Welcome to my website. I hope that you find the links and other information to be of use.
I am proud to have served as a State Representative since 2002, when I represented House District 15 until 2012 and now as your representative for House District 25. In my time at the Statehouse, I have focused on fixing issues that citizens in my district are facing as well as addressing statewide concerns. I am pleased to represent the Hoosiers from White, Cass, Carroll, Clinton and Tippecanoe Counties.
I am always glad to hear the views of the citizens in my district. Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts, questions or concerns you have about state government.
House District 25
Indiana House of Representatives: 2002 - present
House District 25: Covering a large portion of White County and sections of Cass, Carroll, Clinton and Tippecanoe Counties.
House Standing Committees:
Interim Study Committees:
Education: B.S. Purdue University, 1970
Occupation: Co-owner/Operator, Lehe Farms, Inc.
State Representative Don Lehe serves House District 25, which encompasses a large portion of White County and sections of Cass, Carroll, Clinton and Tippecanoe Counties. He was first elected to serve the public as a Frontier School Board member in 1980 and served until 1998. He was elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 2002 as the representative for House District 15. During his first term he focused attention on Indiana's farming and agriculture industry, and promoted rural development and job creation for the citizens of Northwest and West Central Indiana. After redistricting, he was elected as representative for House District 25 in 2012.
At the Statehouse, he continues to promote the agriculture industry, but has also expanded his agenda to include issues such as child labor laws and employment certificates for teens. Previously, Rep. Lehe co-authored legislation that allows teens to obtain more than one work permit as long as they meet the Department of Labor guidelines. Representative Lehe is the Chair of the Agriculture and Rural Development committee as well as a member of Environmental Affairs and Public Health.
Representative Lehe is the owner and operator of Lehe Farms, Inc. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University, and taught high school for tree years before moving to farming full time. He is involved with Farm Bureau, Indiana Pork Producers, the Indiana Cattlemen Association, the American Soybean Association, the American Corn Association, as well as the Knights of Columbus and the American Legion, and is a member of St. Ann Catholic Church. He and his wife, Kathy have four children and reside in White County.
House District 25 includes a large portion of White County and sections of Cass, Carroll, Clinton and Tippecanoe counties in west central Indiana.
Industrial hemp has increasingly become a topic of conversation due to the possible economic, agricultural and medical benefits it could have for Hoosiers. While industrial hemp comes from the same cannabis plant as marijuana, they are very different crops. Simply put, industrial hemp is not marijuana. In fact, industrial hemp is comprised of less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical in marijuana that causes psychotropic effects. I often use the analogy of a Great Dane and a Chihuahua: both animals are dogs, but have completely different purposes.
I recently read a column about nonbinding review that was very misleading. To provide some background, in 2008, we passed legislation that requires a county council to conduct a nonbinding review of the budgets and tax levies submitted by municipalities within the county. I voted for this legislation because I believe your property tax dollars are too important to allow spending to go unchecked without a system of accountability in place.
Being a farmer is not just an occupation; it’s a lifestyle. Regardless of our various day-to-day routines, each farmer dedicates an abundance of their time to working in the field, following weather patterns, caring for livestock and much more. Accordingly, the Indiana State Fair has decided to celebrate by making this year’s theme the, “Year of the Farmer.”
A major focus of the 2015 legislative session was improving education. As a parent and former teacher, I have seen the positive impact a quality education can have on a student and recognize the importance of having adequate resources, particularly in our rural schools. As another legislative session began, it was my goal to further support our local students, teachers and parents by creating a more conducive atmosphere for learning. Through a historic investment in education and the removal of burdensome regulations on teachers and schools, I am confident that our education system will be better equipped to prepare students for their futures.
The end of the 2015 legislative session has finally arrived. The Indiana General Assembly has been hard at work these past four months crafting, debating and voting on legislation of all topics. This session was a long session, providing enough time to create and enact the state’s biennial budget. Within the budget we worked to fund education, create a grant program to reduce Indiana’s infant mortality rate (IMR) and combat public safety issues by providing criminal justice resources for local governments. I am pleased to share with you these accomplishments of this year’s session.
Throughout session, I have mentioned several bills that have been debated at the Statehouse. One bill that I have not had a chance to discuss is House Bill (HB) 1019, which repeals the Common Construction Wage (CCW). I supported this legislation, and by allowing the free market to work, Indiana taxpayers could stand to save between 10 and 20 percent on public works projects.
