6/07/2021 Weekly Legislative Update

You can make a difference

Join us for a virtual screening of Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem. The film exposes how our country’s history of racial injustice evolved into an enormous abuse of criminal justice power. Thirteen million people a year–most of them poor and people of color–are abused by this system. Read more about the film here and look for more information in early June on our website and Facebook page.

Our democracy is under attack, but can be rescued by Congressional passage of legislation that will help guarantee every American easy access to the ballot box. State legislatures across the country are working to strip that access from people of color and those with low income. the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, The For the People Act (HR1 & S1) and Washington D.C. Statehood will assure that all voters have equal access to voting and equal representation in Congress.
John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,  HR 1 S1Washington D.C. Statehood

Contact our senators:
Todd Young: (202) 224-5623;
To email: https://www.young.senate.gov/contact/email-todd
Mike Braun: (202) 224-4814;
To email: https://www.braun.senate.gov/contact-mike

Find your representative and contact him or her.

Let’s do our part to help alleviate food insecurity, which is especially dire during these times.

Donate to or volunteer at Food Bank of NWI

For a list of local food pantries: https://www.foodpantries.org/st/indiana

Meals on Wheels, NWI: https://mownwi.org/


The Truth Matters

Republicans want to rewrite the history of the Jan. 6 insurrection and we must not let them. We must keep reminding ourselves and all Americans about what really happened that day. Read an interview with Capital police officers and their terrible ordeal in defending democracy against their fellow citizens. (CNN)

Republicans and their aversion to the truth in fealty to a deposed liar, well said, from The Statehouse File.

Critical Race Theory is one of the latest culture wars hot button issues for republicans, but do they even know what they are attacking? (Indianapolis Recorder) CRT is an academic construct that has been in existence for 40 years and not generally taught at the grade school-high school levels. The laws banning the teaching of CRT in several states and proposed in others are written vaguely and will likely have a chilling effect on teaching anything that hints at racism—the Trail of Tears, the Civil War, Jim Crow laws and the Civil Rights Movement, among many. (EdWeek)


As redistricting looms and Indiana democrats in particular want to end gerrymandering, ardent public opinion and pressure will be placed on legislators to draw fair maps. In Indiana such pressure is the only recourse the public has to fight against maps that continue to guarantee a republican supermajority legislature that does not fairly represent Hoosier voters. (South Bend Tribune)


Speaker Pelosi talked virtually with her caucus about next steps after the Senate defeat of the commission to investigate the insurrection. They include:

  1. Giving the Senate a chance for another vote on the legislation to create an independent bipartisan commission. (very unlikely)
  2. Creating a new select committee in the House to do the investigation.
  3. Allowing the standing committees to continue their existing probes into the January 6 riot.
  4. Designating one preexisting committee, such as Homeland Security, to take charge of an investigation.Read more at CNN Politics.

President Biden has rejected the latest republican offer on the American Jobs Plan bill, but talks will continue this week. In the meantime, Rep. Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Infrastructure and Transportation Committee unveiled a $547 billion surface transportation bill that includes many of the priorities laid out in Biden’s jobs plan. Biden expressed support the bill. Senators Manchin and Romney are also said to be working on a compromise plan. (The Hill)

New guidance from the Senate Parliamentarian “suggests that Democrats will get just one more try this year to pass a filibuster-proof legislative package to enact additional priorities…” (Roll Call)

Congress was on recess this past week. The Senate will resume sessions on Monday and the House will be back for floor sessions June 14. During the week ahead House committees will hold hearings. The Senate will vote on judgeship confirmations and S. 1260: U.S. Innovation and Competition Act. Read details at Causes.

