Indiana State Senator Ron Alting
Highlighted Legislator
by Angela Weaver, Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy intern
We are pleased to highlight in this newsletter, Greater Lafayette’s own, Ron Alting. Senator Alting a Lafayette native, attended Jefferson High School and Purdue University. State Senators represent District 22 which consists of the Greater Lafayette area. He was originally elected to the Senate in 1998 and currently serves as the Majority Floor Leader Emeritus and chairs the Public Policy committee.

In the current session, Senator Alting authored Senate Bill 12 which would help victims of bias crimes. This bill would send the message that the State of Indiana will not tolerate hate crimes based on race, ethnicity, or social group and add an additional count and penalty for any crime that is motivated by hate.

In a recent interview Campaign for Hoosier Families conducted with Senator Alting, we had the opportunity to ask him about Senate Bill 12. One question we asked prompted an insightful answer as to why Hoosiers need to support the bill; “the number one reason why we need to pass this bill is because it’s the right thing to do. It’s being on the right side of history and it’s just the right thing to do. We all are created equal. We all should be treated equally. There should never be winners or losers in civil rights.”

We are also grateful to him for partnering with LUM and adding his name to the Kilinker-Alting Family Family Advocacy Internship which is now in its 3rd year. On behalf of the Campaign for Hoosier Families, we would like to thank Senator Alting for all he has done in the past and for all the work he will continue to do.
Q & A with Senator Ron Alting
by Eli Heindricks, Purdue Political Science student
On February 15, I had the opportunity to talk with Senator Alting about a few of the policy areas we’re watching this legislative session. Below are a few of his answers.
Q: One of the policy areas we’re focusing on this legislative session is redistricting reform. What are your thoughts on the Assembly’s approach to this issue so far?
A: I support a good, solid bill on redistricting. Senator Walker in the Senate has a bill and it’s a good bill that I support [ SB 105 ]. I’ve been working on an amendment that says districts cannot be drawn up based upon political affiliation for political gain. The amendment also makes sure it is drawn up by independent council, outside of members of the general assembly. That way you’re sure of unbiased maps being drawn up.

Q: Another important policy area we’re focusing on is payday lending. Would you be willing to share your thoughts on capping payday lending interest rates?
A: I’ve always voted for those caps because they prey on the vulnerable. I have been insistent and will continue to be insistent on capping payday lending rates.

Q: We’ve also been focusing on the concept increasing the minimum wage in Indiana. Do you have any thoughts on what changes should be made to Indiana’s current policy?
A: I’m not as big on the minimum wage as I’m big on training someone to do a skill to help them get a better job. That’s my solution. Let me be perfectly clear, very few people make minimum wage. I met with Walmart the other day and they’re gonna be starting off at $12 an hour. Hobby Lobby’s at $14 an hour with benefits. McDonald’s at $10 an hour. The great thing about having a strong economy like we have in Indiana, the best in the Midwest, is that there’s a shortage in the workforce. The private sector’s forced to compete. What’s that do? It forces the minimum wage up which is good for everyone. I certainly wouldn’t vote against a bill on minimum wage. I wouldn’t do that. Giving them a skill though will help them. That’s better than just throwing money at a minimum wage.

 Q: This legislative session, we’ve been paying attention to efforts to reform the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, program. We’ve specifically paying attention to Senate Bill 440, which involves expanding the eligibility requirements for the program and increasing payments to qualifying individuals and families. With that in mind, I’d like to ask what your thoughts are on TANF reform?
A: I think whatever we can do to help needy families in Indiana, we should do. Lincoln once said, “the purpose of government is to help those who can’t help themselves.” There are many families from all sorts of different circumstances who need our assistance. I’m a compassionate and caring person. In my personal life, I reach out to help those who are less fortunate and I also do so by hitting that green button in the senate.
Payday Lending is Hurting Your Neighbors
Take Action Now
by Angela Weaver, Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy intern
The fight to cap payday loans interest rates is still up and running at the Indiana State Capitol.
Groups like the Indiana Coalition for Human Services of which Campaign for Hoosier Families is a member are continuing tirelessly to cap payday loans interest rates and oppose efforts by unscrupulous lenders to raise rates for low income families and children making it even more difficult for parents to pay their bills and to break the poverty cycle. 

