More General Assembly Leadership Named

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The Indiana House Democratic Caucus has announced its leadership team for the upcoming legislative session. Scott Pelath (D-9) will once again serve as minority leader. Senate Republicans also named committee chairmanships and additional appointments. November 6, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Indiana House Democrats again have turned to State Rep. Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) to serve as their caucus leader for the upcoming sessions of the Indiana General Assembly.

Pelath, who has served as a member of the House since 1998, was selected House Democratic Leader during a caucus organizational meeting today in Indianapolis. This marks Pelath's second consecutive term as leader of the House Democrats.

“I am honored and humbled by the faith and trust my colleagues in the House Democratic Caucus have placed in me, and I pledge to serve them to the best of my abilities in the sessions to come,” Pelath said. “These are difficult times for Democrats in state government, but we are driven by the knowledge that we fighting for what is right for the people of Indiana.

“As we head into the 2015 session, our goals as House Democrats remain the same: fighting for the interests of the middle class in our state, making our public schools whole again, and keeping the Legislature from spending too much time on divisive social issues that detract our efforts on other, more important issues,” he continued.

“While it is easy to say that our voices cannot be heard over the din of single-party control, I would remind everyone that House Democrats were the only people in our chamber two years ago to sound the need for protecting our public schools and staying away from the unnecessary debate over who can marry whom in our state,” Pelath said.

“Now we hear the House Republicans talk about doing something for public schools, and Hoosiers now have the right to marry who they love, not who the state tells them they can marry,” he noted. “We can be heard, and we will be heard.

“The issues remain the same,” Pelath said. “We will fight for our public schools to get the state support they deserve, and we will fight for the middle class to get the kind of attention that has eluded them these past few years. As I have said before, we will support those issues we feel deserve our support, we will point out where our colleagues have gone wrong, and we will offer alternatives that provide a clear vision of what Indiana House Democrats represent."

November 6, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. John Bartlett (D-Indianapolis) has been selected by Indiana House Democrats to serve as their caucus chairman during the 2015-16 sessions of the Indiana General Assembly.

Bartlett, who has been a member of the Indiana House since 2007, was chosen caucus chairman by his colleagues during the group’s organizational meeting today in Indianapolis. In his new position, Bartlett will serve as the point person for activities conducted by the caucus and lead the meetings when the group conducts caucuses.

“I am delighted to welcome John Bartlett to the House Democratic leadership team,” said House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath from Michigan City. “John is a fighter and a lawmaker devoted to doing what’s right for the people he represents. I look forward to taking full advantage of his wise counsel as we begin deliberations in the Legislature in the months ahead.”

Bartlett, who represents House District 95, filled a legislative vacancy left by the resignation of Mae Dickinson in late 2007.

A lifelong resident of Indianapolis, Bartlett is a retired tool–and–die maker for the Rolls–Royce Corporation, where he had worked for 42 years.

He is a graduate of Arsenal Technical High School and went on to attend Martin University and Ivy Tech.

Outside of his legislative responsibilities, Bartlett is Chair of the Board of Trustees of Martin University. He also serves as president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and was president of the Devington Community Development Corporation. He was a founding member of the Sheridan Heights Associations for Neighborhood Enhancement (SHANE), serves on the NAACP Executive Committee, and is past chairman of the Civil Rights Council for United Auto Workers Region Three.

November 6, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana House Democrats have selected State Rep. Linda Lawson (D-Hammond) to serve again as Democratic Floor Leader during the 2015-16 sessions of the Indiana General Assembly.

In that post, Lawson - who has served in the House since 1998 - will assist House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath from Michigan City in setting caucus policies and directing debate on issues during House floor sessions. Lawson was first selected for her current post in 2012.

"I consider Linda one of my closest advisors and I have come to depend on her wisdom and common sense to help House Democrats speak out on behalf of the people of Indiana," Pelath said. "I am honored to have her beside me in the Indiana House."

Lawson, a graduate of Gavit High School, has been a long-time member of the Hammond community. She attended Indiana University Northwest. She was the first female police officer for the Hammond Police Department and went on to retire at the rank of captain. During her 24 years for the department, she worked as a patrol officer and with the sex crimes and domestic violence divisions, where she gained a great deal of knowledge and experience.

Lawson has also served as a member of the Hammond School Board for 12 years.

Lawson represents Indiana House District 1, which encompasses most of Hammond and all of Whiting. She has served as the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and on such legislative committees as Environmental Affairs, Courts & Criminal Code, Family Affairs, Education, and Labor.

Representative Lawson has been involved in many pieces of crucial domestic violence legislation in her career at the Statehouse. She has served on numerous boards and in organizations such as Haven House (a women's shelter in Lake County), the Hammond Historical Society Board, the Robertsdale/Whiting Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters, the Humane Society of the Calumet Area, and the Boys & Girls Club.

Lawson has two grown daughters and a very special granddaughter, Genavive. She was married to the late Jim Hornak.

Source: Indiana House Democrats

November 6, 2014

News Release

STATEHOUSE - Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) today announced additional appointments to the Senate Republicans' leadership team as well as Senate Committee chairmanships for the 2015-2016 Indiana General Assembly. The Senate Majority Caucus met yesterday to re-elect Long as Senate President Pro Tempore and Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) as Majority Caucus Chairman.

"It is an honor to serve with these outstanding leaders, some of whom will be getting their first opportunity to chair a committee," Long said. "I don't think you'll find a more talented group of public servants anywhere. We look forward to a successful 2015 legislative session."

The 2015-2016 Senate Republican leadership team is as follows:

President Pro Tempore – Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne)

Assistant President Pro Tempore – Sen. Patricia Miller (R-Indianapolis)

Majority Floor Leader – Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek)

Majority Floor Leader Emeritus – Sen. Joe Zakas (R-Granger)

Assistant Majority Floor Leader, Communications – Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport)

Assistant Majority Floor Leader, Parliamentary Affairs – Sen. Brent Steele (R-Bedford)

Majority Caucus Chairman – Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis)

Assistant Majority Caucus Chair – Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville)

Assistant Majority Caucus Chair – Sen. Rod Bray (R-Martinsville)

Majority Whip – Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen)

2015-2016 Senate Committee Chairmanships are as follows:

Senate Commi