Category Archives: State Issues

LETTER: McMillin Says RFRA Protects Rights Of All Hoosiers

Posted on March 28, 2015

A letter submitted by Indiana State Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville)

At the Statehouse, often times we have passionate conversations and intense debates. We also receive input from countless Hoosiers about the legislation being discussed, which is great –as our citizen Legislature needs as much input as possible. However, in order for this institution to function, it is important that people receive accurate information on which to base their opinions on.

Recently, Senate Enrolled Act 101, known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), was passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor. Almost immediately after this bill was first introduced, misinformation clouded both sides of this issue, suffocating the truth. This distortion of facts works to divide rather than unite us, and regrettably, can even prevent good public policy from passing. That is why, I would like to take this opportunity to clear up some of the confusion surrounding this legislation and provide some clarity on what this law will do and alternatively, what it will not do. But first, it is important to know a little background about RFRA.

In 1993, Congress almost unanimously passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which former President Bill Clinton signed into law. However, four years later, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that this statute did not apply to the states. In response to this decision, many states, including Indiana’s neighbors, began passing laws similar to the federal statute. Today, there are 30 states that have adopted RFRA into law; Indiana being the 31st.

Along with the history of each law, like any issue, the best way to find the most accurate information is by going directly to the source. The same is true with legislation. I encourage anyone passionate about this issue to read the bill for yourself and conduct your own research, objectively. Unfortunately, one of the chief myths that I continue to hear is that this law allows or creates a license to discriminate. This is absolutely false. No one gets to discriminate under this law.

This law was intended to accomplish one thing: to protect the rights of everyone, regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof. It provides the courts with clarity to better resolve any matters that come forth regarding religious freedom, which our country was founded on and is one of the reasons why America is so great. As someone who has sworn to uphold the Constitution, I have a responsibility and it is my duty to protect those fundamental rights if they become threatened.

We have seen several examples where the government has attempted to infringe upon the religious rights of Americans, which is why this law is necessary. For instance, a group of churches in Philadelphia were facing a lawsuit from the city for trying to feed the homeless. Having the protection of RFRA, the courts ruled that the city could not bar this outreach ministry from helping those in need. It is also important to note that in the 22 years since these laws were first enacted; discrimination has never been legitimized by the courts.

In this great state and nation, we all want the same thing: the opportunity to be free from discrimination while at the same time having the opportunity to exercise our constitutional rights, which is what this law aims to achieve. While I do not expect everyone to agree on this issue, I do hope that those engaging in this discussion are using the facts and going directly to the source for information, rather than believing half-truths.

Visit www.IndianaHouseRepublicans.com for more information and to find a resource page regarding SEA 101.

Protection of Religious Freedom passes Indiana House

 

Protection of Religious Freedom Passes Indiana House

American Family Association of Indiana

March 23, 2015

Good news from the Indiana legislature!   The Indiana House just passed Senate Bill 101 with an even larger number of votes than it had last week during consideration of floor amendments.

SB 101 is a protection of religious freedom, freedom of conscience and religious practice bill for people of all faiths, from government hostility.   It elevates our religious liberties to the same level as 19 other states in statute, and 30 states, in practice. It also brings Indiana law into line with the Supreme Court and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 which passed unanimously in the US House and 97-3 in the US Senate.

It passed with a strong 63-31 vote in spite of a mountain of confusion, misinformation, scare tactics, bad theology, and lies about what has been long-established precedent for two decades.    The Senate will agree to the minor clarification in the House committee requested by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and then it will go on to Governor Pence for his signature.

Truth and freedom won. It won over fear and lies.   It did so with your help, prayers, and standing strong.

Thank you for standing with AFA of Indiana in support of SB 101.

Action Alert – Common Core (Must Read)

ACTION ALERT: STOP HR 5

Parents Against Common Core

Congressional Leadership Is Bull-Rushing Through HR5, the 600 Page Reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (rebranded the “Student Success Act”)

The House votes this week.  Call your Representative and call the Speaker of the House and tell them to vote “NO” on HR 5! 202-224-3121. 

