Welcome and thank you for visiting this website. It is not only a privilege, but also an honor to be serving as the representative for House District 74 in the Indiana General Assembly.
I look forward to working with you and hope this site serves as a valuable resource for you.
To best represent you and your family, it is important for us to stay connected. Please contact me with any questions, thoughts or input you have about issues impacting you and your family or business. I look forward to hearing from you and helping Indiana build on its success story.
House District 74
House District 74: Perry and Crawford counties and portions of Spencer, Dubois and Orange counties
Address: 200 W. Washington St., Suite 401, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Occupation: Owner and Operator of Patoka Lake Marina and Patoka Lake Winery; Crawford County Economic Development Director
Indiana State University
House District 74 includes all of Perry and Crawford counties and portions of Spencer, Dubois and Orange counties in southern Indiana. To find your House District, click here.
Farmers are critical to feeding the world and supporting our state and local economies. Unfortunately, many farmers are leaving the agriculture industry in pursuit of other careers offering health care benefits. Others are choosing to forgo medical treatment and insurance because the costs are too high. As vice chair of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, I strongly supported legislation allowing the Indiana Farm Bureau to offer affordable health benefits to its members and their families.
It’s easy to take for granted the men and women who respond at a moment’s notice to emergencies in order to keep us safe. We are very fortunate in our community to have professional first responders who protect us, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Let’s take a moment to support our first responders and thank them for the sacrifices they make on our behalf.
The Indiana House of Representatives and the American Legion, Department of Indiana joined forces at the Statehouse Monday to fill care packages for homeless Hoosier veterans.
The Indiana House of Representatives and the American Legion, Department of Indiana joined forces at the Statehouse Monday to fill care packages for homeless Hoosier veterans.
PHOTO CAPTION: (From left to right) State Reps. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) and Shane Lindauer (R-Jasper) pair sneakers with their suits to help kick off February as National Cancer Prevention Month on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, at the Statehouse. The Indiana House of Representatives participated in the Suits and Sneakers Challenge, an annual event hosted by the American Cancer Society and National Association of Basketball Coaches, to help raise awareness. According to the American Cancer Society, the use of tobacco products is linked to many types of cancer, and recommends avoiding this product to significantly reduce cancer risks.
This session, the Indiana House of Representatives is joining forces with the Indiana Legion to collect and distribute hygiene and food items to homeless veterans. Our goal is to assemble 500 care packages for the Indiana Legion to distribute statewide to veterans in need, and there are opportunities for everyone to help in this effort.
The Indiana House of Representatives voted unanimously in support of a bill co-authored by State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) that would decouple teacher performance evaluations from student test scores.
As we begin the 2020 legislative session, I will address three issues to support educators this year, including holding educators and schools harmless for ILEARN test results, improving the teacher licensing renewal process, and reducing the number of mandates placed on teachers and schools.
Indiana winters bring cold and extreme conditions, making it all the more important to ensure your home is ready. All Hoosiers should check to ensure that their homes are prepared so that everyone has a safe and warm winter.
STATEHOUSE (Nov. 6, 2019) – Ferdinand Elementary School was among 12 schools honored Monday by the Indiana Department of Education during a ceremony in Indianapolis for receiving a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School Award, according to State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty).
STATEHOUSE (Nov. 6, 2019) – Lincoln Trail Elementary School was among 12 schools honored Monday by the Indiana Department of Education during a ceremony in Indianapolis for receiving a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School Award, according to State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty).
STATEHOUSE (Nov. 6, 2019) – Holland Elementary School was among 12 schools honored Monday by the Indiana Department of Education during a ceremony in Indianapolis for receiving a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School Award, according to State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty).
It is easy to take for granted the blessings of liberty each of us have as Americans. Even in 2019, many around the world do not have the same rights and freedoms guaranteed to us. We would not be in this position without the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our country. This Veterans Day, let’s take a moment to thank our veterans for their bravery and do all we can to support them at home and abroad.
Indiana is investing in our local infrastructure at a higher level than ever before. Through Indiana’s Community Crossings Matching Grant Program, we are driving significant funding to local communities. These grants are part of an unprecedented effort to assist local governments with road and bridge projects to keep Indiana’s reputation as the Crossroads of America. Since 2016, our state’s local road and bridge investment increased 76%, with more than $850 million invested just this year.
