighting between Democrats and Republican over views that virtually all constituents of each party consider sacred, more or less.

Todd Rokita is a candidate running for a seat in the Indiana State Senate as a Republican. However, a recent ad ran by Rokita has been alleged to be tied directly to race and other classes in the United States, including protests against police violence, the use of other languages besides English, and calling out “liberal elites” that ultimately supported “[rioting] in our streets” and widespread assaults on law enforcement officers.

Two pastors from Fort Wayne, Indiana, have spoken out against the ad.

Such contest is objectively great, seeing as most churchgoers and their church leaders have conservative views. Some pastors that step out against issues that, for example, are similar to what is held by Indiana State Senate hopeful Todd Rokita could effectively cause their attendance to plummet.

Reverend John Gardner of Plymouth Congregational Church of Fort Wayne spoke out by saying the advertisement has gone “too far,” further stating that Rokita should be “called out” by members of the community, especially those of prominent positions in the state of Indiana such as Mr. Gardner, himself.

Nathan Brand, a spokesman for Todd Rokita, shared that the true motivation behind the creation of the video was not at all related to race and that such criticisms of Rokita’s controversial campaign advertisement shown on both television and the Internet were “political correctness run amok.”

Lawmakers in Indiana Discussing Possible Shift in Time Zone

Lawmakers in Indiana are hoping to move the state into the Central Time Zone. A vast majority of Indiana currently resides in the Eastern Time Zone with only 12 counties running on Central Time. Most of them are locate in the northwestern and southwestern portions of the state.

A resolution was passed on Tuesday by the Senate Homeland Security and Transportation committee to determine which time zone the counties of Indiana associate. While the resolution does not ensure a move to the Central Time Zone, it does open up the discussion and calls for an examination into the dilemma.

In reference to the resolution, Republican Senator Greg Walker mentioned that “some education” will be needed during the discussion. He also mentioned how people tend to have a “knee-jerk” reaction to activities happening in the Statehouse.

One of the main reasons in support of the shift in time zones references the impact that school children are experiencing. The three-hour time difference from California results in “excessive morning darkness” as children go to school. Geography is playing a large role in this resolution. There are even parts of Kentucky and Tennessee that are in the Central Time Zone.

To be sure, the whole state of Indiana ran under the Central Time Zone until 1965. The Interstate Commerce Commission decided to split the state into Easter and Central zones. Ever since, debates and discussions have been raised surrounding the topic.

The last time lawmakers met to discuss the issue in 2005, a decision was only made about observing Daylight Saving Time. Walker mentioned how hard that original discussion was and how reluctant members may be to discuss again. In total, five members of the committee agreed to have the resolution. The resolution now goes to the Senate floor to await a vote.

Indiana’s Ongoing Nominations for 2017’s Top Worker

Once again, it’s that time of the year where the state of Indiana honors workers who are dedicated to helping young people. The youth is considered an essential group in a country’s population. There are many people who strive to improve the lives of young people living in Indiana. One of these people will receive the 2017 Youth Worker of the Year Award.

This year’s award will be dedicated to honoring those who work to help the youth of Hoosier. It’s also aimed at encouraging people to work with kids in the state of Indiana. One of the recipients of this award, Laura Ingram, revealed that there is little funding to hold the award event. However, she commended Indiana’s local government for supporting such events. Ms. Ingram is Pride Prism Youth Community’s program director. She’s a foster parent as well as a therapist. Laura received the Youth Worker of the Year award in 2015. She used the award money to support various LGBTQ initiatives.

According to Ingram, Indiana still has a long way to go, with regard to working with LGBTQ youth. She asserted that the government needs to create safe environments for the LGBTQ community. Laura urged Indiana’s leadership to focus on helping young people living in rural counties. Also, she gave some advice to those who want to work with kids as well as young adults. She said that it’s important to listen to the youth while working with them. Ms. Ingram youth believes that this is a great way to teach young people how to lead.

Residents of Indiana are required to submit their nominations by 14th August, 2017. The nomination forms are available on Indiana Youth Institute’s webpage. The winner of the award will be announced on 2nd October. Also, he/she will be given $2,500 to go with the award. D. Susan Wisely Leadership Fund will offer the award money to the recipient in full. The organization operates under the Central Indiana Community Foundation.

Sad News in Indiana this Weekend

We all say crazy stuff sometimes, but not often on public stages. Indiana Lawmaker Jim Lucas recently suggested that women were allowing themselves a higher likelihood to be raped by not carrying guns.

