INDIANAPOLIS – Senate Democratic Caucus Chair J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) begins the 2021 legislative session as Ranking Minority Member on several Senate standing committees: Education and Career Development, Elections, Family and Children Services, Homeland Security and Transportation, and Veterans Affairs and the Military. He also serves as Vice Chair for the Ethics committee.
Since being elected in 2018, Sen. Ford has focused on his 5E’s agenda: Environment, Equality, Elections, Education and Economy. He will continue the 2021 session with the same mission in mind, both in his committee assignments and his proposed legislation. Two cornerstones of Sen. Ford’s agenda this session will be Education and Elections.
The Education and Career Development committee oversees legislation concerning the education and school system, workforce development and employment. Sen. Ford’s Senate Bill (SB) 33, which provides equity, diversity and inclusion officers to each school corporation, is assigned to this committee.
“These officers craft and promote inclusive practices that support students, faculty and communities as a whole,” said Sen. Ford. “Students deserve to feel validated and heard, which is why it is important to have resources that value diversity and tolerance.”
This proposal also establishes duties for the officer and requires the Department of Education (DOE) to provide information and resources for the officer.
The Elections committee will play a vital role during this session due to its nature as a redistricting year. Voting accessibility is a personal priority for Sen. Ford. His SB 402 allows no-excuse absentee voting and the ability to drop off ballots in safe and secure drop boxes.
“One of my biggest priorities this session is expanding voting access,” Sen. Ford said. “I look forward to continue working to make sure every Hoosier that is eligible to vote has the opportunity to fulfill their constitutional right.”
Any citizen can testify on behalf of a bill, and Sen. Ford encourages all Hoosiers to be informed on what is happening at the Indiana Statehouse. If you want to be involved in the legislative process visit Committees – Indiana General Assembly, 2021 Session and submit an Appearance Form for the committee that is hearing a bill that affects you.