10/11 Weekly Legislative Update

You can make a difference:

Early voting began on Tuesday, October 6th and ends at Noon on Monday, November 2nd,
Find locations for early voting in Lake County: https://www.lakecountyin.org/cms?type=doc&name=/lcportal-cms/voters/IN_PERSON_VOTING_LOCATIONS.pdf
Find locations for early voting in Porter Country: https://porterco.org/1111/Early-Voting

You can request an absentee ballot until Oct. 22. See if you qualify and if you do, apply for your ballot

The Payback Project
Help target 11 Republican members of the House and the Senate. It’s a massive awareness campaign to expose the truth of their complicity and enabling of the Trump administration. Use phone or text banking. Training is provided. Check out this important initiative and sign up to volunteer: https://www.paybackproject.org/

Vote Forward 
Vote Forward letter writing: Indivisible has joined a coalition of groups to send letters to voters in many of our neighboring states, targeting those who are unlikely to vote.  It may just give them the push that they need to cast a vote in the November election. If you need help there are templates that can be used. www.votefwd.org

Get involved in the Biden campaignhttps://joebiden.com/ . Click on ‘action center’ to learn how.

On Thursday Indivisible NWI had a Townhall for Dr. Woody Myers, candidate for Governor in Indiana. Attached is the link to take you to the Townhall video. Please spread this information and his message far and wide: https://www.facebook.com/1451350194889502/posts/3637285342962632/?vh=e&extid=0&d=n
Volunteer for his campaign at drwoodymyers.com

Fight for NO- Excuse Absentee Ballot We ask that the state wave the requirement of an excuse to submit an absentee ballot. 
Contact Governor Holcomb’s office  317-232-4567; https://www.in.gov/gov/2752.htm

Contact Secretary of State Connie Lawson  317-232-6531 and email: constituent@sos.in.gov Indiana Election Commission 302 W Washington St.  Room E204. Indianapolis, IN 46204  317.232.3939,  elections@iec.in.gov

Sample scripts are on the Indivisible NWI Facebook page.


There was no legislative activity this past week.

Congress is not in session next week except for committee meetings. Of particular interest are the hearings of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary addressing the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. 

Read more:
Raju, Manu and Ted Barrett. “Senate GOP, setting aside Covid-19 fears, on track for quick Barrett confirmation this month.” CNN Politics. 08 October 2020: https://cutt.ly/zgoTn8M.

Revell, Eric. “Examining Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Judicial History on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.” Causes.com. 11 October 2020: https://www.causes.com/articles/46255-examining-judge-amy-coney-barrett-s-judicial-history-7th-circuit-court-appeals.

Watch the hearings: https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/hearings.

Continue to let our senators know that they must vote not to confirm until after the next President is inaugurated. Now more than ever we must be involved. Contact your senators and don’t let up. Our voices must be heard again and again. The American people must have a say in this appointment. That means that if a Democratic President can’t make an appointment to the Court nearly a year before an election, then certainly a Republican President can’t do that mere weeks before one. Write and call your Senators and don’t stop. We must be heard.

Find your senator: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfmr

In Indiana contact:
Braun, Mike
374 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4814
Contact: www.braun.senate.gov/contact-mike

Young, Todd
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5623Contact: www.young.senate.gov/contact

For what each Republican senator said in 2016 about voting on a justice after Anthony Scalia died, see this list from PBS Newshour. (Desjardins, Lisa. “What Every Republican Senator has said about filling a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year.” PBS Newshour. 19 September 2020: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/what-every-republican-senator-has-said-about-filling-a-supreme-court-vacancy-in-an-election-year.)

Neither of Indiana’s current senators had been elected to the Senate in 2016 and so are not quoted in the above story. Two stories from that time do make Todd Young’s position clear:

In an article during the days of discussion about the Merrick Garland nomination, Senator Young, who had not yet been elected to the Senate, voiced support for the decision to wait until the election of the new President “U.S. Rep. Todd Young, R-Bloomington, who won the Republican nomination to succeed Coats on Tuesday, agrees a new justice should only be seated after the election.”(Carden, Dan. “Coats OK with Trump nominating Supreme Court justice.” NWI Times. 04 May 2016: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/coats-ok-with-trump-nominating-supreme-court-justice/article_09ffad1e-ffe9-5a1b-939b-11548ff05ee6.html.)

