A passion for helping Hoosiers

Posted by: Jessica Baker  | Friday, March 27, 2015

Southwest Indiana is a great place to live, work and raise a family. As your representative, I have worked hard this session to make decisions at the Statehouse that will not only strengthen our community for future generations, but also address some of the more critical issues we are facing like public safety.

As you may know, I have devoted much of my public service to making Indiana a safer place for all Hoosiers, and this year was no different. With public safety one of my top priorities, along with an agenda item for the House Republicans, much of my time this session has been devoted to addressing these issues in order to protect our most vulnerable members of society. This session, I was proud to work several pieces of legislation towards this goal.

As sponsor of Senate Bill 532, this legislation works to prevent and assist victims of human trafficking, which is a global epidemic. This measure creates the Human Trafficking Prevention and Victim Assistance Fund which works to prevent and support services that that provide assistance to victims of human trafficking. Revenue for this fund would be generated by property that was seized and used to commit crimes of human trafficking or prostitution. To ensure accountability and prevent government overreach, any property seized must be reported to the state.

Human trafficking takes away a person’s dignity, causes distress and destroys the lives of victims and their families. With 18.7 million victims worldwide, these crimes are deplorable and must be stopped. That is why I was proud to sponsor this legislation and remain committed to combatting and raising awareness about this global issue.

My passion for protecting Hoosiers and assisting those in need led me to author another piece of legislation, House Bill (HB) 1196. For children who end up in the justice system, this bill allows the courts to set up a dual status assessment team to better assess the child and determine whether or not they are in need of services. This allows the courts to take a closer look at some of the external factors and what is happening in a child’s life that could have caused them to commit a crime, working to reduce recidivism.

Approximately 3,100 children under the age of 18 were committed to the Department of Correction facilities, making Indiana third in the nation of the number of children in secured detention. With this program, children will receive a more specialized assessment which could address the true heart of the problem, altering the course of their future.

Like sessions in the past, I remain committed to authoring and supporting legislation that protects Hoosiers and assists those in need. It is my hope that we can all work together in combatting these issues moving forward. As always, if you have any questions about these, or other bills moving through the process, I encourage you to contact me by emailing h76@iga.in.gov or calling 317-232-9816.

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Rep. McNamara (R-Mount Vernon) represents portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties. She serves as the Vice Chair of Courts and Criminal Code Committee and is a member of Government and Regulatory Reform Committee, Judiciary Committee and the Select Committee on Government Reduction Committee.