Below are just a few of the problems.

1. HR5 Denigrates Parental Rights and Seizes State Sovereignty

  • No program shall “operate within a State, unless the legislature of that State shall have . . . waived the State’s rights and authorities to act inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary as a condition of receiving that assistance.” (Sec. 6561) (emphasis added).
  • Federal requirements will trump the rights “reserved to the States and individual Americans by the United States Constitution” to lead in the education of their child. (Sec. 6564)
  • Requires states to change laws and regulations to “conform” to HR5. (Sec. 1403)
  • Alters the governance structures of states by requiring them to form “Committees of Practitioners” to whom the state must submit rules and regulations. (Sec. 1403)

2. HR5 Does Nothing to Relieve Children From No Child Left Behind’s (NCLB’s) Oppressive Testing Requirements.

3. Feds Will Effectively Direct State Education Policy through Enhanced Continuation of Heavy-Handed NCLB Policies

  • Requires states to demonstrate to the federal government that their standards, assessments, and state accountability systems meet the goal of “prepar[ing] all students to graduate high school for postsecondary education or the workforce.” (Sec. 1001)
  • Requires states to submit comprehensive state plans, which the Secretary can disapprove. (Sec. 1111)
  • States had to make the same showing and meet the same definitional goal to receive NCLB waivers and Race to the Top grants.. HR5 allows for a Common Core “rebrand.”  (Sec. 1001) and (Sec. 1111(3)(A))
  • Prohibitions against the Secretary forcing states into adopting Common Core are meaningless.

4. Increases Federal Data Collection To Control Curriculum

  • Empowers the Department of Education to request individual student and teacher data from State and Local Education Agencies.
  • Authorizes substantial new funding to use this data to evaluate whether schools are using “effective” instructional methods.  (Sec. 2111(b)(1)(A)) and (Sec. 2132)

Alert: Who Should We Trust, Parents or the State

ALERT:

Who Should We Trust, Parents or the State?

American Family Association of Indiana                                                                               February 23, 2015; 9:00 a,m,

There is a disturbing bill concerning vaccination policy in the Indiana House of Representatives. House Bill 1359 passed the Health Committee last week.  It is unacceptable as written.

HB 1359 is a major policy shift away from parents and local schools, over to the Indiana Department of Health in Indianapolis.

HB 1359 gives the Indiana Department of Health new powers over medical matters best left up to parents and their local physician.

HB 1359 seeks universal vaccination for a disease that is not easily communicable or carried as an airborne pathogen. This makes it very different from measles or mumps.

HB 1359 will push parents to vaccinate young pre-teen children for a sexually transmitted disease.  Such sensitive decisions are best left up to parents and their local family physician.

Current policies respect the decision making process of parents concerning sexually transmitted diseases and the values that such matters understandably involve.

This is not a debate over common vaccines.  However, the new HPV vaccines, which HB 1359 promotes, are very controversial and have legitimate medical questions surrounding their effectiveness and safety.

Current laws on vaccinations, and informing parents about their importance, are sufficient.  HB 1359 is not needed. It gives the Indiana Department of Health broad new powers in this arena.  HB 1359 is unacceptable in its current form.

Please Contact Your Representative in the Indiana House before they vote on this legislation later today.

You can call the House switchboard at 317-232-9600.

You can find your State Representative here:  http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/

Why Indiana must Pass a Freedom of Conscience and Religion Bill

Why Indiana must Pass a Freedom of Conscience and Religion Bill

By Monica Boyer from Warsaw and Kosciusko Silent No More

I wrote an article explaining the need for an Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  I released a blog today explaining why we need this, and how we support it.  I also am attaching a legal brief for you.

The common misconception is that this is only about marriage.  It is not.  Right here in Warsaw, we are dealing with a city ordinance that if passed, would chase the Amish away. I am intentionally steering the conversation away from marriage.  I know it’s a hot topic and we can use it but sparingly. This bill is so much bigger.