STATEHOUSE (Oct. 11, 2019) – Local communities were recently awarded $1.9 million in state matching grants to accelerate road and bridge improvements, according to State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty).
With autumn comes the turning of the leaves, cooler mornings and for many, hunting and trapping season. As Hoosiers make their way through the great outdoors, it’s important they and landowners are aware of Indiana’s purple paint law.
STATEHOUSE (Aug. 27, 2019) – Applications are now open for the Indiana House Republican Internship Program, according to State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty).
Many take for granted the ease with which they are able to connect to the internet. Much of our day is spent online, from contacting friends and family to studying for school and shopping for groceries, the internet is an essential part of life. Despite the role internet plays in our lives, many rural parts of our state, including right here in our community, do not have quality internet access. Thanks to a new initiative, that could soon change.
I would like everyone in our community to be aware of an exciting opportunity with the Indiana House of Representatives. The House Republican Internship Program offers paid, spring semester internships at the Statehouse in Indianapolis to college students and recent graduates. This internship is a unique opportunity to build practical knowledge of state government, gain useful skills and develop professional relationships.
Note to the Press: Please include the following statement from State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) in your coverage of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s announcement of $22.1 million in funding for broadband expansion projects across the state. This funding will provide broadband infrastructure to more than 4,800 homes and commercial locations in 12 counties, including Spencer and Perry, as part of the initial round of the Next Level Broadband program. Bartels supported the state’s budget, which allows funds to be used for awarding broadband grants to rural areas:
STATEHOUSE (July 2, 2019) — State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) was appointed to serve on the Orange County Development Advisory Board.
This legislative session, lawmakers made record investments in K-12 education in Indiana. Ensuring our children receive quality instruction is a top priority, and it is important we continue to prepare them for success in the classroom and workplace.
Since 1990, Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program has helped thousands of low-income Hoosiers afford a college education and earn a degree. To join the program and qualify for the scholarship paying up to four years of undergraduate tuition at public colleges or universities in Indiana, participants must enroll before June 30 of a student’s eighth-grade school year. With the deadline quickly approaching, those who want to save on college costs need to visit scholars.in.gov and submit an application.
STATEHOUSE (May 20, 2019) – State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) recently welcomed local student pages to the Statehouse.
May is National Foster Care Month and a great opportunity to consider how we can help improve the lives of children in need. With over 26,000 children in Indiana’s child welfare system, the General Assembly enacted new laws providing the Department of Child Services with more resources to help vulnerable Hoosiers.
In psychology, there is a motivational theory called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which is represented in a pyramid with five levels. The needs on the bottom must be satisfied before moving up the pyramid. Starting at the bottom of the hierarchy and moving upwards, the needs include physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization. As a lawmaker, I often reflect on Maslow’s hierarchy to gauge how a law can ultimately help Indiana and Hoosiers progress to reach higher levels of growth.
Indiana’s tourism industry has grown tremendously, generating nearly $13 billion from visitor spending in 2018. Legislation I co-authored, now being considered as a new law by the governor, would help Indiana’s robust tourism industry continue to thrive through public-private partnerships.
Indiana is home to over 1 million students and 70,000 teachers. This session, legislators brought forth various proposals to support educators as they prepare students for success. I am sponsoring legislation that would increase the tax credit teachers use toward classroom materials and provide schools more flexibility when it comes to compensating educators.
STATEHOUSE (March 21, 2019) – The Indiana Senate passed State Rep. Stephen Bartels’ (R-Eckerty) legislation to increase the maximum operations fund levy for the North Spencer School Corp.
Improving public safety is always one of my top priorities, and I am sponsoring legislation focused on increasing law enforcement’s access to resources to ensure the safety of Hoosier children. In one year alone, nationwide there were over 9,000 individuals arrested for committing crimes against children over the internet. This proposal would establish the Internet Crimes Against Children Fund for law enforcement to use toward investigating cases in which children have fallen victim to internet criminals.
The 2019 legislative session reached the midway point, and significant progress was made to pass an honestly balanced budget and address issues facing Hoosiers. Of the 201 House bills moving to the Senate for consideration, 75 percent were passed with bipartisan support. After being supported by House members, two bills I authored to help our community are moving forward.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 25, 2019) – The Indiana House of Representatives today voted in support of legislation co-authored by State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) to allow reserve police officers to continue their law enforcement education while serving their communities.
