Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation*
IFCL is a non-partisan Quaker lobbying group that strives for integrity, consistency and tenacity for truth. IFCL provides information about bills before the Indiana legislature. IFCL communicates with legislators and encourages dialogue.
Indiana Quakers have a wide variety of political views. Therefore, IFCL does not speak for all Quakers of Indiana, but speaks for the Indiana Friends who support IFCL.
EQUALITY OF PERSONS
IFCL supports equal legal rights for all persons. IFCL opposes discrimination or favoritism based on race, religion, gender, gender-identity, skin color, language, national origin, culture, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental condition, and economic or legal status.
IFCL supports a justice system that minimizes incarceration, maximizes rehabilitation, and seeks reconciliation and restoration as a healing response to crime and prevents harm to Indiana communities.
Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is not a satisfactory alternative to capital punishment, as it likewise does not take account of the possibility of rehabilitation.
- IFCL supports abolition of the death penalty.
- A repeal of mandatory minimum sentences is needed so that judges have discretion in sentencing.
- IFCL advocates for Indiana correctional facilities to meet international standards regarding the use of solitary confinement for prisoners. Correctional and detention facilities should discontinue the use of solitary confinement for prisoners younger than 21 and those diagnosed with mental illness.
- IFCL also supports adequate training and compensation for correctional employees.
- IFCL opposes the privatization of detention and correctional institutions.
IFCL supports the fair redistricting of the state for the state legislature and congressional districts and supports legislation to ensure the registration of all potential voters.
IFCL supports campaign finance reforms so that candidates for elective office are less dependent on large contributors that may seek preferential treatment. IFCL encourages full disclosure of campaign contributions prior to elections. IFCL supports consistency and accuracy in the manner in which votes are made, received and tabulated. There should be full, non-discriminatory access to the government, and disclosure regarding the way government officials conduct business.
- IFCL advocates for assistance programs that provide healthcare, material and social support so that families meet their minimal daily needs.
- IFCL supports child services that ensure the safety and well-being of each child in Indiana including opportunities to develop emotionally, educationally, and socially while protected from abuse and exploitation.
- IFCL supports economic policies that respect the rights of individuals and provides equality of economic and educational opportunities.
- IFCL supports a comprehensive public health approach to preventing substance misuse: treating individuals with substance abuse and supporting families struggling with the consequences of substance misuse.
- IFCL supports the availability of quality medical, dental and mental health care coverage for all. We support expansion of Medicaid coverage in Indiana. Basic and catastrophic health care coverage should be available for all. We strongly support Indiana accepting all federal dollars available for health care and easy access to the federal health care marketplace.
- IFCL supports comprehensive prescription drug coverage. IFCL believes no Hoosier should be left medically vulnerable due to one’s ability to afford prescription drugs.
- IFCL supports more treatment centers and better quality of care for those struggling with mental health issues. We encourage Indiana to establish and enforce high quality standards. The best available mental health care should also be available to those incarcerated in our state. We support medical treatment of drug addiction and mental illness rather than incarceration. We encourage state funding of rehabilitation programs and drug courts.
- IFCL seeks legislation that offers easier access for both rural and urban patients. No patient should be left without access due to commuting distance to a health care facility. We support health and wellness education programs that assist Hoosiers in being better informed as to health choices and healthy living.
- IFCL supports access to confidential reproductive care. Education and counseling should be made available to all people through private or governmental agencies.
ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY
- Biodiversity -- IFCL encourages new technology, sciences, and energy that prevent degradation of the earth's land, water, and decline in biodiversity. IFCL understands we are interconnected with our bio-diversified Earth.
- Reverence for Earth and Resources -- IFCL supports nurturing a reverence for the earth and its resources gifts from God for which we feel a responsibility to exercise prudent stewardship. Each individual and group should utilize the earth's resources in such a way that all creatures, including future generations, live in no less desirable an environment than our own. The earth cannot indefinitely continue to support our present rate of population growth in or use of nonrenewable resources.
IFCL encourages the end of wasteful depletion of nonrenewable resources that lead to deforestation and desertification. We strongly oppose the extreme extraction practices of tar sands mining and hydraulic fracturing (fracking), as well as pipelines and rail transportation of those products.
