Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lobbying for Joint Custody - IN Statehouse

Organization Day
18 November 2008
Indiana Statehouse

The Indiana General Assembly returned to the Statehouse today to welcome new members and implement some of the organizational framework for the upcoming session. The Assembly will reconvene in earnest on 06 January 2009.

I connected with Mike McCormick of the American Coalition of Fathers and Children who came in from Washington D.C. for the event. In the morning we met with a few key Representatives. Phyllis Pond, who represents a portion of Allen County, and Cindy Noe, who represents portions of Marion, Boone and Hamilton Counties, are both strong supporters of Shared Parenting who discussed PD3329 with us. I also introduced Mike to Jeff Thompson, who represents portions of Boone, Hendricks and Montgomery counties, another of our strong supporters of Shared Parenting.

We then had a wonderful lunch in the Rotunda with Cindy Noe and continued to discuss PD3329 and other issues. The House session convened at 1:00pm and the Senate at 1:15pm. Each lasted for about 45 minutes. Following the close of those sessions the hallways in the Statehouse made ‘Organization Day’ appear as an oxymoron with the complete chaos going on. So, we went to the House floor and made that our impromptu meeting room. There Mike met with the House leadership and I had additional discussion with Phyllis Pond and briefly spoke with Jim Buck, who is now a State Senator representing a portion of Boone County among others, before he was whisked away to another obligation.

We closed out our day making plans for future action and getting pledges of support from additional Representatives and Senators. The General Assembly will reconvene the first week of January. A bill on Joint Legal Custody will likely be set for hearings in late January. I was asked to present testimony to the legislature at that time. Members of the public are also invited to attend. Anyone wishing to present testimony then should contact me. Watch for additional updates on the progress of the Joint Legal Custody Bill.

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