The General Assembly continues to put forth legislative proposals that will provide many benefits for Hoosiers across the state. As changes are implemented, I am confident that Hoosiers will begin to see the positive effects of our legislative efforts in their own personal situations. I consider it an honor and a privilege to serve the constituents of House District 23. I will continue to do my best to support programs that enhance the lifestyle in rural and small-town Indiana.
Speaker Pro Tempore
STATE REP. BILL FRIEND
Indiana House of Representatives: 1992 – present
House District 23: Includes portions of Cass, Fulton and Miami counties.
Address: 3340 W 900 N, Macy, Indiana 46951
317-232-9981 (During Session)
765-985-3885 (Outside of Session)
State Representative Bill Friend (R-Macy) was first elected to serve the constituents of House District 23 in 1992. During his tenure at the Statehouse, Representative Friend has been a ranking member of the House Republican Leadership. Representative Friend was the Republican Floor Leader from 2002-2004 and was selected to serve as Majority Floor Leader after House Republicans won the majority in the 2004 election. Representative Friend's most recent appointment was the Republican Speaker Pro Tempore for the 119th Indiana General Assembly.
As owner and operator of Friend Farms and President of Green Acres Ham LLC, Representative Friend is a strong advocate for advancing rural communities across the State of Indiana. Throughout his career at the Statehouse, he has served on the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Natural Resources Committee, Statutory Committee on Interstate and International Cooperation and the Committee on Joint Rules. He also served on the House Ways and Means Committee from 1994-2002.
During the 2005 session, Representative Friend authored legislation that collected money from Indiana's cigarette tax to be dedicated to the Clean Water Fund within the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) budget. The Clean Water program will ensure productivity of Indiana soil and reduce the cost to taxpayers for cleaning ditches and waterways, which will ensure clean drinking water. Thanks to Representative Friend's leadership, this money will fund a popular program that has never been properly funded.
Representative Friend has also been a leading advocate for alternative energy by authoring and sponsoring legislation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Representative Friend's energy initiatives provide tax incentives for the production and use of alternative fuels. These initiatives will also help move Indiana forward economically by using some of the state's most abundant resources: corn and soybeans.
Outside of the Statehouse, Representative Friend contributes a significant amount of time to his community. He has served as the Allen Township Trustee and Assessor, Miami County Auditor, Vice President of the Miami County Council, Peru-Miami County Economic Development Corporation, Grissom Redevelopment Authority Treasurer, and Solid Waste District Fiscal Officer.
Representative Friend is a 1967 graduate of North Miami High School and 1971 graduate of the University of Indianapolis, receiving a B.A. in Biology. He currently resides in Macy, Indiana with his wife, Ann. They have three children, Chris, Mandy and Daniel, and two grandchildren, William and Sara Ann. Representative Friend also attends Mexico Baptist Church, where he has been a Sunday School Teacher for over 25 years.
Civic & Political Experience
House District 23 is comprised of the majority of Miami County and portions of Fulton and Cass counties in central Indiana.
Earlier this year, the Indiana Department of Transportation released a proposal to install J-turn intersections on U.S. Highways 24 and 31 in Miami, Marshall and Cass counties. They stated the purpose of these projects was to enhance safety at key intersections. INDOT maintains that J-turn intersections will help prevent T-bone collisions that often cause serious injury or death. After months of conversations, INDOT recently withdrew their proposal and said they will re-evaluate these intersections. The decision was met with nearly unanimous and gleeful approval.
STATEHOUSE (Nov. 14, 2017) – The Indiana Department of Transportation will not install J-turns at intersections along U.S. Highways 31 and 24 at this time, according to State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) and State Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport).
STATEHOUSE (Nov. 7, 2017) — Caston Jr.-Sr. High School and Peru High School were among 130 schools honored during Monday’s Indiana Dual Credit Recognition Ceremony at the Statehouse, according to State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy).