The Indiana Assets and Opportunity Network, a program that focuses on low-income Hoosiers by partnering with other coalitions, is urging advocates to contact their lawmakers to express support for SB 104 and to oppose SB 613. To access a pre drafted letter to your legislator, please click here . If you would rather call in your support for SB 104, the number to reach them is (317) 232-9400. The first step to making a change is by taking action. Do not just sit back and let this predatory lending continue in its existing state.

As always, if you have ever been personally affected by payday loans, please share your story below to help increase awareness on this predatory lending.
Campaign for Hoosier Families - T-Shirts
T-Shirts Available - While Supplies Last
Take a look at two of our writers, Rob Krasa & Eli Heindricks, showing off their brand new  Campaign for Hoosier Families  T-Shirts.

In an effort to gain publicity and raise funds for our wonderful cause, Campaign for Hoosier Families are selling T-shirts! The shirts are $15, you can come pick them up from the Lafayette Urban Ministry, or we will ship it to you for an additional $5.

If you are interested, please contact our intern, Angela Weaver, at  weaver85@purdue.edu  or fill out our attached order form, click below.
C4HF Minimum Wage Survey Results
Members of Our Community Weigh In
by Rob Krasa, LUM intern
In a previous newsletter, we offered our readers a chance to voice their opinions on the issue of minimum wage and how it impacts them personally in our community. We appreciate all of our respondents taking the time to share their thoughts, and for giving us a cross section of where people stand on the matter locally. We discuss in this article some trends in responses when parsing the results.

A robust 95% of respondents believe that the current minimum age is not enough income to maintain a stable living. As discussed in previous articles, the math checks out in support of this result as well. The current minimum wage in Indiana has not kept up with inflation and increases in costs which have occurred since the last increase in 2009. This result appears to correlate with real-life experiences. 94% of respondents reported having worked a minimum wage job during their lifetime and almost the same number of respondents (90%) of respondents supported raising the minimum wage in Indiana.
C4HF Minimum Wage Survey
Let Your Voice Be Heard
by Angela Weaver, Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy intern
Increasing minimum wage has been an ongoing issue in the State of Indiana. The majority of Indiana residents have stated that they believe our minimum wage is not enough and needs to be increased. The Campaign for Hoosier Families is interested in your opinion regarding the status of minimum wage in Indiana. We seek this information to guide our efforts in regards to the upcoming Indiana General Assembly Session. The Campaign for Hoosier Families strives to best represent those for whom it advocates and would greatly appreciate your input. Please complete this survey by clicking here .
The State of Redistricting Reform
What’s Happening Now?
by Eli Heindricks, Purdue Political Science student
Senate Bill 105 , authored by Representative Timothy Wesco , passed through the Senate in a 26-23 vote on February 21 and now has been sent to the House for further consideration. Since our last newsletter publication, Senator Susan Glick and Senator Lonnie Randolph have been added as co-authors. SB 105 requires legislative action at the state and federal levels to ensure that minority voices are represented and at the same time minimize divisions in areas which may share common interests, including neighborhoods and school districts. Senate Bill 105, however, neglects to include an independent commision selected by the legislative leadership. We stand alongside other organizations such as ALLIN4Democracy, League of Women Voters, Women4Change, and many more, in contending that independent commissions are necessary to ensure that voting districts are not drawn by the majority party for the purpose of strengthening their own party’s chance of re-election. Representative Wesco, the sponsor of the bill in the House, is publicly opposed to this idea. IndyStar reports his views: “I believe our Constitution has given that responsibility [of drawing districts] to the legislature, and I think that’s where it needs to stay”. This will make it difficult for any new amendments to require the inclusion of an independent commission in Senate Bill 105.