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


President Biden will be heading out on his first international trip since taking office later this week. He’ll meet with several world leaders, including Vladimir Putin. (CNN Politics)

President Biden honored the military in moving remarks on and before Memorial Day. (Associated Press)

President Biden has announced that June is a month of action as incentives and more PSAs about vaccine safety and efficacy are rolled out. The goal is to have 70% of Americans vaccinated by July 4. (CNN Politics)

President Biden announced a boost in international donations of surplus vaccine supplies (Associated Press)


Opinions should be released soon, including a challenge to the Affordable Care Act, the Voting Rights Act and a case on religious liberty involving a Philadelphia foster agency. (CNN Politics)

“The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that tribal police officers can stop and search non-Indians on tribal lands for potential violations of state or federal law.” (Associated Press)

The Court ruled unanimously against illegal immigrants with temporary protected status while noting that those immigrants who entered the country legally and have protected status may apply for permanent residency. (Associated Press)

In other news

“The US Chamber of Commerce has announced a nationwide initiative to address the worker shortage in the US.” In March 2021 there were a record 8.1 million job openings in the United States in March 2021, and about half as many available workers for every open job. Suggestions include helping people acquire needed skills for certain jobs, improving access to childcare, improved working conditions, sensible immigration policies, and more. (CNN Business)

Many are now expecting that Trump will make another run for the presidency, even as at the same time he continues to lie and contends he is still president due to fraud. (Associated Press)

Texas democrats walked out of session to prevent the passage of an onerously restrictive voter law. The move is only a temporary setback for Texas republicans and spotlights the urgency for passing federal voter rights legislation. (Associated Press)


“The Indiana State Board of Education has granted provisional accreditation to two private virtual schools – a first for the state.” (WANE)

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said Sunday he will not issue an executive order that reverses Indiana University’s vaccine mandate, despite a request from Republicans in the Legislature and amid mounting political backlash against the school’s decision.  (IBJ)
Even so, universities are bowing to republican pressure and are ‘highly encouraging’ students to be vaccinated. Some are offering incentives, but none are requiring proof of vaccination. (Statehouse File)
Indiana University offering prizes for vaccine documentation  The Edwardsville Intelligencer
(AP) — Indiana University is offering more than $70,000 from prize drawings for students and employees who provide proof that they’ve received COVID-19 vaccinations.

UV Air Purification and Filtration Systems Approved for Use in Indiana School Buses
The Post & Mail
Most importantly Indiana schools can now implement a solution to help reduce the risk of transmission and better protect students, bus drivers and other school bus occupants against airborne respiratory pathogens like SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza. “Timing for approval was critical as Indiana schools have until June 25th to turn in proposals for how they will allocate the large amount of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds (ESSER) to improve air quality in their facilities and school bus fleets.”

Indiana Needle Exchange That Helped Contain An HIV Outbreak May Be Forced To Close  NPR
In 2015, rural Scott County, Indiana, found itself in the national spotlight when intravenous drug use and sharing needles led to an outbreak of HIV.

The push for higher minimum wage in Indiana WTHITV.com
INDIANA, (WTHI) – Some Hoosier Democrats are pushing for a higher minimum wage. They want a rate of 15-dollars an hour. The Indiana senate …

New Indiana law works to prevent cybersecurity breaches Fox 59
INDIANAPOLIS – Amid the growing threat of cyberattacks, a new Indiana law seeks to prevent those breaches on government and other public agencies.

An Indianapolis judge has scheduled oral arguments focused on the constitutionality of a new Indiana law permitting the General Assembly to convene during statewide emergencies without obtaining the governor’s consent for a special session.  (Times of Northwest Indiana)

A coalition of organizations and businesses is partnering to help bring reliable broadband service to the most unserved and underserved communities across Indiana and is counting on Hoosiers to pinpoint those locations.  (Inside Indiana Business)

Indiana’s monthly revenue report shows the state continues to exceed projections.  The Indiana State Budget Agency says General Fund revenues totaled more than $1.8 billion last month, which was $515 million, or 38%, above the April revenue forecast. It’s also $926 million above actual revenue in May 2020.  (Inside Indiana Business)

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