This week both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly advanced proposals aimed at the LGBTQ+ community and particularly affecting youth. The bills in question cover a variety of subjects in the education and healthcare space, but all have troubling implications for the well-being of Hoosier young people and send a harmful message to families about whether they are welcome in our state.
We could debate the particulars of each of these bills—whether they are good governance, take consistent stances on important issues like parental rights, or what their impact will be for business attraction and retention—but the bottom line is this: the Indy Chamber believes a thriving economy is one in which everyone is included, everyone has access to opportunity, and everyone can benefit.
Our mission is to empower businesses to ensure all have the opportunity to succeed. Bills like these make no progress toward the economically robust, equitable, and inclusive future our communities deserve. There will be time to unpack all the implications of this legislation in the days and weeks to come; for the moment, all we have to share is our disappointment.
In light of these measures, it’s even more critical that the General Assembly take action to strengthen the state’s capacity to support the mental health of Hoosiers and respond to mental health crises.
To that end, we were especially glad to see two Chamber priority bills pass this week. HB 1006, Representative Steuerwald’s proposal, creates local pathways for law enforcement to refer individuals experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis to treatment and was adopted by the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law this week. It is now headed to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
HB 1321, authored by freshman Representative Victoria Garcia Wilburn, was adopted by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Transportation this week as well. The bill requires Indiana’s law enforcement training board to establish minimum standards for basic training and annual in-service training that addresses the mental health and wellness of our law enforcement officers.
Hats off to both legislators for their work to direct the legislature’s attention to critical solutions that address pervasive needs and move our state forward. We hope that their colleagues will follow their example and support these measures.
We invite you to join our efforts. Be sure to tag @IndyChamber, @staylorhughes, and @Adam_Burtner on Twitter to show your support for legislation that's beneficial to your business and our state's success. Interested in supporting the #IndyChamberAdvocacy priorities? Click here to access a digital toolkit to help spread the word.
Stay informed on all things Statehouse. The Indy Chamber's Business Advocacy team provides curated Legislative Updates every week. Sign up for one email a week!