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AARON FREEMAN

Republican Birth Date:

Aaron Freeman is a former Marion County deputy prosecutor who won election to the Indiana Senate in 2016 after the long-time incumbent, Republican Sen. Patricia Miller, decided against seeking another term. The district has been reliably Republican for many years, and Freeman was reelected in 2020 with 60% of the general election vote.

Freeman had dismissed a call for him to quit the 2020 campaign after a 2016 interview he did on the TBS show, Full Frontal, at the Republican National Convention resurfaced. In that interview, he dismissed the Black Lives Matter movement and denied the existence of unjustified police action shootings. Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Gary, called his 2016 remarks callous and said he should quit the campaign for re-election. Freeman told The Indianapolis Star that raising the video after four years was a politically motivated stunt.

Freeman emerged as one of the strongest voices against a hate crimes law in the 2019 legislative session that would explicitly list categories of individuals to be protected, such as by gender identity, gender or sex. The law, Senate Bill 198, that finally passed and was signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb allows judges to impose longer sentences for bias-motivated crimes, which are referenced in an older bias crime law that does call out disability, race, religion and sexual orientation, among others.

In the 2020 session, Freeman was among a group of lawmakers who added an amendment to House Bill 1279 to slow or potentially halt the expansion of new rapid transit bus lines in Indianapolis. The bill originally dealt with transportation projects in the northwest corner of Indiana but threatened a project approved by Indianapolis and Marion County voters as well as the Democrat-controlled city-county council. The amendment ended up being watered down to requiring IndyGo, the city’s transit system, to raise a certain percentage of the rapid transit costs from private parties. – Janet Williams

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

(800) 382-9467
200 West Washington Street Indianapolis, IN 46204
http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/legislators/legislator_aaron_freeman_1

EDUCATION

  • BS, Bradley University
  • JD, School of Law, University of Dayton

COMMITTEES

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KEY VOTES

SB 198-2019 (Sentencing, bias crimes). Allowed longer sentences in crimes based on personal characteristics, stripped of references to sexual orientation, gender identity and race. Yes

SB 516-2019 (Regulation of hemp). Allowed cultivation and regulation of hemp products in Indiana, did not change marijuana laws. No

HB 1001-2019 (State budget). Set funding for state agencies and services, including 2.5% annual increases for education, though not directly for teacher salaries. Yes

HB 1004-2019 (School safety). Increased access to funding for security systems and resource officers, was stripped of provisions for mental health screening. Yes

HB 1015-2019 (Various gaming matters). Allowed sports betting statewide and table games in more casinos, relocated a casino in Gary and authorizing a new one in Terre Haute. Yes

SB 1-2020 (Tobacco and vaping). Raised from 18 to 21 the legal age to buy tobacco or vaping products in Indiana. Yes

SB 148-2020 (Zoning and housing matters). Was amended to overrule local tenant protection measures like those in Indianapolis, Bloomington and Merrillville. Vetoed by governor. Yes

HB 1004-2020 (Health matters). Controlled surprise billing for out-of-network and other costs. Yes

HB 1070-2020 (Distracted driving). Made it an infraction to handle a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. Yes

HB 1414-2020 (Electric generation). Prohibited utilities from closing coal-fired generating plants without permission from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Yes

TOP CONTRIBUTORS

James B. Altman II, $10,000

Anthony Smith, $10,000

Ray Skillman, individual, $9,000

Kelley Automotive Group, $5,000 (total)

Russell Flagle, $5,000

Rodric Bray for State Senate, $5,000

In addition, Freeman’s campaign committee has 15 separate $2,000 donations from Ray Skillman corporate subsidiaries for a total of $30,000. All were made in 2019.

RATINGS

Indiana Manufacturers Association Positions 88
Indiana Manufacturers Association Lifetime Positions 77
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Positions (4 Year Average) 83
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Positions 83
LEAP Forward Positions (Indianna) 0
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Positions 40
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Lifetime Positions 49
Indiana AFL-CIO Positions 44
Indiana Manufacturers Association Positions 75
Indiana Manufacturers Association Lifetime Positions 71

DISTRICT

Population: 129,932

Race/Ethnic Origin: 84.6% white, 7.6% black, 2% Asian, 3.6% other, 2.3% two or more, 73.1% white non-Hispanic, 6% Hispanic.