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Legislators want to hear from residents

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

Members of the Indiana General Assembly are seeking input from residents in their districts.

Each legislator has a legislative survey posted on their respective web pages on the General Assembly website, Legislators also mail a survey to the homes in their districts.

The News-Examiner regularly contacts state Sens. Jean Leising and Jeff Raatz and Reps. Cindy Ziemke, Brad Barrett and Randy Lyness for comments on the progress of the session.

All but Leising have a question about legalizing medical marijuana.

Ziemke, Raatz and Leising have questions about allowing carryout cold beer sales.

Lyness, Barrett and Leising ask about hate crimes legislation and Lyness and Barrett have a separate question about adding gender identity and sexual orientation to the list of protected classes.

The three representatives ask about raising the cigarette tax and Lyness also asks about raising the tax on alcohol.

Raatz, Barrett and Lyness have questions about the future of township government.

School funding is always an issue and Barrett and Ziemke ask questions about school funds actually getting to the classroom and Barrett asks an additional question about raising the tax credit for teachers who purchase items out of pocket for their classrooms. Raatz seeks input on the possibility of referendums to fund school safety and Leising asks about requiring active shooter drills in schools.

Other questions on the survey have to do with sports betting, hemp production in the state, local roads, school start date, drug treatment, gun laws, broadband accessibility, jails, water and wastewater utilities and the requirement to work or look for work to receive Healthy Indiana Plan benefits.

Leising gives the resident five choices for budget priority and the ability to add one not on the list.

Each survey has space for comments from the person completing the survey.

The online surveys can be found by going to www.in.gov/legislative, and clicking on “Legislators” at the right and filling in the name of the local representative or senator. Then go to “Visit caucus page” on the left and a link to the survey will be available.

There is also a link to send the legislator an email on that page. Legislators can also be contacted by calling 800-382-9841 for representatives or 800-382-9467 for senators, or by writing to the legislator at 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.

The legislators will be in committee hearings on the issues beginning Wednesday in the Senate and Monday in the House and will need the input as they decide how to vote on bills before them.