From Todd Young in March, 2016, “Given that this lifetime appointment could reshape the Supreme Court for generations I would prefer that the American people be offered an opportunity to weigh in this fall, and I share Vice President Joe Biden’s reservations about the Senate holding confirmation hearings during a Presidential election year; it’s about principle and process, not the person.” (Blasko, Erin. “Senators, Senate candidates weigh in on nomination.” South Bend Tribune. 17 March 2016: https://cutt.ly/xfJh0ww.)

In Other News

Court rulings have ordered the Census counting to continue through October 31 despite the Trump administration’s efforts to end it earlier. Now the administration is asking the Supreme Court to rule. The administration maintains that unless the count ends now, the President will not receive the results by Dec. 31. The courts have said that meeting that deadline is not necessary. (Wang, Hansi Lo. “Trump Officials Ask Supreme Court To Block Order That Extends Census Counting.” NPR. 07 October 2020: https://www.npr.org/2020/10/07/920206851/appeals-court-denies-another-attempt-to-end-census-early-by-trump-officials.)

On Tuesday Trump halted all prospects of a relief bill even as Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin were negotiating a relief package and just as Trump picked Federal Chair Jerome Powell warned that too much relief would be better than none, which would be disastrous for struggling Americans, businesses and the overall economy. (Taylor, Andrew and Aamer Madhani. “Trump halts COVID-19 relief talks until after election.” NWI TimesAssociated Press. 06 October 2020: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/trump-halts-covid-19-relief-talks-until-after-election/article_b7c9a8df-2783-588e-b3b6-adc69769fddc.html.)

That was Tuesday. Then on Friday the administration proposed a $1.8 trillion dollar relief package. There has so far been no indication that Speaker Pelosi would come down from the House’s $2.2 trillion dollar proposal. (Chalfant, Morgan and Scott Wong. “Trump proposes $1.8T coronavirus relief package.” The Hill. 09 October 2020: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/520374-trump-to-propose-18t-coronavirus-relief-package)

Domestic extremism has been named a top homeland threat including in the upcoming election. “The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) completed its first ever Homeland Threat Assessment (HTA), which is a comprehensive report designed to “provide the American people with an overview of the information collected and analyzed by DHS employees around the world and provided to the Secretary of Homeland Security.”” Read a more detailed summary at Causes.com. (Revell, Eric. “DHS Releases Homeland Threat Assessment Naming China, Russia, and Domestic Extremism as Top Threats.” Causes.com. 05 October 2020: https://www.causes.com/articles/46230-dhs-releases-homeland-threat-assessment-naming-china-russia-domestic-extremism-top-threats)

The Associated Press and PBS Frontline joined together in an ongoing investigation into the U.S. response to the pandemic and the preventable failures in the medical supply chain that resulted in over 210,000 deaths so far. These failures continue as the White House continues to deny them. (Linderman, Juliet. And Martha Mendoza. “US medical supply chains failed, and COVID deaths followed.” Associated Press. 06 October 2020: https://cutt.ly/xgeU78N.)

A 16 month investigation into Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook by the House Judiciary Committee has issued a 450 page report that concluded that “the tech giants hold “monopoly power” in key business segments and have abused their dominance in the marketplace, in a full-throated condemnation of the giants.” This report may result in legislation to “rein in Big Tech…” (Fung, Brian. “Congress’ Big Tech investigation finds companies wield ‘monopoly power’.” CNN Business. 06 October 2020: https://cutt.ly/3geDtwR.)

$67 billion: the value of America’s trade deficit, its highest level in 14 years, according to the Census Bureau. The deficit has ballooned from $37 billion in February, before the pandemic sunk the US economy.

The Supreme Court began hearing cases this past week. Learn more about these cases from www.causes.com. (Revell, Eric. “Supreme Court Starts October Sitting – What Cases Are On the Docket?” Causes. 05 October 2020: https://www.causes.com/articles/46222-supreme-court-starts-october-sitting-cases-docket)

Trump can’t block the New York subpoena for his tax returns, but both sides agreed to wait twelve days for the Supreme Court to weigh in on a stay of the order. (Scannell, Kara. “Federal appeals court rules Trump can’t block New York subpoena for his tax returns,” CNN Politics.07 October 2020: https://cutt.ly/OgeBCvg.)

