INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party today is highlighting the successes of the Statehouse Democratic caucuses in passing meaningful legislation during the 2023 session.
Democrats’ efforts in Indianapolis led to more than a dozen authored bills gaining final legislative approval. These bills touch on a number of crucial issues, including childcare and preschool lead testing, easing SNAP applications for disabled and elderly Hoosiers, and providing assistance for first responders.
“Despite facing superminority status in both chambers, Statehouse Democrats worked across the aisle this session and delivered pragmatic solutions for Hoosier families,” said Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Mike Schmuhl. “From fighting food insecurity to supporting first responders, and addressing violent crime, Democrats helped lead on issues that will make a big difference for Indiana’s future.
Indiana is stronger because of the work of our 40 Democratic legislators. As Republicans aim to ban books, focus on culture war issues that divide our state, and take money away from public schools, Democrats centered their agenda on bringing resources and results to Hoosiers. Thanks to the work of Statehouse Democrats, law enforcement and first responders gained additional resources, vulnerable Hoosiers have more security, and college is within reach for thousands of additional Hoosier students.”
Here is a highlight of bills authored by Democrats that made it through the session:
HEA 1365 from Rep. Mitch Gore (Indianapolis) banning machine gun switches: Rep. Gore’s legislation brings Indiana code up to date with federal code by banning machine gun conversion devices. Now, prosecutors and police officers have the ability to bring charges on those using these devices, and not have to wait for federal action.
HEA 1219 from Rep. Maureen Bauer (South Bend) bill to set up PFAS biomonitoring pilot program: Thanks to Rep. Bauer’s legislation, a new program will be set up to test for PFAS forever chemicals on up to 1,000 firefighters. It will track blood levels and the health impacts of exposure.
SEA 334 from Sen. Shelli Yoder (Bloomington) on SNAP applications: Sen. Yoder’s legislation eases the SNAP application process for disabled and elderly Hoosiers, ensuring vulnerable Hoosiers don’t fall into food insecurity.
HEA 1449 from Rep. Earl Harris Jr. (East Chicago) to automatically enroll eligible students in the 21st Century Scholars program: Rep. Harris’ legislation means more Hoosier students will have the chance to obtain higher education, with no-cost or low-cost tuition.
HEA 1138 from Rep. Carolyn Jackson (Hammond) on childcare and preschool lead testing: Childcare and preschool facilities will be required to test for lead in their water supply, protecting young Hoosiers from its harmful effects on childhood development.
SEA 415 from Sen. Rodney Pol (Chesterton) to protect minors in interactions with law enforcement: Sen. Pol’s legislation prevents police from lying to minors in an interrogation and requires police to attempt to contact a child’s guardian immediately when they are arrested on school property.
HEA 1321 from Rep. Victoria Garcia Wilburn (Fishers) on mental health training for law enforcement: This bill from Rep. Garcia Wilburn requires law enforcement officers to be trained on the resources available to them on mental health and suicide prevention.
On top of the bills listed above, Statehouse Democrats have passed a number of other bills:
HEA 1396 (Rep. Mike Andrade – Bleed kits for police officers), HEA 1228 (Rep. Bauer – Child seduction), HEA 1627 (Rep. Bauer – Tax sale properties and nonprofits), HEA 1252 (Rep. Ryan Hatfield – Immunity for escort of a banned person), SEA 434 (Sen. Eddie Melton – Economic development in Lake County), HEA 1087 (Rep. Justin Moed – Transportation of a released offender), HEA 1157 (Rep. Moed – Residential housing development program), HEA 1256 (Rep. Matt Pierce – Archives and record administration), HEA 1422 (Rep. Greg Porter – Dementia care), SEA 438 (Sen. Fady Qaddoura – Home health services), SEA 15 (Sen. Lonnie Randolph – Housing authority commissioners compensation), HEA 1483 (Rep. Vernon Smith – Discipline rules regarding bullying), and SEA 252 (Sen. Yoder – Long acting reversible contraceptives).