Indiana State Senate
Indiana State Senate
Protect Our Children: Do Not Pass Senate Bill 500
On March 5th, 2013, my beautiful daughter Angel took her own life after being repeatedly bullied by classmates both in person on school grounds and over the internet. The pain of losing a child is indescribable -- she was the light of my life and I still can’t comprehend life without her. The only way I can move forward now is to dedicate myself to making sure that this never happens to another family. I have worked diligently to get anti-bullying legislation passed in my home state of Indiana, and when House Bill 1423 (The Anti-Bullying Bill) was passed in 2013, I was hopeful that we had made a turn for the better. The bill stated that disciplinary actions would be taken against bullies and that any and all bullying related incidences would be investigated and reported. But now a new bill could completely dismantle all of the progress made to stop bullying in Indiana. Senate Bill 500, which is currently in committee and set to be voted on in this legislative session, would remove the school’s ability to address bullying that takes place off school grounds that could impair the victims school environment. This means that cyberbullying, one of the most popular and insidious forms of bullying our kids deal with today -- the form of bullying my daughter Angel experienced -- would no longer be considered a form of bullying by schools. The bill also eliminates all disciplinary actions toward bullies as well as programs for victim support, and would eliminate teacher training on suicide, bullying prevention, and mental health awareness. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people ages 15-34 in Indiana. According to the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, administered bi-annually by the Centers for Disease Control, Indiana ranks third worst in the nation in terms of incidences of bullying at school and cyberbullying. The idea that a bill could remove what are obviously desperately needed programs to prevent bullying in our schools is incomprehensible. Schools should be safe places where our children learn and grow into the unique individuals they are meant to be, not the places that convince them their lives are not worth living. 4,400 teens nationwide take their lives every year due to the hateful words and cruel actions of others. Please sign our petition to keep the kids of Indiana safe in school and at home. In her suicide note, Angel asked for us to get her justice, and I will never stop trying to fulfill her final wish. Losing one Angel was too many lost. No child should ever feel victimized by another to a point of suicide. Lets give these kids hope for a future. Please sign today. Thank you and God Bless.
Change Indiana State Ordinance for domestic animals in extreme cold
Indiana's state laws for domestic animals in extreme weather are not sufficient. Certain counties have ordinances stating domestic animals must be brought inside if the outside temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Others do not. This needs to be a state-wide law punishable by law if not complied with. There also needs to be changes in laws regarding what is adequate shelter and housing for domestic animals outdoors. This law also needs to apply to breeders. Currently, in Arcadia, IN, there is a German Shepherd Dog breeder who has upwards of 20 or more dogs in kennels outside, with an Igloo dog house as a shelter. At this moment, the temperature in Indiana is -10 degrees Fahrenheit with wind chill of -45 degrees Fahrenheit. According to Indiana state laws for breeders, it is humane for dogs to be outside in this extreme cold. According to Indiana state laws, the breeder is compliant. While this may be sustainable for the German Shepherd Dog, it is not sustainable for all breeds. Therefore, the laws must be revisited. After the town became outraged, the people of Arcadia, IN feel a change needs to made. The animals, and all domestic animals, deserve a change in the state laws. We ask that the ordinance Marion county holds become a LAW to bring animals inside when temperatures are below 20 degrees Fahrenheit and be constructed state-wide. Breeders MUST have an indoor kennel sufficient for all ages and breeds of domestic animals during times of extreme weather, if the animals cannot be in the home/business. If these laws are not followed the offender will be punished by law (to be decided by officials). State regulations/ordinances/laws can be found at in.gov/boah (Indiana State Board of Animal Health) under the Commercial Dog Breeder Statute IC 15-21
Brian A Clark: Drop Charges against Connersville Police Officer and his wife
Jeff and Jennifer Counceller thought were doing the right thing when they saved the life of an injured baby deer they found near their home in Indiana. But because they didn't have a permit, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is prosecuting them and they could face up to 60 days in prison. The DNR should drop these charges now. When they found the fawn on a neighbor’s porch in 2010, she was badly injured with puncture wounds that were infected and had maggots in them. Jennifer, a registered nurse and wound caretaker for the couple’s dogs and horses took the deer home and named it Dani and began nursing the deer back to health. When they called the DNR they were told to return the deer to the wild and let nature take it’s course. That would have been a death sentence for the deer. Instead, they tried to find Dani a home at animal rescue operations, petting zoos and deer farms, but no one would take her. The Counceller's decided to keep caring for the deer until it was strong enough to make it on it’s own in the wild. This past summer the DNR started an investigation into the situation and a DNR official recommended they get a permit to rehabilitate Dani. The DNR then denied the permit application and then said the deer would have to killed. Just before DNR officials arrived at the Counceller's house to kill Dani she escaped through a gate that was left open. Now, the DNR has assigned a special prosecutor to the case and they're charging both Jeff and Jennifer with illegal possession of a white-tailed deer. Jeff is a police officer and Jennifer is a nurse - these are good people who were just trying to the right thing by saving an injured animal. They don't deserve to go to jail and the DNR should drop all charges against them. We're asking that you sign the petition and also join the fight on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/connersvillecharges
Protect Drivers from the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide: Pass Savannah's Law
In 2015, My wife and I lost our daughter, Savannah. She was with her boyfriend, heading to the mall like a typical teenager when Savannah suddenly passed out. Her boyfriend tried to go to the hospital, but he too passed out. Only one of them ever woke up. Savannah had been overcome by carbon monoxide poisoning. In our grief, we struggled to understand how this could happen. We discovered that a simple emissions test would have detected the issue and prevented her death. It was a fact that was hard to come to terms with, and now we want to make sure such a tragic, preventable loss doesn’t happen to anyone else’s loved one. We are proposing Savannah’s Law to require all cars on the road to get a proper emissions test. Our first goal is to get the law passed in our home state of Indiana, where Savannah passed away. Emissions tests are needed to detect deterioration and rust, especially as a car gets older. The older the car, the higher the risk of there being an emissions issue that could lead to tragedy. This is what happened to Savannah. There were no warning signs. Without an emissions test, there was no way to know the car had become a ticking time bomb. Savannah’s Law would require all cars 10 years old or less, to get a biannual emissions test. Vehicles older than 10 years would have annual tests. Currently, only two counties in all of Indiana require any kind of emissions testing. These patchwork emissions testing requirements are an issue across the country, and it is costing lives. Please help us protect people from vehicles with deadly carbon monoxide leaks. Not only will we save lives, but we will improve air quality. Sign our petition asking the Indiana legislature and governor to pass Savannah’s Law.
Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!
I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. Filipino Amerasians are abandoned and neglected biracial children of Filipino mothers and American fathers (mostly members of the US armed forces). In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. As a former US colony between 1898 and 1946, the Philippines was home to millions of US soldiers and their dependents, even after its independence. Until 1992, the country hosted two of the largest US military facilities outside the US – Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which played major roles during the Vietnam and first Gulf wars. In 1982 US Public Law 97-359, or the Amerasian Act of 1982, allowed children from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand to move to the US and eventually become American citizens, but those who were from the Philippines were excluded from the law, an exclusion which was upheld by the US Senate on the basis that many Filipino Amerasians were “conceived from illicit affairs and prostitution”, and were born during peacetime. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2018, HR 1520, creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Currently, blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children. John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggles to connect to their American military families. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017, HR 1520, now!
Que le devuelvan la Hacienda Santa Monica a los niños pobres de Panamá.
En Panamá hay medio millón de niños pobres, 200,000 niños viven en extrema pobreza. Muchos de estos niños solo tienen una madre que sirve como Madre y Padre a la vez. Estas guerreras Panameñas se levantan todos los días a las 4am con una sonrisa en cara para tomar un pésimo sistema de transporte y llegar a un trabajo donde les pagan mal. Ese es el Panamá que vivimos, el Panamá de dos países, el Panamá de los que tienen dinero y el Panamá de los que no tienen. Se acabo la clase media. Se acabo la justicia, y se acabo la solidaridad. Vivimos en un país donde las leyes se aplican para los pobres y no para los ricos. Pero de vez en cuando llega a Panamá un hombre rico, con un corazón grande. Esa es la historia del Sr. Charles Lucom, un hombre Norte Americano que hizo su plata con mucho esfuerzo y sudor en Panamá. Y cuando murió, decidió dejarle en su testamento a los Niños Pobres de Panamá un regalo. Les regaló la Hacienda Santa Mónica. La Hacienda Santa Mónica queda en Antón y colinda con Buenaventura y Juan Hombrón. La Hacienda tiene alrededor de 700 hectáreas de terreno (que valen más de $800 millones) y se le fue regalada a los niños pobres de Panamá por el Sr Lucom como dice su testamento. Como los niños pobres de Panamá no cuentan con un representante legal, el Sr Alberto Vallarino y su pandilla de abogados deciden asaltar a los 500,000 niños pobres de Panamá y robarles la Hacienda Santa Mónica. El Sr Vallarino con sus secuaces utilizaron el corrupto sistema Judicial Panameño y cambiaron el Testamento del Sr. Lucom y se quedaron con Hacienda Santa Mónica. Queremos que se haga justicia y le devuelvan la Hacienda Santa Mónica a los niños pobres de Panamá como lo quiso el Sr. Lucom en su testamento. Gracias, Los niños pobres de Panamá.
Release Ronald Lee Sanford
Ronald L Sanford has been imprisoned for nearly 3 decades for a crime he committed at the age of 13. He was sentenced at 15 to 170 years in prison, so he is eligible for parole at age 100. The heinous crime, a double homicide, was committed by Ronald and an older boy when their plan to earn money for the fair by cutting grass was interrupted. The boys ended up with $5 after robbing and murdering two elderly women. The older boy was arrested first, immediately bacame a witness for the prosecutors, blamed Ronald (2 years younger), and was out of prison in 2 years. I was made aware of his case and situation by the Trevor McDonald documentary on Indiana State Prisons Death Row. This is a heinous sentencing, a 15 year old sentenced to die in prison is an incredible infringement of his human rights. If you are interested in Ronald Sanford, watch the YouTube videos and see for yourself, this man has had his life taken away for the crimes and wrong doings of a child, stop this miscarriage of justice!