To find and contact your Members of Congress: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials


See the top search engine results for justices on the ballot for Lake and Porter County.

Internal polling released today by Governor Eric Holcomb’s re-election campaign shows the incumbent with a healthy lead over both his challengers.  (Indy Politics)

As the gubernatorial race heads into its final month, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and Democratic challenger Dr. Woody Myers have mapped out strikingly different strategies to grow jobs while protecting the health and environment of Hoosiers.   (Indy Star)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick, a frequent critic of her fellow Republicans, took several swipes at Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb as she campaigned Monday night for his Democratic challenger.  (IBJ)

The Republican Indiana Education Superintendent blasted the education policies of the Hoclomb administration. (Wang, Stephanie. “McCormick criticizes Holcomb as she campaigns for his Democratic challenger.” Chalkbeat Indiana. 06 October. 2020: https://in.chalkbeat.org/2020/10/6/21504843/jennifer-mccormick-endorsement-indiana-governor-2020-election)

Indiana governor candidates discuss plans for education – Fox 59 The candidates have marked different approaches to education in Indiana.

Indiana school funding needs changes to close gaps, report says A report highlights inequities in Indiana school funding and calls for equalizing public funding for charter schools.

Experienced leaders with differing visions competing for Indiana AG pdclarion.com
Former U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, a Munster native, is the Republican nominee for Indiana attorney general. Provided. Jonathan Weinzapfel.
Two experienced state leaders, with very different visions for Indiana, are vying for the opportunity to represent the Hoosier State in myriad criminal and civil court cases, and restore dignity to the attorney general’s office.  (Times of Northwest Indiana)

Read a summary of the debate among the three candidates competing for the 1st congressional district.
Sharp differences on role of government shape congressional candidates’ debate pdclarion.com

More court decisions were handed down about mail in voting in Indiana. Also important to note is that the judge halted implementation of her order of last week that extended the time mail in ballots could be counted past the Nov. 3 at noon deadline pending an appeal. In other words, if you are mailing your ballot, mail it asap!
US court denies bid to force expanded Indiana mail-in voting WSLS 10

A small business advocacy group says Indiana entrepreneurs are frustrated by President Donald Trump’s decision to wait until after the election to pass another federal stimulus package. The delay puts small businesses further on edge with no relief coming any time soon.  (Indiana Public Media)

Lobbying group: Two-thirds of Indiana’s hotels face closure Associated Press 
Indiana had about 25,000 hotel workers before the pandemic but has lost nearly 9,500 through September, the survey estimates. “The sudden impact of …

More than 99 percent of homes across the country have now been counted in the 2020 Census. (Indiana Public Media)

Indiana virus dashboard lacks data from hundreds of schools wlfi.com Nearly two months after Indiana officials said they would release a public dashboard to help track coronavirus cases among students and teachers, …

The state’s new school coronovirus dashboard is not living up to public and school district expectations. Many school districts are not submitting information to the state. Such cooperation is requested, not required. (Washington, Aaricka. “Why some say Indiana’s school COVID-19 dashboard is missing critical information.” Chalkbeat Indiana. 06 October 2020: https://in.chalkbeat.org/2020/10/6/21504933/indianas-school-covid-19-dashboard-missing-critical-information)

An Indiana hospital leader is warning it’s likely to be a couple of years before the coronavirus goes away. (WIBC)

Reported October 10: Indiana reports 21 more deaths, 1945 new cases of coronavirus WNDU-TV(WNDU) – Indiana health officials are reporting 1,945 more coronavirus cases and 21 more deaths on Saturday. Indiana’s 7-day positivity rate is 5.2%. Saturday marked two weeks after the governor moved Indiana to its final phase, phase 5.

Indiana hits record level of new coronavirus infections
Martinsville Bulletin
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said he’s still comfortable lifting COVID-19 restrictions in Indiana after health officials on Friday …

A federal judge late Friday upheld several of Indiana’s abortion regulations – while the fate of several others is still undecided.  (WFYI)

To find and contact your Indiana legislators: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/