Category: Issues

A pay raise for elected officials? We have a better idea

This week, Republican Senator Randy Head proposed a bill that would increase the pay of Indiana elected officials by up to $30,000 per year.

Keep in mind, this is while Indiana ranks 39th in the nation for average annual pay and Hoosiers saw their income drop by $8,000 over thirteen years. To say this proposal is out of touch is being kind. But it gets worse.

This proposal comes as Republican supermajorities are pushing for a 10-cent-per-gallon gas-tax increase and an added $15 vehicle-registration fee to pay for our roads and infrastructure.

So while Republican supermajorities attempt to take more money out of the already stretched pockets of everyday Hoosiers, they think legislators deserve a pay raise.


We think we have a better idea:


Hoosier families deserve to earn a living wage for their work. We’re tired of seeing citizens forced to work two or more jobs just to make ends meet and then seeing their taxes increased because their elected officials neglected our roads and bridges for years. As of yesterday, this proposal was moved to a study committee to be kept for later. While we “study” this issue of pay raises for elected officials, why don’t we also study giving the middle class a fair shake?

The Indiana Senate Democrats will not be supporting this legislator pay raise. Instead, we’ll be fighting for Hoosiers across the state to get a fair wage themselves.


What now? A Post-Women’s March Plan

What now? A Post-Women’s March Plan

On Saturday, January 21, 2017, millions of women and allies marched for their rights in cities all around the country.

They marched to make their voices heard and speak out against regressive policies that prey on women, minorities, and the poor. And on that day, that message was heard loud and clear.

But now, what’s next? We must continue to work towards progress, but many don’t know the best way to do that. Here are some ideas on how you can continue to stand up for your rights:

  1. Attend Third House and other community meetings. Go to where your legislators and elected officials are addressing the public and let them know where you stand on the issues. It is vitally important your representation hears from you. You can find Third House meetings from your local representatives office. Click here for a listing of upcoming Third House meetings.
  2. Write letters, emails, or call your representatives directly. If you can’t reach them in person, respectfully inform them of your positions in writing or via telephone. A letter of support for a cause or an issue can show them the strength behind the message. You can find contact information for your legislator at
  3. Phone bank with your local county Democratic party or with a group of friends. You don’t have to be with an official campaign to talk to your neighbors, friends, and family. If you’d like to help reach out to people you don’t know, your local county party office can be of help. If that doesn’t work, get in touch with us and we will get you a list of volunteer opportunities in your area. Click here to find out how to contact your local party office.
  4. Keep up with ways to continue to stay active. The people’s voice can’t be heard without the people. If you are concerned about the direction of our country, you must stay active to help turn things around. Fill out our Signup Form and we will keep you updated via email when there are opportunities for you to make your voice heard.
  5. Register to vote. Register your friends and family to vote. Register people you don’t know to vote. Indiana had 58% voter turnout in 2016. Just a little over half of eligible voters in our state cast their vote. How can we make change if the people that need it the most aren’t showing up to the ballot booth? Lend a hand in mobilizing voters and explaining why it is so important to have competent, responsible leadership that looks out for the interests of everyone, not just a select few.

We know how important it is to continue our march towards progress and the Indiana Senate Democrats will continue to take up that fight every opportunity we can. Thank you for your help as we move ahead.

IndyStar agrees: Indiana needs a hate crimes law

IndyStar agrees: Indiana needs a hate crimes law

This week, IndyStar Editor Tim Swarens wrote a piece that makes the case for a bill Sen. Greg Taylor will be filing in this upcoming 2017 session: a bias motivated crimes bill.

As Mr. Swarens states in the article, “Our neighbors fall victim to hate crimes more often than you might think. More than once a week on average, according to FBI data, Hoosiers are targeted for violence or vandalism because of who they are, where they come from or what they believe. The frequency of such crimes is enough to merit lawmakers’ attention.”

Included in Sen. Taylor’s proposal is a measure to train officers in recognizing, reacting and reporting hate crimes. Additionally, the bill would allow the targeted person to recover damages for losses incurred in civil court. From the agencies that reported data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2013, Indiana logged 75 hate crimes, or roughly 1 every 5 days. Indiana is currently one of five states without hate crime legislation on the books.

Sen. Taylor has authored similar legislation for the last four years, however it wasn’t until the 2016 Legislative Session that bias motivated hate crime legislation made it to the Senate floor for consideration. The measure gained Senate approval, but it was never considered in the House.

“In order to change the headlines that we keep seeing pop up more recently, we have to start working together,” said Sen. Taylor. “This bill offers law enforcement the resources and education they need while also protecting Hoosiers from other citizens that target them simply for being who they are.”

As Mr. Swarens writes, “Thanks to state Sen. Greg Taylor, lawmakers will find a new proposal on the legislative menu designed to better protect Hoosiers targeted because of their race, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, ancestry, national origin or sexual orientation.”

The Indiana Senate Democrats will be proudly backing this effort.

If you’d like to get involved in advocating for this positon, please get it contact with us today. With your help, we can make sure the Republicans don’t slam the door shut on yet another bill that will protect Hoosiers from discrimination. 


Read Swarens’ entire article here: Swarens: Indiana needs a hate crimes law