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Holcomb has our BAC

We kicked off the first week of September by announcing 2020 candidate endorsements from our Business Advocacy Committee (BAC) – the political arm of your Indy Chamber.  As we mentioned last time, the Committee has spent a lot of (socially-distanced) time interviewing candidates, discussing the issues and debating our role in critical races this fall.

Starting at the top, the BAC supports Governor Eric Holcomb for re-election, along with a bipartisan slate of state legislative candidates.

This gubernatorial campaign has obviously been unlike any we’ve ever experienced (thankfully), but has also featured thoughtful debate over issues of public health, racial equity and economic inclusion that demand a higher profile alongside our more traditional business priorities. Ultimately, Governor Holcomb’s steady leadership and commitment to follow the data in managing through the COVID pandemic helped earn him the nod on behalf of the thousands of employers across the region we represent.

Even though it’s sometimes tough to remember what “normal” used to look like, it’s helpful to remember Governor Holcomb’s pre-pandemic record – to steal a comment from our CEO, Michael Huber:

“Governor Holcomb has made major investments in education and infrastructure, and made workforce and economic development top priorities through his first term…he’s joined us in pursuing a more inclusive economy, taking on the lead on issues like fair punishment for bias crimes and common-sense workplace protections for expectant moms.”

If you’ve been reading these updates for a while, you’ll remember how many times we’ve joined forces with Governor Holcomb on big issues – a fully-funded, long-term infrastructure strategy in 2017, a multi-year push for action on bias crimes and raising the legal smoking age, and workplace accommodations to protect the prenatal health of pregnant employees. We may sometimes urge a faster pace on certain priorities (like pre-K accessibility), but the Holcomb team has been an ally on much of our agenda.

Our legislative lineup:
Walk up to the third floor of the Statehouse and things get more complicated: The General Assembly features 150 personalities, sets of priorities and political agendas competing for attention and lawmaking capacity. It’s tougher to steer legislation through the process, and lots of opportunities for sabotage.

So in making legislative endorsements, the BAC was guided by support for key business issues, but also a track record of collaboration and pragmatic approach to crafting solutions and working across the political aisle. We don’t expect to agree or disagree on every single bill, but these qualities give us a fair chance to make our case.

BAC endorsements for the Indiana House of Representatives in Central Indiana are:

District  BAC Endorsement:
24 Donna Schaibley
32  Tony Cook
35  Melanie Wright
36  Terri Austin
37  Todd Huston
39  Jerry Torr
40  Greg Steuerwald
41  Tim Brown
86  Ed Delaney
87  Carey Hamilton
89  Cindy Kirchhofer
91  Bob Behning
92  Renee Pack
94  Cherrish Pryor
96  Greg Porter
97  Justin Moed
98  Robin Shackleford
100  Blake Johnson

And in the Indiana Senate, the BAC supports:

District BAC Endorsement
20  Scott Baldwin
28  Michael Crider
30  John Ruckelshaus
34 Jean Breaux

Who’s on your ballot for the General Assembly? Find out here if you aren’t sure.It’s a bipartisan group who will bring a thoughtful approach to challenging task of crafting a budget that positions our region and state for a safe, strong and sustained economic recovery. We look forward to working with leaders from both parties in both chambers, with a special shout-out to Speaker Todd Huston as he presides over his first full session, wielding the gavel in truly unprecedented times.

Prepping for the Polls:
Last week’s update focused on making sure you and your friends, family and employees are ready to cast your ballots this fall. The voter registration deadline is coming up on October 5th (and early voting starts on the 6th) so we’ve got about a month to keep spreading the word. We also highlighted mail-in absentee options – applications are available now.

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