INDIANAPOLIS—On Wednesday, the House concurred on House Bill (HB) 1453, a proposal that reduces the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) in Lake and St. Joseph Counties from nine voting members to seven. Only four counties in Indiana currently appoint members on a merit-basis, giving he governor direct appointment selection of judges. Every other county in the state requires judges to be elected by voters.

“The people in my district, who have already voiced their opposition to HB 1453, deserve to have a fair nominating system for the judges who serve our community. We already don’t give Hoosiers in Lake County the opportunity to elect their judges like the majority of the state—now we’re further stripping the community of power by reducing their number of judges and mandating that only one of the appointed members be from a minority group,” Sen. Randolph said. “This is a regressive step that the people of Lake County do not support, and I’m disappointed that members of the General Assembly who don’t even live in my community or St. Joseph County fought to advance this legislation while knowing that locals oppose it. Now, the people of Lake and St. Joseph Counties are being denied democracy, as well as adequate representation in their judicial nominating process.”

House Bill 1453 will now head to the governor’s desk for consideration.