You know, as Hoosiers we have a lot to be thankful for. Between historic school choice reform and workplace freedom reforms like right to work, our state has become one of the best places to live and raise a family. To make things even better, state legislators under the leadership of House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senator David Long worked together earlier this year with Governor Pence to pass what many are calling the largest tax cut package in state history!
As we celebrate all that we have to be thankful for, we thought it would be good to recognize a handful of state legislators who continue to fight for economic freedom day in and day out. Of course, while there are others not on this list who contribute in significant ways, these are just a few we thought should be highlighted along with some of the legislation they supported or opposed earlier this year that made a real difference for economic freedom.
Check out the list, and see if your state senator and/or state representative is featured. If so, please join us in thanking them by clicking the alerts below (a message will only be sent if the state legislator represents you).
Rep. Wes Culver – R, Goshen
Representative Wes Culver supported House Bill 1338 to encourage the expansion of charter schools in Indiana. School choice is an important tool for parents seeking an education environment that meets the needs of their child. Charter schools are an important part of this process and the barriers limiting their expansion should be lowered. This bill became law. Help us thank Representative Culver today!
Rep. David Frizzell – R, Indianapolis
Rep. Frizzell supported Senate Bill 559 which established procedures for state government to investigate and prosecute fraud in Medicaid. This legislation will ultimately limit abuses in public assistance programs and protect taxpayers from fraud. This bill became law. Help us thank Rep. Frizzell for supporting common sense reforms!
Rep. Tim Harman – R, Bremen
Representative Harman was the single state legislator in the Indiana House to see the danger in HB 1324 which seeks to pick winners and losers in the marketplace. HB 1324 increased from 10% to 20% the amount by which the price of a clean energy vehicle may surpass the price of a similarly equipped vehicle that is not a clean energy vehicle for the purpose of determining whether a state agency must purchase or lease the clean energy vehicle. It also provided a three year income tax credit for placing into service a natural gas powered vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 33,000 pounds. Americans for Prosperity believes the free market is best at determining which energy options will meet the needs of consumers and that government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. This bill became law, but Rep. Harman’s vote should be commended. Join us in thanking Rep. Tim Harman today!
Rep. Eric Koch – R, Bedford
House Bill 1024 was authored by Representative Koch to study the private sector impacts of administrative rules. We believed this was prudent and wise for state government to consider and analyze the impact of potential regulations and rules on the private economy. This bill passed the House. While it did not receive a vote in the Senate, similar legislation was passed and enacted into law with HB 1583. Representative Koch’s efforts should be recognized as part of this success.
Rep. Jim Lucas – R, Seymour
Senate Bill 189 was written to reduce regulations on “high performing” school districts. Reducing regulations should always be the goal of government. Especially when it can be determined that local school corporations are doing a good job of managing their affairs. This bill became law with the help of the vote of Rep. Jim Lucas. Take a minute and email a thank you to Rep. Lucas today!
Rep. Jack Lutz – R, Anderson
House Bill 1027, supported by Rep. Lutz, provides civil immunity to a professional who may lend their services in a time of emergency. This legislation passed with wide margins and became law. Help us thank Rep. Lutz for supporting common sense reforms!
Rep. Peggy Mayfield – R, Martinsville
House Bill 1381 which became law earlier this year requires public schools to accept students who wish to transfer to their school for any reason with the exception of those cases in which the school is at capacity. AFP believes taxpayers should have the ability to send their children to the school of their choice regardless of geographic location. Thanks to Rep. Mayfield’s support of HB 1381, this is closer to becoming a universal reality. Help us thank Rep. Mayfield!
Rep. Jud McMillin – R, Brookville
Senate Bill 213 prohibits local governments in Indiana to exceed federal and state law in what benefits local business owners are required to provide to employees. Rep. McMillin’s support for Senate Bill 213 protects taxpayers from local governments that would seek to enforce excessive regulations and costs onto private businesses. This bill became law. Join us in thanking Rep. McMillin today!
Rep. Alan Morrison – R, Terre Haute
Representative Morrison took a stand to allow counties the option to eliminate their business personal property tax which statewide totals nearly $1 billion annually. AFP believes lowering taxes on job creators is beneficial to our state’s economic growth and should be celebrated. Unfortunately, this language in House Bill 1544 died in the House. Help us thank Rep. Morrison for his efforts!
Rep. Dave Ober – R, Albion
Senate Bill 273 was seeking to create a number of new occupational licenses including one for “musical therapists.” In opposing SB 273, Representative Ober correctly saw that Indiana should be reluctant to issue additional occupational licensing requirements. AFP believes occupational licenses in many cases serve to only to limit competition and circumvent the decisions of consumers in the free market. This bill was vetoed by the Governor. Help us thank Rep. Ober for supporting workplace freedom and the right to earn a living without unnecessary government regulation.
Rep. Rhonda Rhoads – R, Corydon
Representative Rhonda Rhoads was instrumental in furthering the discussion centering around the concerns over common core education standards. With her support of House Bill 1427, Hoosiers are now able to take a closer look at common core and learn how to best move forward for Indiana’s children. This has further proven Rep. Rhoads a consistent supporter of education reform. Help us recognize and thank education reform advocate, Rep. Rhonda Rhoads!
Rep. Ben Smaltz – R, Auburn
Rep. Ben Smaltz stood against House Bill 1007 which was designed to redefine the commonly accepted “nexus” standards here in Indiana for the purpose of internet sales taxes. This bill targeted businesses that use an affiliate-referral structure. Americans for Prosperity opposes the affiliate tax because it changes the standards to tax out-of-state companies as though they were in-state. This bill passed the House, but it did not receive a vote in the Senate. Thank Rep. Smaltz for standing up for hardworking Hoosier taxpayers today!
