The government for Indiana is divided into three branches: the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial.
The Legislative Branch, referred to as the General Assembly, is comprised of two houses: House and Senate. The current makeup consists of 100 Representatives serving 2-year terms and 50 Senators serving 4-year terms. The Republican Party holds a supermajority of 70-30 in the House.
The Legislature works alongside the Governor to create laws and establish a budget. The responsibilities of the Indiana House of Representatives includes passing bills on public policy, establishing state spending, raising and lowering taxes, and voting to uphold or override gubernatorial vetoes.
TRANSPARENTLY ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS
We might not agree on all issues but I believe there is room in the middle. And, I've learned after talking to thousands of voters that when you are willing to meet in the middle, important things can get done. As an elected official, I will strive to understand those on all sides of an issue. Below, I have listed several topics I've already been asked about. I'll make an effort to add to these as the campaign continues.
What most concerns me in Indiana?
I am most concerned of where Indiana ranks in the United States on the following issues:
- WATER QUALITY. Indiana ranks 50th in the U.S. for the WORST water quality. Most of our lakes are considered 'no touch.' It's pollution that comes from construction sites, parking lots, farms, roads, and even our own lawns.
- EDUCATION. Statewide results show one in five third graders struggle to read in 2023 yet we are still letting these students progress to the fourth grade. In addition, about 40% of Hoosier students have missed 10 or more school days last year, and nearly one in five were absent for at least 18 days.
- MATERNAL DEATH RATE. Indiana has the THIRD highest maternal mortality rate among all reporting states at 44 deaths per 100,000 live births. Out of our 92 counties, we only have 35 with birthing centers and easy access to quality pre-natal care.
- INFANT MORTALITY RATE. Indiana ranks SEVENTH for highest infant mortality. Indiana policies that limit access to reproductive care contribute to Indiana's high infant mortality rate.
- GUN CONTROL. Indiana has some of the weakest gun laws in the country. We rank 19th HIGHEST rate of gun deaths in the U.S.
Where do I stand on gun safety?
As the wife of an Army Colonel, I support the Second Amendment. However, I believe Indiana has some of the weakest gun laws in the country. There is no permit required for purchase nor is there any registration required. In addition, there is no regulation concerning “assault weapons” or magazine capacity.
I would fully support background checks as the foundation to reduce gun violence. And I believe every gun owner should have a permit.
Do you support the legalization of marijuana?
Legalization of marijuana in neighboring states (Michigan, Illinois and Ohio) has created a cross-border market for Hoosiers that Indiana is not economically benefitting from and our law enforcement is caught in a gray area.
If Indiana legalized and taxed cannabis, we could potentially generate an estimated $400M in sales and excise taxes annually. In our neighboring states, the taxes generated are: Illinois $562M, Ohio $403M, Wisconsin $170M, and Michigan $266M.
I would support legalization for the tax revenue benefit and the savings on law enforcement pursuing matters where a product is purchased legally in a border state and brought across Indiana lines.
With that being said, I would uphold Indiana's smoke-free air law - smoking of any kind would still be prohibited in public places and places of employment.
Am I pro-abortion?
Am I pro-choice?
I do not believe a government body should interfere or dictate what a woman can do with her body medically or morally. I don't believe a government body should force a woman to have a child that is unwanted and will not be cared for.
I want to respect anyone that has a moral disagreement with my stance. You can remain pro-life. But the government should not legislate what my daughter or best friend can do.
Do I believe the minimum wage should be raised in Indiana?
The last time both oth Indiana and the federal government set a legal minimum wage of $7.25/hour was in 2009!. I do not believe this is still a livable, sustainable wage because it equates to a total of $290/week and approximately $15,080/annually before taxes. The federal poverty threshold for a household of two is $14,570 per year.
I would support an increase to the minimum wage in Indiana. It would help Hoosiers get out of poverty and increase consumer spending - with the opportunity to bolster our local businesses.
Do I support transgender men competing in women's sports?
I do not support transgender men competing in women's sports. I want to continue to witness the advancement and success of women in athletics. When competing against someone that is physically and genetically more powerful, then that undermines the hard work of female athletes.
With that being said, transgender athletes have a right to participate in athletic competitions that is equitable and respectful. I support a new, open category for “all sex and gender identities." Athletic programs should be prepared to fairly accommodate these athletes.
What do I think about partisan school board elections?
I do not agree with declaring a political party for school board elections. There are only nine states that candidates declare an affiliation and Indiana should not be one of them.