Make sure you watch the video in the blog. It will bring you to tears. I actually had a note exchange with them today.  We probably don’t agree with much of anything politically or spiritually, but we do agree about freedom. They were two of the kindest ladies I’ve ever spoken to.

Please make sure you pray for Senator Schneider.  He is a very courageous man for carrying this.  The only way it will be heard is if Senator Long allows it to come to the floor.  The official bill is not posted yet, but as soon as it is, I will send you a copy.   Please let me know if I can answer any questions. If I don’t know the answer we have attorneys that will get us the answers.  Remember… its all about FREEDOM.

Here is the link:  Why Indiana MUST pass a Freedom of Conscience and Religion Bill.

freedom of conscience

Why Indiana MUST pass a Freedom of Conscience and Rel…
If you read the news this week, when Senator Scott Schneider announced his intention to file the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, (you will also hear it entitled…

View on www.monicaboyer.com

I’ll be updating the Indiana Coalition to protect Religious Freedom Facebook page with any updates.

https://www.facebook.com/INCoalition4religiousfreedom

Legal Brief  Indiana RFRA Memo

With Firm Reliance on Divine Providence…

Monica Boyer
Kosciusko Silent NO More
Author of “Not on My Watch”
www.monicaboyer.com 

Salaries

Can’t you hear students telling their teachers they want to be welfare recipients when they grow up?

THE WORK ETHIC WE INHERITED GROWING UP HAS FALLEN PREY TO THE ‘WELFARE’ SYSTEM

The Cato Institute released an updated 2013 study (original study in 1955) showing that welfare benefits pay more than a minimum wage job in 33 states and the District of Columbia. Even worse, welfare pays more than $15 per hour in 13 states. According to the study, welfare benefits have increased faster than minimum wage. It’s now more profitable to sit at home than it is to earn an honest day’s pay. Hawaii is the biggest offender, where welfare recipients earn $29.13 per hour, or a $60,590 yearly salary, all for doing nothing.

Here is the list of the states where the pre-tax equivalent “salary” that welfare recipients receive is higher than having a job:

1.   Hawaii: $60,590 $29.13/hr

2.   District of Columbia : $50,820 $24.43/hr

3.   Massachusetts: $50,540 $24.30/hr

4.   Connecticut: $44,370 $21.33/hr

5.   New York: $43,700 $21.01/hr

6.   New Jersey: $43,450 $20.89/hr

7.   Rhode Island: $43,330 $20.83/hr

8.   Vermont: $42,350 $20.36/hr

9.   New Hampshire: $39,750 $19.11/hr

10.   Maryland: $38,160 $18.35/hr

11.   California: $37,160 $17.87/hr

12.   Oregon: $34,300 $16.49/hr

13.   Wyoming: $32,620 $15.68/hr

14.   Nevada: $29,820 $14.34/hr

15.   Minnesota: $29,350 $14.11/hr

16.   Delaware: $29,220 $14.05/hr

17.   Washington: $28,840 $13.87/hr

18.   North Dakota: $28,830 $13.86/hr

19.   Pennsylvania: $28,670 $13.78/hr

20.   New Mexico: $27,900 $13.41/hr

21.   Montana: $26,930 $12.95/hr

22.   South Dakota: $26,610 $12.79/hr

23.   Kansas : $26,490 $12.74/hr

24.   Michigan: $26,430 $12.71/hr

25.   Alaska: $26,400 $12.69/hr

26.   Ohio: $26,200 $12.60/hr

27.   North Carolina: $25,760 $12.38/hr

28.   West Virginia: $24,900 $11.97/hr

29.   Alabama: $23,310 $11.21/hr

30.   Indiana: $22,900 $11.01/hr

31.   Missouri: $22,800 $10.96/hr

32.   Oklahoma: $22,480 $10.81/hr

33.   Louisiana: $22,250 $10.70/hr

34.   South Carolina:$21,910 $10.53/hr

As a point of reference the average Middle Class annual income today is $50,000, down from $54,000 at the beginning of the Great Recession. Hawaii, DC, and Massachusetts pay more in welfare than the average working folks earn there. Is it any wonder that they stay home rather than look for a job. Time for a drastic change. America is virtually bankrupt.

