VIDEO: Mrvan initiative guards against child abuse

The governor recently signed State Senator Frank Mrvan’s bill to extend the statute of limitations in cases of child sex abuse. The proposal, Senate Bill (SB) 142, increases the legal time frame during which a victim of child sex abuse may bring charges against the offender. Currently, an individual who files a civil suit for child sex abuse is subject to the same time constraints as someone filing for other damages, such as an auto accident. SB 142 would extend this time frame to either seven years after the offense or four years after the victim leaves the care of the alleged offender. Many children do not report cases of abuse, and as many as 90 percent of offenses are committed by someone the child knows. SB 142 seeks to give victims adequate time to come forward and serve justice to abusers.

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Senate Democrats’ comments from Feb. 1 “Right to Work” floor debate

Senate Democrats rallied one last time on Wednesday to speak out against the contentious “Right to Work” bill as it gained passage in the Indiana State Senate. With a vote of 28 to 22, House Bill 1001 was sent to Governor Daniels who promptly signed the legislation this afternoon. Click the links below to listen to Senate Democratic Caucus members floor comments in opposition to the legislation. (Read more about events of Feb. 1 >>)

SEN. SIMPSON: “Weeks and months from now I want you to ask yourself this question; Was it worth it?…”

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SEN. SIMPSON: “Right to work is a race to the bottom, it’s a downward spiral…”

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SEN. ROGERS : “There’s a different relationship between management and unions now and we don’t need to interfere…”

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SEN. SKINNER: “I don’t believe for a minute that companies are going to flock to Indiana…”

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Senate approves “Right to Work” bill over Democrat objections

Despite numerous objections by Senate Democrats, the Indiana Senate voted 28 to 22 to approve Senate Bill (SB) 269, the controversial “Right to Work” bill, on Monday. Senate Democrats argued that the legislation will be harmful to Indiana workers, working families and local economies by lowering average incomes statewide. Democrats also argued that the legislation is unnecessary due to current federal protections for those who choose not to join organized labor and that no concrete evidence has been presented showing that not having this policy has stifled job growth in the state. Nine Republicans voted with the 13 Democrats in the Senate in opposition to the bill.

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Senate Democratic Leader Vi Simpson says the bill doesn’t confer rights, but instead makes it illegal for unions to make employees who benefit from negotiated salary, safety and benefit terms pay their fair share of the cost of providing those benefits.

SEN. SIMPSON: “This so-called “Right to Work” bill is not conferring any rights to a job on anyone…”

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State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) said the issue is really about the ability to join as a collective voice and the strength of the middle class embodied by the union movement.

 SEN. TALLIAN: “This legislation is a classic class fight between unfettered, unrestricted, unregulated capitalism…”

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State Senator Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) said the legislation is about paying one’s fair share. He also questioned the wisdom in the state’s interference in contracts between employees and employers as proposed under the bill.

SEN. LANANE: “There is one thing that I think is absolutely true, that is that this bill will hurt unions…”

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State Senator John Broden (D-South Bend) says Right to Work will set off a decline in wages because every study shows that where an industry is unionized, wages are higher for all workers in the area not just those in the union.

SEN. BRODEN: “After having heard all the debate…”

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SEN. BRODEN: “Every study shows that where an industry or area is unionized…”

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State Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said the legislation will hurt working class families and lower wages.

 SEN. TAYLOR: “This is an effort by people to stomp on the interests of working class citizens…”

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State Senator Tim Skinner (D-Terre Haute) said he is concerned that the message this bill sends is counterproductive for workers and businesses. He says he is convinced that this bill will bring wages down, not help families make a living in Indiana.

SEN. SKINNER: “I taught in a very blue collar area of Terre Haute. A lot of kids whose families were in unions…”

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State Senator Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) said she is concerned that the legislation will begin a spiral of low quality jobs with lower wages in Indiana.

 SEN. BREAUX: “My fear is that if we introduce ‘Right to Work’ that not only will we see a decrease in wages…”

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State Senator Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond) said the legislation targets a fabricated problem at the expense of working families in the state.

 SEN. MRVAN: “I think this ‘Right to Work’ law is phantom issue…”

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Last week, Senate Democrats offered a number of amendments to the bill, including a referendum proposal that would allow the law to be voted on by the public.

SB 269 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration. A companion bill, House Bill 1001, is also now moving through the House and may be voted on in that chamber on Tuesday. Either of the bills could become law if approved by both chambers, as Governor Daniels has committed to signing the legislation into law.

Senate Democrats Respond to State of the State 2012

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels delivered his eighth and final State of the State address Tuesday evening to a partially empty chamber in a joint session of the Indiana General Assembly. While a significant portion of the address reflected on a the governor’s accomplishments, he also used the event to push for the contentious so called “Right to Work” bill’s passage. During his address, protesters outside could be heard both inside the Statehouse and on TV. Following the address, protestors held a rally outside of Governor Daniels’ office.

Several Indiana Senate Democrats have released the following statements in response to Governor Daniels’ State of the State address.

Sen. Simpson: “I had hoped for a stronger message of leadership from the governor in this difficult time for our state. Indiana deserves state leaders who work together to take on the tough issues, protect those in need, and improve the lives of Hoosiers. That’s not the agenda the governor laid out tonight.”

Sen. Lanane: “I have to say I was very disappointed that the governor spoke about this ‘hallmark’ legislation that he is pushing…”

Sen. Arnold: “I keep hearing about the positives that Indiana is. We’re a destination site…”

Sen. Breaux, “Yet another year where I wonder what state the governor is living in…”

Sen. Broden: “I was very disappointed in the governor’s speech this evening. I did not hear a concrete plan to improve Indiana’s economy…”

Sen. Mrvan: “We have bragging rights about the state being the greatest state to do business in… “

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“We are Indiana” rally to defend the Hoosier middle class

Thousands of demonstrators arrived at the Indiana Statehouse mid-day Thursday asking for an end to numerous pieces of legislation that would infringe on worker rights and the needs of everyday Hoosiers. Senate Democrats joined their call to end the war on the Hoosier middle class, vowing to be their voice within the Indiana General Assembly.

The rally, “We Are Indiana,” brought workers from across the state.

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Senate Democrat Leader Vi Simpson noted that legislation offered during this session not only attacks labor unions but educators, women, and other groups representing working families.

 

SEN. SIMPSON: “They have called a war on the middle class…”

SEN. SIMPSON: “There are two components of the middle class…”

FULL AUDIO OF SEN. SIMPSON’S REMARKS: “From all over the state, we are your state senators…”

State Senator Lonnie Randolph (D-East Chicago) said he was proud to see the outpouring of support for worker rights and middle class Hoosiers.

SEN. RANDOLPH: “I’m so overwhelmed and happy…”

State Senator Tim Skinner (D-Terre Haute) referred to the rally as an incredible historical moment for Hoosiers.

SEN. SKINNER: “I just sent an email to my son-in-law who..”

State Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) noted the rally turnout as a symbol of positive change and an expression of solidarity for Indiana workers.

SEN. TAYLOR: “I think today was a perfect example…”

State Senator Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) said she was happy to see so many Hoosiers join together and put their democracy to work.

SEN. BREAUX: “I’m looking forward to participating in the rally..”

State Senator Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond) was proud to see the outpouring of support for worker rights and middle class Hoosiers.

SEN. MRVAN: “It was a tremendous showing…”