Around the House

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What are your state legislators doing on your behalf? The Indiana House Republicans host a podcast each week to answer this  question and talk about what’s happening in your state government. The podcast features one-on-one interviews with lawmakers who highlight new laws, events and other issues impacting Hoosiers.

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Don’t Get Scammed This Holiday Season

Online shopping is more popular than ever for its convenience, but comes with inherent pitfalls. Fortunately, most can be avoided. That’s why it is so important to make sure you are taking precautions when buying this holiday season.

Always protect personal information like your name, address and credit/debit card numbers by ensuring you are on a secure website. The easiest way to do that is to make sure the letter “S” appears at the end of HTTP in the URL code, and avoid using public Wi-Fi when making online purchases.

Be sure to look at the fine print to ensure you’re purchasing exactly what you want. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers use email to convince you they are from a reputable retailer, but always check the store’s official site to confirm it is the real deal. If purchasing gift cards, know the terms and the expiration date.

After buying online, it is likely those purchases will be delivered to your home. Most companies now offer notifications as to when your package arrives, and you can track the process for an approximate delivery time and date. But if you are unable to be at home, see if the retailer has an in-store pick up to ensure your items are not stolen. Work with a trusted neighbor or family member to watch each other’s properties and pick up delivered packages as soon as possible

When shopping at traditional retail stores, do not be an easy target for theft. Conceal your purchases in the trunk of a car or bring a blanket to cover them up if stored inside your vehicle.

Secure your wallet and cash at all times while out shopping, and make sure to check bank and credit card statements in a timely fashion to ensure there are no surprise or unnecessary charges. Use a credit card where possible as it is easier to dispute a charge than with a debit card.

Despite our finest efforts, bad actors are sometimes able to get the best of us. If you believe you are a victim of a scam, please file a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. A consumer complaint can be filed at or call 1-800-382-5516.

Shop Local Nov. 30

The holiday season is a time for family, friends and rejoicing. When you make your shopping list and prepare for the holidays, please consider supporting the small businesses in your local community, especially on Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is on Nov. 30 and is the perfect occasion to support the employers and entrepreneurs who make our communities unique. Local stores and businesses offer a wide variety of high-quality products and services. Additionally, when you support a small business, your money stays in the community. In fact, for every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S., approximately 67 cents stays in the area. So when you shop small, it makes a big impact.

There are over 500,000 small businesses in Indiana employing over 1.2 million Hoosiers. It cannot be overstated how important these entrepreneurs are to the state and their community. Chances are, family members, friends and neighbors work for or own a small business, and they deserve our support.

It’s been 10 years since the launch of Small Business Saturday, which was created during the Great Recession to drive awareness of small brick-and-mortar stores and their communities, especially around the holiday season. With the retail landscape evolving, it’s more important than ever to shop locally.

For many of these small businesses, Small Business Saturday is their biggest sales day of the year. Please show them your support on Saturday, Nov. 30, and beyond.

Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving

Each year on Thanksgiving, we count the many blessings in our lives. As we prepare for next week’s turkey feast and quality time with loved ones, let us also remember those less fortunate and consider how we can help others.

There are numerous ways to give back during the holiday season, especially on and after the Thanksgiving holiday. From putting together food baskets to volunteering at your local soup kitchen, there is no shortage of opportunities to lend a helping hand.

The United Way and the Salvation Army are great organizations hosting and facilitating a wide variety of ways and events for Hoosiers to donate their time and resources year round. Feeding America is another organization connecting Hoosiers with local food banks. For more ideas on how you and your family can give back this holiday season, click here.

Be it your time or a monetary donation, your contribution – no matter how small – can make a big difference in the life of a fellow Hoosier in need. Please consider how you can help others this holiday and beyond. We wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings, and may God bless you and your family.

Changing Lives Through Adoption

November is recognized as National Adoption Month, and this year’s focus is on adopting a child through the foster care system. There are currently more than 9,000 Hoosier children in foster care, and many of them are waiting to be adopted.

If you are able, consider welcoming one of Indiana’s most vulnerable into your life. A safe place to call home and a loving family can have a big impact on a child.

Many may think becoming an adoptive parent is difficult and costly, but most adults qualify after meeting these few requirements, including a background check, home study and 16 hours of training. There is no requirement for owning your home, being married or having children of your own. In fact, some children do better as an only child or in a single-parent household.

Throughout the month of November, the Department of Child Services is hosting events through the state. Click here to find a nearby event. Visit or call 888-25-ADOPT to learn about children eligible for adoption and how you can change a child’s life.

Nominate A Hoosier Artist

If you know an individual, group, organization, business or community that has made a significant contribution or positive impact on the growth, awareness, and strength of the arts in Indiana, please nominate them for a Governor’s Arts Award.

Since 1973, the Governor’s Arts Awards have celebrated the outstanding contributions of Indiana’s artists, arts organizations, volunteers, educators, local governments and corporate citizens. This biennial award is the state’s highest honor in the arts.