Note that California is $18.50 an hour. Are we Nuts or what? How do we un-do this type of stupidity . This is crazy!

Salary of the sitting US President $400,000

Salary of retired US Presidents $180,000 FOR LIFE

Salary of a sitting US Vice President $230,700

Salary of a retired US Vice President $174,000 FOR LIFE

Salary of House/Senate….$174,000

Salary of Speaker of the House ….$223,500 FOR LIFE!

Salary of Majority/Minority Leader $193,400 FOR LIFE!

Average Salary of a teacher .. $40,065

Average Salary of Soldier DEPLOYED IN AFGHANISTAN.. $38,000

Think about this.  I think we found where the cuts should be made!

Wake UP America!

 

Pence Reiterates Support For Conservative View on Marriage

Pence Reiterates Support For Conservative View On Marriage 

Indianapolis Star, Steph Solis, September 18, 2014

Amid the ongoing battle over Indiana’s legal definition of marriage, Gov. Mike Pence has said he will uphold the law, whatever it dictates about marriage.

But, he told conservatives at a reception Thursday night in Carmel, it will not change his support for what he calls traditional family

“I will never waver in my belief in the importance of traditional marriage to our society and our community and the people of this great state,” he told members of the Indiana Family Institute.

Pence, a former board member of the institute, was the main speaker at the institute’s 25-year anniversary banquet at the Ritz Charles. More than 450 people signed up for the $75-a-plate event.

The institute also recognized state Sen. Mike Delph, a Carmel Republican up for re-election, as Legislator of the Year for fighting same-sex marriage in Indiana.

Pence seized the opportunity to reassert his commitment to conservative beliefs on same-sex marriage, abortion and religious freedom.

“I appreciate the stand each of you have taken on behalf of traditional marriage,” Pence said. “While, like all of you, I hoped that this view had been decided by the people, it’s now in the hands of the courts.”

Pence’s comments came days after a judge revived four same-sex couples’ claims against the Indiana governor. U.S. District Judge Richard Young said he was reinstating part of the same-sex lawsuit over the state’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages because Pence had told agencies how to address the ban despite claiming he didn’t have that authority.

Kyle Megrath, of Hoosiers Unite for Marriage, said this month he hoped “Attorney General Zoeller and Governor Pence would stop their endless defense of an unconstitutional law,” according to a prepared statement. “Two courts have now struck down this law, and it’s clear that Hoosiers support protecting these couples and recognizing their marriages.”

Pence did not respond to requests for an interview at the banquet. Pence’s spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.

Delph’s opponent, J.D. Ford, told The Indianapolis Star he was unimpressed by the institute’s award and its perception of family values.

“My opponent only wants to represent his version of families,” Ford said.

He called the state senator and the governor “out of touch with the district” for attending the banquet and not focusing on jobs, education or other policies.

Pence also touted his policies on abortion, bringing up the legislation he signed in 2013 that banned insurance coverage for most abortion procedures.

“Life is winning in Indiana, because of the efforts of all of you,” Pence said. “Life is winning in this state — I truly believe — because compassion is overcoming convenience. Life is defeating despair.”

He took a moment to voice support for an 8-foot-tall wooden statue with a small, white-painted cross at the bottom, at Whitewater Memorial State Park in Liberty. The cross has been at the center of a controversy over religious freedom as the statue honors fallen soldiers. Opponents of the cross have said it insinuates the statue commemorates only the deaths of Christian soldiers.

But the majority of Pence’s speech discussed the sanctity of marriage, reinforcing his views against premarital sex, abortion and same-sex marriage.

The institute echoed Pence’s support for traditional family values and recognized Delph’s staunch support for a referendum that, if passed, would have asked voters whether the state’s constitution should define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

The measure, known as HJR-3, failed to pass the Indiana General Assembly. Delph faced backlash from same-sex marriage opponents and from his own party on the measure. Still, Delph’s staunch stand earned him praise from social conservatives and groups such as the institute.