STATEHOUSE (Nov. 2, 2017) — The Indiana State Police recognized Chaplain John “Jack” Hess for his service as a volunteer police chaplain Thursday in Indianapolis, according to State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy).
STATEHOUSE (Oct. 19, 2017) – Applications to intern with the Indiana House Republicans during the 2018 legislative session are due Oct. 31, according to State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy).
This past Tuesday, I partnered with Farm Bureau to host a public meeting on proposed J-turn projects that could be constructed along U.S. Highways 31 and 24 in Miami County. The meeting was well attended with over 160 people in the audience. I’m glad so many were able to come out and share their concerns with INDOT.
STATEHOUSE (Sept. 21, 2017) — Local communities will receive state matching grants to improve roads and bridges, according to State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy).
State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) will join community leaders, members of Farm Bureau and representatives from INDOT to discuss proposed J-turns on U.S. Highway 31 and U.S. Highway 24.
STATEHOUSE (Aug. 18, 2017) – Hoosier job seekers now have access to new resources to find better-paying jobs thanks to the recently launched Next Level Jobs initiative, according to State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy).
STATEHOUSE (July 13, 2017) — “It is encouraging that our local communities will now have more than $73 million to invest in our roadways. This added funding will go a long way in resurfacing nearly 300 miles of roads in our area. Keeping our roads and bridges safe and functioning for Hoosiers and visitors to travel on is very important, and investing in our regional infrastructure will help Indiana maintain its reputation as the Crossroads of America.”
STATEHOUSE (July 6, 2017) — State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) was recently named to two summer study committees, which examine assigned topics, gather testimonies and recommend potential legislation.
Recently, I’ve had conversations with veterans and veteran groups in our community to ensure that our brave military men and women are fully supported during and after their service to our country.
STATEHOUSE (May 18, 2017) — State Reps. Bill Friend (R-Macy) and Mike Karickhoff (R-Kokomo) honored First Farmers Bank and Trust President and CEO Gene Miles for his contributions to the agricultural banking community with a resolution on Thursday.
STATEHOUSE (May 17, 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. Bill Friend (R-Macy).
We just experienced the final days of the 2017 legislative session. Back in January, we started with a discussion on road and bridge maintenance, and we ended it the same way.
STATEHOUSE (April 26, 2017) — State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) recently welcomed student pages to the Statehouse.
STATEHOUSE (April 21, 2017) – State Rep. Bill Friend’s (R-Macy) legislation to allow the use of cannabidiol oil for treatment-resistant epilepsy could soon become law.
The Logansport Chamber of Commerce hosted a third house meeting on Saturday morning, and all our state representatives were able to attend, along with State Sen. Randy Head. Thirty or so constituents were in attendance, and they asked very thoughtful questions. There were questions about education funding, mental health and addiction funding and, of course, highway maintenance funding.
We recently held a meeting of the Indiana Legislative Rural Caucus. It’s a bipartisan group of lawmakers who meet to discuss issues affecting rural Indiana. We have talked about and heard presentations on everything from schools to healthcare. Last week, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch addressed the group and spoke encouragingly about her efforts to promote economic development projects in rural Indiana.
Third house meetings are get-togethers your elected officials schedule to meet the public and have healthy give-and-take discussions about pressing issues. This past Saturday, Sen. Randy Head and I had two morning meetings: one in Kewanna, Fulton County and another in Peru, Miami County. Sen. Head and I traveled together from my home to Kewanna and met around 50 people at the downtown library. Attendees questioned us about the budget, education funding, the gas tax and solar energy. It was a very friendly meeting and lots of information was exchanged.
STATEHOUSE (March 29, 2017) – Legislation authored by State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) that would give truck drivers some leeway when transporting wood products passed out of the Senate unanimously.
STATEHOUSE (March 27, 2017) – The Indiana House of Representatives supported legislation sponsored by State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) that would change victim notification requirements with a vote of 97-0 on Monday.
