VIDEO: Randolph measure to improve economic opportunities for Lake Michigan

This session, State Senator Lonnie Randolph authored a bill expanding economic development opportunities for Lake Michigan industries.  In an effort to draw more business and tourism, Senate Bill 173 would allow waterfront restaurants receiving local, state or federal funding to sell alcoholic beverages if they participate in lakefront development projects. This legislation would have a large impact on increasing competition for Northwest Indiana towns, such as Whiting, seeking to revitalize their waterfronts in order to attract in more business. This proposal was developed from previous legislation promoting riverside development.


Black History Month at the Statehouse

Throughout February, the Indiana Statehouse will host a number of exhibits to commemorate Black History Month. The exhibits were created by the Indiana Department of Archives and honor African American Hoosiers who have made numerous contributions to the nation as well as the state.

State Senator Lonnie Randolph, chairman of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC), explains the importance of Black History Month for not only African Americans, but for all Hoosiers.

Among the displays showcased in the Statehouse this month, “Black Hoosiers in America’s Wars” features photographs and documents of Indiana African-American soldiers in the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam War. The historical documents include the muster rolls for the 28th Regiment United States Colored Troops, an Indiana unit during the Civil War. The featured image is of Lieutenant Aaron R. Fisher of Lyles, Indiana, who received the Distinguished Service Cross for “exceptional bravery in action” in 1918.

Another exhibit pays tribute to Major Taylor, the first black world champion cyclist, as well as the namesake of the bicycle track in Indianapolis.

A third display from the Department of Natural Resources honors the 517th Company Civilian Conservation Corps that built Indiana state parks.

The displays are located on the South end of the fourth floor atrium and may be viewed during regular public hours.

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P-12 education, economic development top Indiana Black Legislative Caucus 2013 agenda

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC) held a press conference today introducing the caucus’s 2013 legislative agenda. The IBLC plans to advocate for initiatives that impact all Hoosiers, specifically children’s issues, economic development, K-12 education and preschool, higher education, and health care.

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus was established in 1979 in an effort to focus the legislative initiatives of the Indiana General Assembly’s African-American legislators. Since its creation, the IBLC has worked to promote their mission through bi-partisan events, educational symposiums and job fairs.

New IBLC leadership for the 118th General Assembly includes State Senator Lonnie Randolph as Chairman, Representative John Bartlett as Vice-Chairman, Senator Greg Taylor as Treasurer/Secretary and Representative Robin Shackleford as Chaplain.

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Senator Randolph: “The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, to this end, the members hold fast to the following principles…” (1:08)

Senator Rogers: “We have been trying to get preschool…” (0:24)

Sen. Randolph introduces the IBCL at a press conference on Jan. 8

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 Democrats’ 2012 legislative priorities: jobs, education and voter protection

The members of the Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus released their 2012 legislative agenda today, highlighting the pressing need to fuel job creation, strengthen early education and protect Indiana voters as their top priorities.  Below are a number of the key legislative initiatives Senate Democrats will carry in the upcoming session.

Download the full report (PDF)

Hear more from Senator Simpson: “Again this year the Senate Democrat Caucus has put forward a package of several bills laying out the priorities…” (00:39)

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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…”