The month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and I would like to discuss what the General Assembly is doing to combat domestic violence and sexual assault and different resources for those in need. For fifteen years, SAAM has been sponsored by The National Sexual Violence Resource Center, an organization that provides resources and support.
With the end of session quickly approaching, I wanted to take time to share with you what the next few weeks will be like at the Statehouse. The last day we have to complete our work is April 29, also known as Sine Die. Until the clock runs out, the House will work diligently through the remaining Senate bills while the Senate does the same with House bills.
The Indiana General Assembly is on the home stretch for the 2015 legislative session. While the first half of session is devoted to House bills, for me, the second half is dedicated to hearing bill from the Senate. I would like to take this opportunity to discuss the Senate bills I am sponsoring.
STATEHOUSE – State Representative Don Lehe (R-Brookston) sponsored legislation to make Indiana’s livestock industry more competitive. Senate Bill (SB) 249 would require the Purdue Extension and Purdue University College of Agriculture to study the impact that local land use ordinances have on structures used in the housing, feeding and breeding of livestock. The bill passed with an 89-2 vote out of the House.
Over the past few weeks, I have received numerous questions about Indiana’s two year budget, particularly the aspect of education funding. I would like to take this opportunity discuss the budget we passed out of the House and how it works to improve Indiana’s education system for students, teachers and parents alike.
As an Indiana farmer, I know the sacrifices that are made each day by members of our agricultural community. They work tirelessly and dedicate so much to support Indiana agriculture, which is essential to the Hoosier economy. Farming has always been a large contributing factor to economic growth in our state, and as a state leader, I am proud to continue my work this session to strengthen Hoosier agribusiness as well as recognize some of our local farmers that have made significant contributions to this industry.
The month of March is dedicated to bringing awareness and promoting independence, inclusion and integration of people who have disabilities in Indiana, known as Disability Awareness Month. The theme this year is “Love Where You Live.” For the past 25 years, Hoosier communities have hosted events to help raise awareness and understanding of disability issues. Over the next few weeks there are several ways to get involved, and I encourage you to take an active role to support and embrace those with disabilities this year.
The legislative session is flying by, and it is hard to believe that we are already at the halfway point. This past week was the Third Reading deadline which is the final day my colleagues and I were able to discuss, debate and pass bills out of the House. At this point, we have thoroughly vetted and passed close to 200 bills that will now go to the Senate for further discussion.
One of the most rewarding parts of being a state representative is knowing that I can help people and make a difference in our community. I can accomplish this by authoring legislation, speaking in support of bills and working to protect all Hoosiers by serving on committees, like Public Health. This committee allows me to focus on improving the well-being of Hoosiers and protecting Indiana’s most vulnerable. Working toward this goal, I am pleased to share with you some of the legislation making its way through the legislative process that protects and values life.
Indiana is a leader in many areas, especially agriculture. As a state representative, I am always looking for ways to improve our community and continue moving this industry forward, which was my goal by authoring House Bill (HB) 1181.
STATEHOUSE – State Representative Don Lehe (R-Bookston) has authored a bill to benefit Hoosier farmers and agribusinesses. House Bill (HB) 1549 would raise the cap on the Grain Indemnity Fund allowing farmers’ crops to have additional coverage. The bill passed unanimously out of the House.
Most of my time at the Statehouse is dedicated to reviewing, debating and discussing legislation. However, during session, the opportunity also exists for legislators to author a resolution as a way of recognizing the accomplishments of an individual or group that has made a significant impact in Indiana. This is done at the start of session and is a great way for members to showcase the accomplishments of those around the state.
While listening to the governor give his State of the State Address, it was clear that his vision for Indiana aligns with the priorities of the House Republicans. The governor hit on many of the major issues that we plan to tackle during this legislative session including passing an honestly balanced budget, strengthening education and working to protect our most vulnerable Hoosiers from infant mortality. Additionally, we are striving to increase government transparency and safeguard the public trust along with focusing additional resources on victims of domestic violence.
With a new legislative session officially underway, many issues will be addressed, legislation considered, that impact Hoosier communities.
So far this year, farmers have been having a great growing season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop production reports estimate increased crop production for the entire country. The recent data estimates corn production to hit 1.05 billion bushels and a corn yield of 179 bushels per acre, which would be the highest yield in history.