Below is a letter Indiana High School Press Association Director Diana Hadley sent to New Voices Advocates the evening after the New Voices bill died at the session on Thursday, April 20, 2017.
New Voices Advocates,
On the eve of the last day of the 2017 Indiana legislative session, the New Voices bill ran out of time and possibilities.
Advocates spent this week negotiating language with the Department of Education, a couple of senators and the administration associations. Although we made progress with DOE and the senators, all three administration associations were unwilling to negotiate anything. It is Hazelwood only for them. Unfortunately, those groups have enormous power with the legislature. Even though we had a vehicle bill to attach our language and support from many lawmakers from both houses, the senate Republican leadership did not offer discussion in caucus about the combined bill, so our alternative path deteriorated.
Special thanks to Representative Jeff Thompson, District 28, who graciously offered space on HB 1043 and waited patiently as we tried to persuade our opponents and the Senate to embrace it with our language added.
Thanks to all advocates who testified for the bill, contacted lawmakers, wrote columns and editorials and followed the process that began last summer.
The engagement of outstanding students impressed everyone—even the bill’s opponents.
Many attempts to pass legislation don’t succeed in one year. HB1130 was a great bill, and it made a good run.
Indiana needs New Voices legislation.
Keep working to “Be Heard.”
Diana Hadley, Ed Clere, Adam Maksl, Steve Key, Frank LoMonte, Bill Chapman and Ruth Witmer