Recently, the American Red Cross hosted the annual blood drive competition at the Statehouse. I was able to make a donation and speak with representatives about how Hoosiers in our area can support their goals and services. Volunteers and donors are always called to help the organization fulfill its mission of providing for our communities, armed services and those in need.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 12, 2019) – The Indiana House of Representatives voted in support of legislation co-authored by State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) to increase state tourism and its economic impact.
Indiana is home to some of the most hardworking and dedicated military service members and public safety officers. Legislation I’m working on would give those who protect our communities the benefits they deserve and address some of the issues they face while serving Hoosiers.
The 2019 legislative session is in full swing, and I am working on legislation that addresses issues both statewide and in our community. This year, I am spearheading a number of proposals that include efforts to provide more educational opportunities to students, support Hoosier veterans and provide a tax incentive to public safety volunteers.
Lawmakers recently returned to the Statehouse for the start of the 2019 legislative session. An ongoing discussion taking place in the General Assembly is whether or not a statewide hate crime statute should be enacted, and if so, in what form.
U.S. Congress recently passed a new farm bill. Farm bills are passed roughly every five years and include legislation impacting many aspects of agriculture, like best farming practices, access to healthy foods and funding for a variety programs. The most recent farm bill legalized the production of industrial hemp. I believe removing this product from the banned substances list will be beneficial to Indiana from an agricultural and economic development standpoint.
STATEHOUSE (Jan. 2, 2019) – State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) encourages students who want to learn more about state government to participate in the Indiana House Page Program during the 2019 legislative session.
STATEHOUSE (Dec. 13, 2018) – State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) was recently appointed to serve as vice chair of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.
Lawmakers recently met at the Statehouse for the Indiana General Assembly’s annual Organization Day. This ceremonial start to the legislative session provides an opportunity for lawmakers to come together, discuss important issues and focus on legislative priorities before the official start of session on Jan. 3.
With the start of August comes the beginning of a new school year and opportunities for students to learn and grow. To help drive student achievement and prepare young Hoosiers for the workforce, I supported new laws that focus on teaching employability skills, expanding STEM education and streamlining diploma options.
On July 1, a number of new laws went into effect benefitting Hoosiers across Indiana, and it is important to keep up to date with those new laws impacting our area. Two laws I worked on this year will help locate missing children and equip landowners with a new tool to mark their property.
STATEHOUSE (June 12, 2018) — Gov. Eric Holcomb on Monday at the Statehouse ceremonially signed into law legislation worked on by State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) to help Hoosier property owners.
STATEHOUSE (April 24, 2018) — Gov. Eric Holcomb on Monday at the Statehouse ceremonially signed into law legislation co-authored by State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) expanding Silver Alerts to include missing children with disabilities.
STATEHOUSE (April 5, 2018) — Local communities recently received grants for improvement projects from the U.S. Department of Housing and Rural Development, according to State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty).
STATEHOUSE (March 13, 2018) — A Heritage Hills High School graduate is gaining experience as an intern with State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) and his fellow members of the House of Representatives during the 2018 session.
Indiana recently created the Next Level Veterans initiative to pair veterans with Indiana’s more than 85,000 open jobs. More than half of the 200,000 service men and women who leave the military each year face a period of unemployment, making this initiative an important resource for our veterans and their families. Next Level Veterans is a one-stop shop focused on connecting our military personnel with these career opportunities.
RAISING AWARENESS: (From left to right) State Reps. Shane Lindauer (R-Jasper), Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) and Steve Bartels (R-Eckerty) pair sneakers with their suits on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis to draw attention to National Cancer Prevention Month. Each year, the Indiana House of Representatives participates in the Suits and Sneakers Challenge, an annual event sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. About 2.4 million Indiana residents, or 2 out of every 5 people now living in Indiana, will eventually develop cancer.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 2, 2018) — The Indiana House of Representatives voted yesterday unanimously in support of State Rep. Stephen Bartels’ (R-Eckerty) legislation to help Hoosier landowners designate private property boundaries by using purple markings.
Substance abuse is affecting Hoosier families, communities and lives statewide, and the stories are gut-wrenching. The opioid epidemic in our state is significantly impacting those who are most vulnerable, and we must find a way to support the children suffering by no fault of their own.
STATEHOUSE (Jan. 31, 2018) — The Indiana House of Representatives yesterday voted unanimously in favor of legislation authored by State Reps. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) and Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) to better track youth in adult court.
