State Rep. Earl Harris Jr. (D-East Chicago) was recognized by The Association of Retired Members of the Indiana General Assembly (ARMIGA) with the 2022 Civility in Government Award on Thursday, March 3.Each year, the ARMIGA recognizes one member from each legislative caucus who “Shows courtesy and respect to other members and the public,” “Exhibits politeness and appreciation for the rights and responsibilities of others,” “Communicates to develop trust and find common ground to reach resolution,” “Maintains emotional control and demeanor so as to reflect positively on and to generate respect for the General Assembly,” and “Holds the belief that the legislature is a valuable institution and that is a privilege to serve.” The first Civility in Government Awards were given in 2016.
State Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville) was the House Republican winner of the award. … This session, Harris worked with a number of Republican legislators to pass key policy initiatives to the governor’s desk.
- House Enrolled Act 1242, co-authored by Harris, instructs the Indiana Department of Administration (IDOA) to expand contracts with minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses and nonprofit agencies for individuals with disabilities.
- Senate Enrolled Act 294, co-sponsored by Harris, reforms the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy Training Board by creating updated statewide policies, training programs and minimum standards for certain best practices.
- Senate Enrolled Act 251, co-sponsored by Harris, adds Indiana to the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, and allows certain medical professionals in other states to practice in Indiana.
Saunders’ 10th Statehouse bake sale and auction raised more than $5,000 for cancer research, according to a news release. The funds are presented to the American Cancer Society. Saunders began the fundraiser in 2011 when two Indiana House of Representatives staff members were diagnosed with cancer. Both women have now been cancer-free for more than a decade. State lawmakers, spouses and staff members donate items to sell or be auctioned. This year’s items included a 1940s painting of the Indiana Statehouse that sold for $725, photographs signed by former presidents and a signed West Wing poster. “It’s been an honor to put on this event and bring legislators and staff together for bipartisan fun that goes to a great cause,” Saunders said in the release. “Cancer has affected nearly everyone in some fashion, so it was heartwarming to see the generosity of everyone coming together to help fund research for a cure.” Saunders is retiring from the House after the current session.