 

Lucas recently posted a picture on social media of a shirt with a feminism-related sentiment. It read: “fem-i-nism – Woman’s right to carry whatever color or caliber gun she wants to,” a largely insensitive statement towards women. This comes in supplement to previous statements he said about how women without gun carry permits were lowering their defenses to being raped.

 

The Indiana politician apologized on Saturday, June 10th, in a Facebook post of a handwritten letter apologizing for his insensitive remarks. One excerpt indicated he “learned how common, everyday words can be so extremely sensitive to survivors of such horrible acts.” Such an apology does seem heartfelt, but that does little to remove “put the toothpaste back in the tube,” so to speak.

 

Indiana has not had the best weekend, with one driver in the state passing away after a concrete mass pummeled through his vehicle’s windshield. The victim, Christopher Vanattenhoven, was driving down a rural road around noon, approximately 20 miles north of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

 

A vehicle with a trailer holding an unsecured load revved up and passed Vanattenhoven, during which a large piece of concrete fell off the trailer. The late Vanattenhoven attempted to swerve away from the deadly, tumbling chunk of concrete, wrecking into a tree.

 

Fortunately enough, a young child in the back of Vanattenhoven’s vehicle was uninjured, along with a woman in the front passenger seat. Indiana is almost always an enjoyable place to live, just not this weekend.

 

Judge Goff Named to Indiana Supreme Court

When Wabash County Superior Court Judge Christopher Goff sat on his lawn tractor to cut the grass on Saturday, June 10, 2017, he had no idea he would receive a telephone call from the state governor inviting him to take up a seat on the Indiana Supreme Court. Judge Goff described the experience as, “humbling beyond words.” His appointment to the five-member bench makes the court unanimously Republican.

 

Judge Goff replaces Justice Robert Rucker, who retired at the age of 70 in May 2017. He was five years younger than the state’s mandatory retirement age. Rucker was the lone Democrat until his retirement. One of the greatest jurors in the state, according to Judge Goff, Rucker became only the second black judge to serve on the high court when he was appointed to the bench by Democratic Governor Frank O’Bannon in 1999 .

 

Judge Christopher M. Goff

 

While most of the other members of the Indiana Supreme Court grew up in urban or suburban regions of the state, Judge Goff, who springs from a rural working class neighborhood, brings a unique perspective to the state judiciary.

 

Republican Governor Eric Holcomb appointed Goff to the Wabash County Superior Court in July 2005. Judge Goff was re-elected in 2014. Before serving on the bench, he was a partner at Mills, Northrop & Goff. He had also served as a public defense attorney in Huntington County. He graduated from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 1996 after completing his undergraduate education at Ball State University.

 

Initially, Judge Goff will sit on the Indiana Supreme Court for four years from 2017 to 2021. To remain on the Superior Court bench, Judge Goff will have to stand for re-election in 2020.

 

Indiana Lawmakers Decide On Whether Convenience Stores Can Sell Beer

For years, only liquor stores in Indiana were able to sell cold, carryout beer to customers. Small convenience stores were limited to keeping only warm beer on their shelves, until some people started thinking creatively.

 

Jay Ricker, head of the family-owned chain of Ricker’s stores, started to include small, fast-food style restaurants in his convenience stores. These restaurants served Tex-Mex food like burritos and nachos to customers who were either coming in exclusively for the food or ordering a dish in conjunction with picking up other items from the store. Ricker’s has tables located within their stores, and they provide a limited table-side service.

 

A few weeks ago, Ricker’s applied for a liquor license and were approved. They began selling cold beer, as long as it was delivered straight to the customer sitting at a table. People were free to drink their beer at their tables or bring it home or to a different location with them. So far, it’s been met with positive reviews from most customers.

 

However, certain lawmakers were not happy with this development, since Ricker’s is really a convenience store more than a restaurant.

 

Debates were held before legislators voted on whether to continue to allow these type of alcohol sales. They discussed whether they should reword the law to prohibit convenience stores (with restaurants inside them) from selling cold beer for carryout purposes. During this time, Ricker’s brought a food truck to the capitol building to show just how serious they are about their restaurant side of business.

 

The latest vote directed the legislators to clarify the policy for selling cold beer for carryout customers. Until that is cleared up, anyone with an existing alcohol permit can continue to go about their business. However, when those permits are up, they would have to reapply. Because the liquor store lobby is more powerful than that of the convenience stores, many believe that the laws will be tightened up.