STATEHOUSE (Jan. 19, 2018) — State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) proposed legislation to help Hoosier landowners prevent trespassing by authorizing the use of purple paint to mark private property.
STATEHOUSE (Jan. 4, 2018) — Applications are open for students interested in participating in the Indiana House Page Program during the 2018 legislative session, according to State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty).
STATEHOUSE (Nov. 28, 2017) – State Reps. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) and Shane Lindauer (R-Jasper) were both recently appointed to serve on standing committees for the Indiana House of Representatives during the 2018 legislative session.
STATEHOUSE (Nov. 28, 2017) – State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) was recently appointed to serve on three standing committees for the Indiana House of Representatives.
STATEHOUSE (Nov. 16, 2017) – State Representative-elect Steve Bartels (R-Eckerty) took the oath of office today to serve as state representative for House District 74.
This month, I will be taking on a new opportunity as the director of law enforcement with the Department of Natural Resources. I feel honored and privileged to have served Southern Indiana as a state legislator for the last five years, and I appreciate the community for giving me that opportunity. During my time in the General Assembly, I tried to accurately represent and advocate for the sentiments of those in our area. We passed legislation to protect Hoosiers’ safety, grow the state economy and support the hardworking law enforcement officers of our state. In addition, the legislature made significant investments to maintain and improve the Indiana’s transportation infrastructure.
STATEHOUSE (Oct. 11, 2017) – “It has been both an honor and a privilege to serve Southern Indiana as a state representative for the past five years. During my time in the General Assembly, I worked on legislation to protect Hoosiers’ safety, grow our economy and support the hardworking law enforcement officers of our state. I have always been a strong advocate for the Department of Natural Resources and its mission to protect and enhance our vast resources. I am optimistic about my new role with the DNR, and I look forward to continuing my public service in this new position.”
For students considering college and post-secondary education, the cost of schooling is often a major factor. Fortunately, there are various forms of assistance available and ways to save in order to prepare for the expense of college.
October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in an effort to bring attention to and end domestic violence. On average, there are nearly 20,000 calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide each and every day. While it is incredibly important for these individuals to seek out helpful services, it is unacceptable there are still so many men, women and children involved in domestic violence situations on a daily basis. In Indiana, we can help reduce this number through raising awareness and implementing policies to protect the Hoosiers who are facing these circumstances.
Excellent teachers help our young Hoosiers develop into strong leaders. Studies show that high-quality, passionate teachers are one of the most important factors in student achievement and can make a major difference in the lives of their students. With the goal of bringing Indiana’s best and brightest into the profession, the Next Generation Hoosier Educator Scholarship is available for high-achieving scholars pursuing a career in education.
As you may know, the coasts of Texas and Louisiana were recently victim to Hurricane Harvey, which devastated the area. With record-breaking rainfall and wide-spread flooding, fully recovering from the effects of this hurricane will take years. While many Hoosiers have already aided in relief efforts, there’s still time to make donations assisting those impacted while also protecting yourself from potential scammers.
The Indiana House Republicans are offering unique internship opportunities to current college students and recent graduates. The House Republican Internship Program provides a chance to gain hands-on experience while participating in the legislative process at the Indiana Statehouse.
A number of young Hoosiers throughout the state suffer from certain forms of epilepsy that are unresponsive to traditional methods of medical treatment. Cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, has shown documented effectiveness in managing the symptoms of severe epilepsy in about 80 percent of cases like these. Last month, a law I co-authored went into effect permitting a person to possess CBD oil if they or someone in their care has been diagnosed with severe, treatment-resistant epilepsy.
Indiana is consistently ranked as a state with one of the best business climates in the nation. Policies enacted in recent years are creating an environment where businesses and hardworking Hoosiers have an opportunity to succeed. While this is a notable accomplishment, further cutting red tape for Indiana’s job creators is key to making our state an even better place for small businesses to expand and hire more Hoosier workers.
A strong education provides students with the tools they need to become college-and career-ready. Providing Hoosier students with opportunities to excel can lead to a robust workforce who is prepared to take Indiana to the next level. It is encouraging to see Indiana education making headlines for a number of positive reasons this summer, including more young Hoosiers taking challenging courses in high school and completing college.