At this point in the 2017 session, the legislature is still hearing bills in committee and hammering out some of the final details. There’s still several weeks to go, meaning for the larger issues, like the budget and road funding, nothing is set in stone or even wet concrete yet. I’m still working on a number of bills that are making their way through the legislative process.
Individuals in our community are continuing to receive recognition for their career accomplishments. It is very encouraging to see the president of Security Federal Savings Bank, Annette Russell of Logansport, on the cover of Hoosier Banker Magazine. Annette is currently the chair of the Indiana Bakers Association, where I know she provides excellent leadership and guidance. Congratulations, Annette!
STATEHOUSE (March 14, 2017) – The Indiana House of Representatives supported State Rep. Bill Friend’s (R-Macy) legislation providing local governments more options to maintain war memorials Tuesday with a vote of 92-0.
As the second half of session begins, it is important for everyone to understand that during the first two months of session, ideas are introduced and explained. The final months are when all the hard decisions are really made. We have been discussing bills that propose to change the Indiana Code. As those bills get finalized, we will soon vote on the final versions. Making and changing law is not easy. Our forefathers intended for it to be a careful, deliberate process.
STATEHOUSE (March 6, 2017) – State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) recognized Brenda Bowman, the 2016-2017 Indiana Rural Teacher of the Year, for her devotion to education Monday in the House chamber.
STATEHOUSE (March 3, 2017) — State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) recently welcomed the following student pages to the Statehouse:
Attending the third house meeting in Logansport was an enjoyable experience. About 35 taxpayers came to the Westside Diner to listen to Sen. Randy Head, Rep. Don Lehe and myself discuss legislation. After presentations from the legislators, patrons asked questions and gave their input.
This February has got to go down in history as the mildest ever. The daffodils and lilies are coming out of the ground with no regard for a coming freeze and snowfall. We live with the weather provided, but this season is very odd.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 21, 2017) – State Rep. Bill Friend’s (R-Macy) legislation to allow the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil for severe epilepsy passed out of the Indiana House of Representatives Tuesday with a vote of 98-0.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 20, 2017) – State Rep. Bill Friend’s (R-Macy) legislation to provide Miami County with flexibility in how it funds the maintenance and operation costs of its county jail passed out of the House of Representatives with a vote of 84-12.
As the legislative session continues, there are a few issues that I have been working to address. I authored a number of bills that I think would provide benefits to not only the people in our community, but Hoosiers across the state.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 15, 2017) – The House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code advanced State Rep. Bill Friend’s (R-Macy) legislation to legalize the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil to the House floor today with a vote of 8-0.
Thank you to everyone who returned my legislative survey. It is very helpful to have input from constituents on major issues. Most comments overwhelmingly asked where the Hoosier Lottery money is being spent in relation to a proposed gas tax increase to fund roads. Many added that the lottery was initially pitched to Indiana as a financial benefit for roads and education. Here is a breakdown of how lottery funds are actually used.
A large part of being a state representative is being approachable and available to the public. I try to attend the Third House meetings held in each county of District 23. Recently, I attended a meeting in Rochester because I represent Liberty Township in Fulton County. Meetings at Rochester have always been well-attended, but this one was outstanding.
Recently, Gov. Eric Holcomb gave his first State of the State address to a joint session of the Indiana General Assembly. His message was well delivered and contained points of his legislative agenda. He first mentioned the need for an honestly balanced budget for the next biennium. Gov. Holcomb noted how important it is to have a strong financial position to maintain Indiana’s AAA credit rating. We should not take for granted that having the highest possible bond rating with all three credit rating agencies benefits all local government as they finance operations and projects.
STATEHOUSE (Jan. 23, 2017) – State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) recognized Indiana Teacher of the Year Jitka Nelson at the Statehouse Wednesday for her dedication and commitment to education.
