On Monday, Mayor Joe Hogsett recognized the third annual Apprenticeship Week in Indianapolis, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Apprenticeship Week.

Hogsett: “The City of Indianapolis and EmployIndy want to foster as many pathways as possible to the career, wage, and life that residents want. Through apprenticeship programs, prospective employees can gain access to good-paying jobs, and industries can gain access to a motivated, local workforce.”

Marie Mackintosh, EmployIndy president and CEO: “EmployIndy is committed to the growth of apprenticeships in our region as a way to help strengthen our local economy, build pipelines to good quality jobs, and advance racial and gender equity. Through our existing initiatives like Modern Apprenticeship, and future initiatives like the Regional Apprenticeship Hub, we’ll continue to make advancements in removing barriers to quality employment for underserved and underrepresented residents.”

U.S. Reps. Jim Banks and Larry Bucshon, M.D., R-Indiana, just returned from visiting Indiana National Guard troops at Camp Simba in Manda Bay, Kenya, over Veterans Day weekend. The delegation also visited with U.S. forces at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. Over 130 Indiana National Guardsmen serve in the Horn of Africa as part of Task Force Tomahawk, a counterterrorism mission. 

Banks: “It was an honor to visit our Hoosier heroes serving in Africa as part of Task Force Tomahawk to protect against growing threats from Al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups like Al-Shabaab. Indiana is grateful and proud of our Indiana National Guardsmen for their service and sacrifices to keep us safe.”

Bucshon: “I recently had the opportunity and honor to visit with Indiana National Guard troops stationed in Kenya and review their mission in Djibouti to defend our nation and allies from terrorist groups in the region. Indiana national guard troops are some of the finest in the nation and every Hoosier is thankful for their unwavering dedication and sacrifice abroad to keep our nation safe.”

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun visited the Southern U.S. border Monday as part of a trip led by the Indiana Sheriff’s Association.

Braun: “The crisis on our southern border means every state is a border state. Fentanyl is killing Hoosiers every day, and we’ve had 600,000 ‘gotaways’ enter our country from nearly every nation on Earth. With 169 people on the terrorist watchlist stopped at our border in the last year, President Biden’s border crisis is a dire threat to our national security.”

The Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition has honored Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, with the Diabetes Legislative Champion Award.

George Huntley, CEO of the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition: “I have had the opportunity to provide testimony to Senator Charbonneau’s committee several times over the past five years. I have been impressed with his dedication to helping Hoosiers access affordable healthcare. He cares about the patient. It only seemed fitting to our organization that he receive the 2023 Diabetes Legislative Champion Award. We look forward to continuing to work with lawmakers in Indiana and across the county to help improve the lives of people impacted by diabetes and other chronic conditions.”

Charbonneau: “Making health care more accessible and affordable for Hoosiers has been something I’m committed to continuing,”  said. “I’m honored to receive this award and, as chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services, I will keep trying to implement measures that will improve the quality of care for those across the state.”

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has begun creating a climate action plan to address the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. The United States Environmental Protection Agency awarded Indiana $3 million in grants authorized by the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act to craft this plan. The initial deadline for the plan is in March 2025 and the final longterm plan deadline is in 2025. If this planning process is successful, a far larger pool of federal funding will be open to Indiana. 

Jonathan Hawkins Photography: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2023/legislators/legislator_carey_hamilton_1

Rep. Carey Hamilton, D-Indianapolis: “I commend IDEM for moving forward with the creation of this climate action plan despite inaction from the legislature. The additional federal funds riding on the success of IDEM’s plan would spur new investment in our manufacturing sector.  This will reduce sector emissions while growing good manufacturing jobs in clean energy and cleantech—giving us a competitive edge in the quickly transitioning economy. Notably, these economic benefits are tied to addressing climate change, creating more resilient communities and ensuring a livable future for our children and grandchildren. 

“I, once again, call upon my colleagues in the General Assembly to engage on this issue. I look forward to working across the aisle to move our state forward and protect its future.”

Last week, the City Council of Lafayette filed a resolution against the LEAP pipeline. Attica, West Lafayette and Shadeland filed their own resolutions earlier this fall. Locals have also started petitions and have formed a group called Stop the Water Steal.

Rep. Chris Campbell, D- West Lafayette: “I’m confident that the power of the people will slow the hurried development of this project. We’ve got to keep the momentum going; we’ve got to keep speaking out. The IEDC hoped that they could do this project without local input. There’s been multiple transparency issues, and the IEDC has avoided community involvement. Avoiding public comment is not American Democracy, it’s the opposite. We must continue to stand united in advocating for public input and thorough testing in the face of this project.

“Seeing the people of Tippecanoe County from all sides of the political spectrum come together to protect our community has been inspiring. We know we’ll have to work together. We know it’s going to be difficult. I’m doing research about Indiana’s water systems to become as educated as possible before the 2024 session. Local officials and State officials are doing everything that we can to help.

“I encourage you to keep speaking out, keep reaching out to your legislators and keep up the momentum. The will of the people will be heard and heeded. Unity is a powerful thing and it’s happening here in Tippecanoe County.” 

Earlier this month, the Indiana Supreme Court annual report was made available online.

From the press release: “The 60+ page Supreme Court annual report provides information about the work of the Court and its affiliated agencies during the fiscal year (July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023). In addition to providing statistics on the cases considered by the Court, the report also details the administrative work of the judicial branch.

“Some of the information included in the data, milestones, and important projects, include:

“The five justices reviewed more than 700 cases, heard 40 oral arguments, and handed down 35 majority opinions

“80% of Court opinions were unanimous

“The Mental Health Summit brought stakeholders from all three branches of government together to discuss needed resources and potential strategies to provide better care

“Local judges were given the authority to allow news media to record and broadcast from their courtrooms

“Nearly 11 million users accessed mycase.in.gov a total of 63 million times and downloaded documents more than 25 million times

“Nearly 62,000 requests for help were handled by Court Technology

“Over 150 problem-solving courts were certified or in planning stages

“The work of judicial selection commissions around the state included filling 4 trial court vacancies and 4 appellate court vacancies

“Over 130 on-demand seminars were available for judicial officers and justice system stakeholders

“Past annual reports can be found at courts.in.gov/supreme/annual-reports/.”

Last week, abortion providers and a pregnancy resource center sought a preliminary injunction in Indiana to broaden the scope of the health or life exception to S.E.A. 1, the state’s abortion ban. 

Joint statement from leaders from Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, ACLU of Indiana, All-Options, the Lawyering Project, and Women’s Med: “The fight isn’t over in Indiana. … We are asking the trial court to protect Hoosiers’ health and limit the scope of the state’s unconstitutional abortion ban. We are hopeful that the court will grant our request, ensuring that Hoosiers in the most vulnerable circumstances can still access care in their state. While this would be a critical step forward for reproductive freedom, it would not restore access for most people seeking abortion in Indiana. We will continue working to support Hoosiers in getting abortion—and we will continue to fight until access is fully restored.”