Food and agricultural production is an integral aspect of Indiana’s legacy. Between farming, processing, storing and hauling, agricultural businesses contribute over $31 billion to the state’s economy and provide more than 245,000 jobs for Hoosiers. Food production businesses play a critical role in Indiana’s strong economy and are a major part of the U.S. food and agriculture system, helping to maintain the country’s position in the global market. Because of the industry’s significance to our state and world, a new Indiana Agriculture Strategic Plan works to improve all aspects of Indiana agriculture throughout the next decade.
Last week, Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Department of Transportation announced the construction plans for the first five years of the state’s “Next Level Roads” initiative. This initiative is a result of the sustainable and comprehensive infrastructure funding plan passed during the last legislative session and lays out the construction projects set to take place during the initial stage of the 20-year program. Under the Next Level Roads initiative, more than $61 million throughout the next five years will be provided to our local communities for road and bridge projects.
STATEHOUSE (July 14, 2017) – “Over the next five years, more than $61 million will be provided to our local communities for road and bridge projects. This funding was made possible through a comprehensive and responsible funding plan passed during this year’s legislative session. Nearly 416 miles of road lanes and about 40 bridges in this region will be rehabilitated or replaced, and other important infrastructure projects can move forward. These improvements will help maintain the role Southern Indiana plays in making our state the Crossroads of America.”
All Hoosiers deserve to feel safe within their homes and communities. In past years, our area has experienced a slight increase in the number of criminal offenses reported by the Indiana State Police. While this is an unfortunate circumstance, there are actions that can be taken to combat this trend and increase public safety. New laws recently enacted will protect Indiana residents by better identifying dangerous criminals and addressing high-crime areas.
STATEHOUSE (July 6, 2017) — State Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth) was recently selected to serve on the Interim Study Committee on Public Safety and Military Affairs.
We have officially reached the start of summer, and there will be plenty of sunny days ahead of us. This time of year is perfect for getting outdoors and discovering all that our state has to offer. Indiana is home to 24 state parks featuring different attractions like dunes, lakes, rivers and caves, offering plenty of places for Hoosiers to explore. If you’re looking to spend your summer close to home, our area offers a number of outdoor adventures for the whole family.
Indiana is currently experiencing high levels of illegal drug use, particularly with meth, heroin and unprescribed opioids. In 2014 alone, there were over 450 deaths related to opioid overdoses in Indiana, while nearly 3,000 Hoosiers had to be hospitalized due to drug use. More Americans die each year from drug overdoses than motor vehicle accidents.
Indiana’s unemployment rate is continuing to fall each month. In general, economists agree that a rate below 5 percent indicates a strong economy. Currently, our statewide unemployment rate is at 3.6 percent. This is lower than the national average of 4.4 percent, and it is lower than all four of our bordering states.
STATEHOUSE (June 5, 2017) — Gov. Eric Holcomb today ceremonially signed into law legislation authored by State Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth) aiming to reduce fatalities of young Hoosiers riding off-road vehicles.
Recently, Indiana was ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report for having the top state government in the country. In addition to receiving this honor, Indiana is being recognized for other noteworthy achievements.
Members of the military and law enforcement officers diligently serve and protect our communities, state and nation. This session I supported legislation that will help these individuals receive benefits they have earned.
STATEHOUSE (May 19, 2017) — Local students planning to pursue a career in education are among the recipients of this year’s Next Generation Hoosier Educator Scholarship, according to State Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth).
This session, I supported a number of new laws to enact policies and provide resources in the hopes of protecting Hoosiers throughout the state.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 7, 2017) – The Indiana House of Representatives passed a bill authored by State Reps. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) and Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth) that would expedite teacher licenses for military spouses whose husbands or wives are assigned to a duty station in Indiana.
When high school graduation approaches, the question of whether to pursue further education lingers in the minds of many students. Throughout this booklet are addresses, phone numbers and websites which may be very helpful in a student’s search for the right school.Download
This guide contains information on state and federal assistance programs for senior citizens, as well as tax deduction information, identity theft protection and other helpful resources.Download
This guide contains information on state and federal programs available for our veterans, along with additional information pertaining to legacy and honor.Download
This booklet gives an overview of Indiana's state agencies and includes contact information.Download
Did you know that Indiana is the 15th largest state? We are also the second largest producer of popcorn in the country. Indiana has a rich, fascinating history, and this guide contains fun facts and other interesting items related to our Hoosier heritage.Download
Color your way through Indiana government in this exciting coloring book!Download
Learn how laws are made in Indiana and where to find important resources like committee calendars, bill proposals and legislative archives.Download