The campaigns, elections and inaugurations are now over. We have new leadership at the federal, state and local levels. It is time for all of us to shake hands, put our minds together and unite our country. We have been polarized for far too long. I pray that new leadership from President Trump, on down to the local officials, will provide a fresh, new, productive government. Please join me in encouraging our leaders and wishing them all the best. If they succeed, we all succeed.
STATEHOUSE (Jan. 17, 2017) – Indiana State Police statistics indicate a 35 percent decline in statewide methamphetamine lab seizures during 2016, according to State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy).
Yes, it’s true. The 2017 General Assembly is back in session. It is difficult to comprehend, but time marches on, and the lawmakers are now working on new legislation. I am especially honored that the voters have given me the opportunity to represent District 23 for two more years. It is a privilege to serve our community.
STATEHOUSE (Jan. 4, 2017) — Applications are now open for students interested in participating in the Indiana House Page Program, according to State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy).
STATEHOUSE (Dec. 27, 2016) — State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) recently received a Sagamore of the Wabash from Vice President-elect Gov. Mike Pence.
STATEHOUSE (Dec. 19, 2016) — State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) was recently selected to serve on the House Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, the House Committee on Environmental Affairs and the House Committee on Natural Resources.
STATEHOUSE (Nov. 22, 2016) — State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) joined fellow legislators at the Statehouse today for the Indiana General Assembly’s Organization Day.
STATEHOUSE (Oct. 27, 2016) – State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) and State Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport) presented Indiana Teacher of the Year Jitka Nelson with a Sagamore of the Wabash on Thursday for her dedication and commitment to education.
STATEHOUSE (Oct. 13, 2016) – The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to pay for 80 percent of unforeseen costs in a Logansport road project after meeting with State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) and State Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport).
STATEHOUSE (Oct. 6, 2016) – Cass County was recently awarded over $2.4 million in federal funding from the Indiana Department of Transportation for a reconstruction project on County Road 400 S, according to State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy).
STATEHOUSE (Aug. 26, 2016) — Local communities received state matching grants this week to improve roads and bridges, according to State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy).
STATEHOUSE (Aug. 25, 2016) – “My thoughts and prayers are with all those who were impacted by the storms Wednesday. I am extremely thankful that there were no lives lost or reports of serious injury,” Friend said. “I’ve called upon the governor to provide the highest support to the areas that were impacted. Thank you, Gov. Pence, for all that you have already done for us. As we work together to rebuild, I know that our community will fully recover.”
STATEHOUSE (Aug. 15, 2016) — The Weishaar Farm was recognized on Friday with a Hoosier Homestead award for 100 years of family farm ownership, according to State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy).
The Weishaar Farm, located in Miami County, has been in operation since 1914 and received the Hoosier Homestead Centennial Award during a ceremony at the Indiana State Fair.
STATEHOUSE (May 24, 2016) — State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) attended Fire Ops 101 at the Peru Fire Department today, where he learned about what it takes to be a firefighter.
The Indiana General Assembly has adjourned Sine Die, meaning we have completed our business for the 2016 legislative session. It was an extremely productive session filled with several legislative accomplishments, including addressing road funding and ISTEP and supporting farmers. In January, House Republicans set a goal to fund Indiana’s infrastructure needs. During the last few weeks of session, lawmakers from both chambers crafted a plan together that will address our immediate road funding needs, while ensuring legislators come back next year during the budget session to discuss a more long-term plan.
The Statehouse is extremely busy right now. With standing committees done meeting, both Representatives and Senators are meeting in conference committees seeking the best results. Once both chambers agree on the final product, bills will then be eligible for consideration by the governor to be signed into law.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 29, 2016) — State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) recently welcomed the following student pages to the Statehouse:
With the end of session just weeks away, legislation is being debated and voted on. As your state representative, it is my duty to listen to your thoughts and opinions and vote in our district’s best interest. I greatly appreciate your continued input this session, as it helps me represent your voice at the Statehouse.