- Renewable Energy Sources -- IFCL supports the development and use of renewable energy. IFCL urges immediate steps to transition away from fossil fuels in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We encourage serious attempts to expand the development and utilization of alternative renewable energy such as wind and solar power rather than the use of exhaustible and polluting fossil fuels and unsafe nuclear power. Promoting green-collar industries & jobs benefits both our environment and our economy. In particular, we seek to encourage research into the possibilities of harnessing the powers of the sun, wind, and natural waste. In the meantime, we encourage the most efficient and environmentally responsible use of available fossil fuels to reduce the "carbon footprint" of human activities.
- Recycling -- IFCL supports voluntary and mandatory recycling of metals, glass, paper, and plastics in order to reduce road-side litter, waste and over-consumption of materials, and costs of waste disposal. We encourage the development of community recycling plants at convenient collection sites, and curb-side recycling. We seek the elimination of wasteful packaging and encourage the use of reusable containers and materials.
- Atomic Energy -- IFCL discourages the construction of new atomic electric generating plants because of the hazards of disposing of slow-decaying nuclear waste and encourages more research into responsible storage of radioactive wastes and the development of nuclear power that does not generate radioactive waste.
- Utility Rates -- IFCL supports economically just and equitable utility rate schedules for all gas, water, sewage and electricity customers.
- Air Pollution -- IFCL supports policies promoting cleaner air. We support measures to encourage modes of transportation such as walking, bicycling, and public transit.
- Water Pollution -- IFCL supports equitable and affordable access to clean water. It is imperative that means be developed by which water can be used and reused without degrading the chemical, biological, and aesthetic value of the lakes, rivers, and streams into which water flows or is stored. In order to encourage water conservation and equitable water rates, IFCL supports water prices that fairly reflect the costs of both obtaining it and purifying it. We encourage the state to require that the financial burden of removing wastes, other than those removed by natural water purification processes, be borne by those individuals or corporate entities which are responsible for creating the waste.
- Government Leadership -- IFCL supports the development of a State Office of Energy Conservation. We encourage sufficient funding for state agencies that regulate water and air pollution and land use. We support rigorous enforcement of laws governing pollution. We encourage hiring agency personnel according to individual merit and expertise. IFCL encourages the state to promote solar and wind energy. We invite governmental agencies to promote energy conservation by encouraging businesses, households, and organizations to practice it and model the practice themselves.
PEACE AND VIOLENCE
Conversion to Non-military Economy -- IFCL supports planning and carrying out programs to shift the state's economy to one less dependent on the military, in favor of one based more upon meeting human and social needs.
- IFCL supports legislation limiting the manufacture, sale, transport, possession, use, and distribution of firearms and ammunition.
- IFCL is fully aware that firearms legislation does not take the place of constructive measures to reduce crime and social disorganization. However, just as firearms are means to violent ends, we hope that firearms control will be a means of developing support for nonviolent methods of resolving problems, and contribute to a more peaceful society.
- IFCL supports a broad approach to nonviolence and nonviolent program development.
IFCL supports local and state government funding of public schools. We encourage adequate funding so that all of Indiana's children will have access to a good education. We also believe that children should be provided training in nonviolent conflict resolution including peace studies, alternatives to violence, and diversity awareness.
IFCL seeks legislation to require any school that allows military recruiters to speak to students or distribute information to them should also provide alternative information to students about military service.
IFCL endorses Friends' traditional opposition to gambling. We know that gambling is addictive-like to some, and that families may be made destitute because of gambling. Furthermore, gambling preys on the poor. With recognition, however, that some people will gamble, IFCL's policy addresses what we believe the State should do about gambling. We oppose state operation and sponsorship of gambling, and therefore urge that the Indiana lottery should be discontinued.
IFCL's policy with respect to immigrants is grounded on our conviction that all the peoples of the world share a common humanity, & deserve to be treated accordingly. Fair employment practices and fair laws as well as health and safety standards in the workplace should be enforced to prevent the exploitation of immigrant workers.
We support adequate resources to aid and teach people seeking naturalization.
(adopted by Policy Committee January, 2016)
*IFCL is grateful to the Friends Committee on Legislation of California for granting permission for the use of some language in the policy statement.