Rep. Milo Smith – R, Columbus
Rep. Milo Smith was the sole Indiana House Republican to stand with Governor Pence in rejecting legislation (House Bill 1546) that will now lead to higher taxes for the residents of Jackson and Pulaski counties by legalizing tax collections that had expired already in law and extending these tax increases for some years to come. While the Governor’s veto was rejected by the General Assembly, Rep. Smith continued to stand by his convictions by voting to uphold the veto. Help us thank Representative Smith today!
Rep. Mike Speedy – R, Indianapolis
Representative Mike Speedy authored legislation which supported reducing regulations on landlords and protecting small business owners from redundant licensing and red tape through House Bill 1313. This legislation became law and strengthens the free market. Send Rep. Mike Speedy an email today!
Rep. Tim Wesco – R, Osceola
House Bill 1070 authorized the Cloverdale and Fishers town councils to impose a 1% food and beverage tax on taxable food and beverage transactions. Representative Wesco stood against this legislation. We think this it is very important to oppose legislation like this because it can lead to more cities and towns to seek the same taxing authority in the future. This bill became law without the Governor’s signature. Help us thank Rep. Wesco for taking a stand against higher taxes!
Sen. Jim Banks – R, Columbia City
Senator Jim Banks is one of the most consistent supporters of economic freedom in the Indiana General Assembly. Sen. Banks was one of the first state legislators to stand with Governor Pence in rejecting legislation (House Bill 1546) that will now lead to higher taxes for the residents of Jackson and Pulaski counties by legalizing tax collections that had expired already in law and extending these tax increases for some years to come. While the Governor’s veto was rejected by the General Assembly, Senator Banks continued to stand by his convictions by voting to uphold the veto. Help us thank Senator Banks today!
Sen. Mike Delph – R, Carmel
Senator Mike Delph authored Senate Bill 162 which provided additional transparency for incentive packages offered by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). As citizens of Indiana, it is important that we be able to monitor government stewardship of our tax dollars. SB 162 would allow economic development incentive negotiations, receipts, and results to become public record. Thanks to Senator Delph this bill became law. Send Senator Delph a “thank you” email today for standing up for taxpayers!
Sen. Johnny Nugent – R, Lawrenceburg
Senate Bill 520 with the support of Senator Nugent was seeking to create the eliminate, reduce, and streamline employee regulation (ERASER) committee to study professional licensing in Indiana. It also created a five year cycle for sun setting professional licenses, registrations, and certifications. Occupational licenses come with great tradeoffs in economic growth. It is imperative that we closely examine the burdens that local and state government put on workers. While this bill passed the Senate, it unfortunately did not receive a vote in the House. Tell Senator Nugent he did the right thing by supporting SB 520 and workplace freedom!
Sen. Allen Paul – R, Richmond
Senator Allen Paul’s support of Senate Bill 325 provided that a “redevelopment commission may not enter into any obligation payable from public funds without first obtaining the approval of the legislative or fiscal body of the unit that established the commission.” This legislation would have provided greater accountability for redevelopment commissions and would have strengthened a county’s elected fiscal body, giving Hoosier taxpayers a voice in the activities of redevelopment commissions. While this bill passed the Senate, it unfortunately did not receive a vote in the House. Still, help us thank Senator Paul today for standing up for taxpayers!
Sen. Scott Schneider – R, Indianapolis
Senator Scott Schneider was instrumental in furthering the discussion centering around the concerns over common core education standards. With his support of House Bill 1427, Hoosiers are now able to take a closer look at common core and learn how to best move forward for Indiana’s children. This has further proven Senator Schneider to be a consistent supporter of education reform. Help us recognize and thank education reform advocate, Senator Schneider!
Sen. Jim Smith – R, New Albany
Senator Jim Smith voted against Senate Bill 91 which created a “funding mechanism” to provide financial assistance to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This bill amounted to a taxpayer funded subsidy for a private enterprise. While this bill died, similar legislation passed and became law in the form of HB 1544. Send Senator Smith a “thank you” email today for standing up for taxpayers!
Sen. Greg Walker – R, Columbus
Senator Greg Walker supported Senate Joint Resolution 2 which would have added “anew section to the Constitution of the State of Indiana to provide that if any Indiana or federal law requires or permits an election for any designation or authorization of employee representation, the right of any individual to vote by secret ballot in any such election is guaranteed.” The right to a secret ballot and fair union elections are necessary for a free workplace. This bill passed the Senate, but it did not receive a vote in the House. Send Senator Walker a “thank you” email today for standing up for taxpayers!
Sen. Brent Waltz – R, Greenwood
Senator Brent Waltz stood with a handful of state senators to oppose Senate Bill 389. This legislation permitted a county income tax council to impose a motor vehicle excise surtax and a wheel tax for a county. (Current law only permitted the county council to impose these taxes.) We believed Senate Bill 389 would open the door to new tax increases and allow a new county body to impose these taxes. This bill passed and was written into the Budget (HB 1001). However, Senator Waltz’s efforts should be commended. Send Senator Waltz a “thank you” email today for standing up for taxpayers!
Sen. Carlin Yoder – R, Middlebury
Senator Carlin Yoder voted to expand school choice with his support of House Bill 1003. This bill became law and today contributes to the 20,000 Hoosier children who now get to attend the school that best meets their individual needs. Join us in thanking Senator Carlin Yoder for his commitment to school choice and education reform.
Sen. Mike Young – R, Indianapolis
Senator Mike Young was an important voice in the debate over tax increases for the expansion of Indianapolis Mass Transit. With Senator Young’s leadership, the State Senate was successful in stopping the expansion and associated tax increases for the time being with the passage of House Bill 1011 (summer study committee legislation) earlier this year. Send Senator Young a “thank you” email today for standing up for taxpayers!