Several have asked about another attempt at passing a New Voices bill in 2019, and I wanted to confirm that we are indeed giving it another try this session. IHSPA will distribute news and information about the campaign to make this legislation a reality, but here is where we are right now:
● You can review the bill here: HB 1213. Some wording has changed, but the core of the legislation remains the same. Rep. Ed Clere and Rep. Ed DeLaney have authored the bill for a third time, and we are forever grateful for their support.
● At the moment, the bill has NOT been scheduled for a hearing in the House Education Committee. Please CALL Rep. Bob Behning at 317.232.9648 and request that HB 1213 be heard. He has supported New Voices in the past, but that does not guarantee he will put it on the agenda for a third time.
● Diana Hadley is still our fearless leader. She has put a considerable amount of time and energy into New Voices since the bill failed last year, and here are just some of those valuable resources you can use when advocating for HB 1213:
● THE ABSOLUTE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS GET PARENTS AND OTHER COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS EARLY AND OFTEN! Here are some items to help with that:
- *Legislators for many IHSPA members and how they voted on New Voices in 2018.
- *Schools in Rep. Tony Cook’s district. Rep. Cook is one of our most-vocal opponents, so we’re asking for those schools on this list to PLEASE contact Rep. Cook and let him know you support the First Amendment and our students.
● We have identified members of the House who will more than likely determine the outcome of a full floor vote: Key Representatives. Again, if you see your representative on this list, contact them ASAP and frequently. Don’t wait to see if HB 1213 gets out of committee before you reach out to your elected officials.
● We are continuing to produce promotional material to use throughout our lobbying efforts, and Tom Gayda of North Central High School has taken the lead in this area. He is always looking for volunteers (students, advisers, parents, community members) to help. Please contact him at email@example.com if interested.
● Ask your school principals, superintendents, and school board members to publicly support New Voices. We are well aware that their professional associations are adamantly opposed to our efforts and any sort of student press freedom, there have been several amazing administrators who have advocated for our students. We would love to have them join the cause!
● Finally, invite your legislators into your student media labs and classrooms. Show them the amazing, professional journalism your students produce. Let them witness the leadership and maturity exhibited by your student leaders. Get them to understand that Indiana student journalists deserve the support of their state legislators, and voting for HB 1213 is what’s best for our state.
Thank you for your time and everything you do for our students. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org