Award categories include Artist, Advocate, Community, Corporation/Organization, Educator and Emerging Artist.

In 2018, the first “emerging artist” award went to musician and Fort Wayne native, Addison Agen, who was a finalist on NBC’s “The Voice.”

Those nominated for the award must be or have been residents of the state of Indiana. Organizations and businesses nominated should have headquarters or operations in the state.

Nominations are due by Dec. 1, 2019. Click here to learn more and submit a nomination.

Support for the arts not only helps spark creativity and innovation in individuals, but can also unify communities and foster tourism. Indiana is home to a vibrant and growing art scene, and we want to recognize local artists and art advocates.

Find your polling place, ballot info

More than 4.5 million Hoosiers are registered voters and many of them will head to the polls for local elections on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

This election will cover most of Indiana’s cities and towns across the state. Hoosiers will have the opportunity to select their mayor, city clerk or city clerk-treasurer, judge of a city court and town council member or members.

Remember to bring your state-issued photo ID with you when heading to your polling place to cast your ballot.

State law requires voters to be at least 18 years old on Election Day, or 17 years old if they will turn 18 on or before the next general election, and live in their precinct for at least 30 days before the election.

The polls will be open between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Click here to find your polling place, with easy access to directions and addresses, and to see who will be on your ballot and other issues you might get to help decide in your area.

Early voting is already underway in Indiana for Hoosiers interested in casting their vote before Election Day. Visit to learn more about early voting in your area, or to check your voting status and learn more about election security.

Indiana unemployment at its lowest since 2000

Indiana’s unemployment dropped in September to its lowest level in nearly two decades. At 3.2%, the last time the Hoosier state reached this unemployment rate was December 2000.

According to Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development, the Hoosier state gained 1,700 construction jobs last month, resulting in 21,500 new construction employment opportunities so far this year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found Indiana’s labor force stands at 64.5%, which is higher than the national rate of 63.2%.

Compared to its neighboring states, Indiana is the only state with an unemployment rate under 4%, and we are under the national average of 3.5%. Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Montana tied with the Hoosier state for the 18th lowest jobless rate in the country.

Our state is also investing in workforce initiatives on behalf of employees and employers. Job providers in Indiana can take advantage of the Next Level Jobs initiative to connect with qualified workers. If you are a job seeker looking to add more skills to your tool box, you can also use this resource to help springboard into jobs in high-demand fields. For more information, visit

Indiana’s welcoming business climate continues to attract job providers. With our balanced budgets and AAA credit rating, our economy is strong and benefiting hardworking Hoosiers.

House Internship Application Deadline Oct. 31

The deadline to apply for the Indiana House Republicans’ paid internship is Oct. 31. College students and recent graduates interested in gaining hands-on experience and building their portfolios should apply online as soon as possible.

This internship takes place during the 2020 legislative session (January to mid-March) at the Indiana Statehouse and is full-time Monday-Friday. Interns receive biweekly compensation of $750. College sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students can earn course credit during the internship depending on their school and are eligible to apply for a $3,000 scholarship.

The Indiana House Republican Caucus internship is unlike many others. Aside from being a paid position, it offers the opportunity to gain meaningful and real-world work experience. Interns help state representatives in a variety of ways, including in the legislative department and in media relations and policy research. There’s also a need for a law student to work with our chief counsel and staff attorneys who oversee all House proceedings as lawmakers draft and file legislation.

Participants hone valuable job skills and build a strong network of professional contacts. With so many topics debated and industries affected by the legislative process, students from any major can benefit from this experience.

In fact, many former interns have used this opportunity to find jobs with the Indiana House Republicans, as well as with other state government agencies and in the private sector. This internship looks great on a resume and typically serves as a launching pad into other successful careers. Watch a video about a day in the life of an intern.

Don’t wait to apply for the Indiana House Republican Internship Program. Interviews have been ongoing and positions are already being filled. Remember: The deadline to apply is Oct. 31.

Free Smoke Alarms Available

In 2018, 93 people died from house fires across Indiana. Nationally, more than two-thirds of fatal fires occur in homes with no working smoke alarms.

To protect more Hoosiers, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security created the “Get Alarmed” program to provide free smoke alarms to Indiana residents.

The “Get Alarmed” program, managed by the Indiana Fire Marshal in partnership with the American Red Cross, aims to address an increase in house fires by providing up to three working smoke alarms to Hoosier households statewide.

The program accepts requests from fire departments and citizens for their primary residences. Click here to request a free alarm.

Last year, the IDHS received a federal Fire Prevention and Safety Grant of $512,000, helping to fund the purchase of 10,000 smoke alarms, and 1,000 SafeAwake deaf and hearing impaired alarms for the “Get Alarmed” program. The agency works with local fire departments and service providers to properly install the alarms and educate residents about fire prevention and safety. Remember to test your smoke alarms each month to make sure the batteries are still working and replace alarms every 10 years. To learn about fire safety and prevention tips, click here.

For more information on this program, click here.

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