It's an observation I made in a previous column, but it must be repeated: Fulton County can really turn out a crowd for a third house. Last Saturday morning, with the temperature at four degrees, there were 100 people at the legislative informational meeting. The Chamber and Farm Bureau sponsored the get-together to discuss pending legislation and hear local concerns. I want to congratulate the residents of Rochester and Fulton County for their active involvement in self-government. As I told them, ‘Our democracy does not work without participation.’ Those folks turn out, and they speak up!
The legislature has officially passed the halfway point. The deadline for bills to be heard and passed out of their chambers of origin has come and gone. Many bills have switched chambers as both the Senate and House finished deliberation on their respective bills, while most did not advance. Ultimately, there is only so much time to seriously consider proposals. I would like to review a handful of important bills concerning education, highway funding, fighting methamphetamine labs, Sunday alcohol sales and police body cameras.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 12, 2016) – State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) welcomes local resident, Abigail Smith, to the Statehouse where she is interning with the House of Representatives during the 2016 legislative session.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 8, 2016) — State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) recently welcomed the following student page to the Statehouse:
Maintaining Hoosier highways and roads is a constant, ongoing obligation. Whatever the price of gas might be, potholes must be filled and roads must be maintained. If no action is taken in how we fund road construction and maintenance, we will all face mounting costs in terms of traffic congestion and road surface conditions. Already, the average Hoosier spends $366 per year in car repairs stemming from road quality. To address our current funding shortfalls and future needs, House Republicans proposed and passed House Bill (HB) 1001. This road funding bill was built upon three principles: fiscal responsibility, data-driven metrics and sustainable funding. All three are essential in maintaining a safe, efficient roads system to drive our economy; we do not want to create and leave a long-term debt for our children and our grandchildren in the form of crumbling and obsolete transportation infrastructure.
I would like to encourage you to attend the ISM College Planning event in our community.
During the legislative session, Saturday meetings in the district are called Third House Sessions. The meetings are usually sponsored by Indiana Farm Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce, and the public is invited and encouraged to participate. Area legislators speak and then field questions and concerns from the audience. This past Saturday, I attended a Third House in Fulton County at the Akron Community Center. The attendance was excellent! Over 60 citizens were in the audience and very much engaged. State Reps. Doug Gutwein (R-Francesville), Tim Harman (R-Bremen) and myself, along with Sen. Randall Head (R-Logansport), complimented Fulton County for participating in their state government. It is heartwarming for elected officials to have the public attend and appreciate the work done by the Indiana General Assembly.
This session of the General Assembly is moving along at a rapid pace. Committees are hearing bills and discussing topics. There have been 430 House bills filed and 400 Senate bills filed.
INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 19, 2016)– State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) paired his sneakers with his suit today at the Statehouse to help raise cancer awareness.
The clock keeps ticking, days come and go and the weeks roll on by. Our family has learned through the events of 2015 that life continues regardless of what is thrown at us. We look forward to 2016, and the many blessings to come.
INDIANAPOLIS (NOV. 19, 2015) — “As a proud Indiana farmer, I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) said. “Agriculture is an integral part of our state’s economy, and I will continue to be a strong advocate for farm families and agricultural producers across the state.”
Today marks Veterans Day and an opportunity to thank our military members – both past and present – for their service to our nation.
It’s important we stand up for our men and women in uniform, and their families who have sacrificed so much in the name of freedom. We are blessed to live in a country where our rights are guaranteed and power belongs to the people.
STATEHOUSE — State Representative Bill Friend (R-Macy) congratulates the Leedy Farm and the Robert F. McConnell Farm in Miami County for receiving a Hoosier Homestead Award. Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann presented the awards to the families at the Indiana State Fairgrounds during a ceremony on Friday.
STATEHOUSE — House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) has announced the interim study committee assignments for the Indiana House of Representatives. State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) has been selected to serve on two study committees: the Interim Study Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Interim Study Committee on Environmental Affairs.
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Rep. Friend discusses supporting rural schools