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[r29] Column: Champion for Hoosiers makes history
Start Date: 8/18/2014 All Day
End Date: 8/18/2014
Entry Description
Champion for Hoosiers makes history

Two days ago, Indiana’s first woman Chief Justice Loretta Rush was officially sworn into office, which was an historic event for our state. We are fortunate to have some of the best state Supreme Court justices in the nation, like Chief Justice Rush, who serve with integrity and a strong commitment to fairness.

Our judicial system remains strong and it is because our justices’ have the legal expertise and experiences that set them apart, especially Chief Justice Rush. What I admire most about her is her dedication to children and protecting Hoosier families. 

When Justice Rush was serving as juvenile court judge, she helped implement a certified juvenile drug treatment court as well as initiate an assessment center for youth, which provided services around the clock. During her tenure, she also helped create and sustain more than twenty-five different youth programs, including the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program in Tippecanoe County. 

This program is designed to help neglected and abused children around the state, many of which are living in foster homes, who unfortunately lack legal representation during a court hearing.

Since the program first began, countless volunteers have dedicated their lives to learning the skills necessary to effectively represent some of our state’s most vulnerable children in the courtroom.

In Hamilton County, Shelley Hiles is the Director of the CASA program, and if you are reading this and participate in the program, I want to thank you for the work you are doing to protect these children in our community. CASA is always looking for help and more volunteers, so I encourage you to get involved with this great program and visit www.childadvocatesnetwork.org for more information.

Children are our future, and we must constantly be looking for better ways to protect them. In the Legislature, we passed several new laws this session to protect Hoosier children, like House Enrolled Act 1036. This new law establishes health, safety, education and training requirements for certain child care providers that received financial support from the Child Care Development Fund, which is a federal voucher program to assist low-income families obtain child care while they are working, going through training or earning their education.

I supported this bill to ensure that the state only provides support for safe and high-quality child care providers as well as prevent taxpayer dollars from going to ones that do not meet these basic requirements.

This new law was a great start, and I was proud to support legislation this session to better protect more children. However, legislation does not solve every problem impacting our youth, so I applaud the many selfless Hoosiers, like Chief Justice Rush, and our own Hamilton judges; Steven Nation, Daniel Pfleging, William Hughes, Wayne Sturtevant, Richard Campbell, Gail Bardach and Paul Felix, who continue to fight and advocate for Hoosier children. Their dedication at the local level as well as Chief Justice Rush at the highest court in Indiana can help make a difference in the lives of so many children across our state.

We need more people that stand up for Indiana’s most vulnerable, and I am pleased that one of those individuals has been tasked with leading our state’s highest court.

-30-

Representative Kathy Kreag Richardson (R-Noblesville)
Contact Information:
Name: Ben Gavelek
Phone: 317-232-9831
Email: ben.gavelek@iga.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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Entry Category:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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