The Indiana Citizen

The Crossroads of Civic Engagement

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JEFFREY THOMPSON

Republican Birth Date:

Indiana House District 28 covers the furthest reaches of western suburban Indianapolis in Hendricks and Boone counties, much of it farm country. It has been represented since 1998 by Republican Jeffrey “Jeff” Thompson, a high school teacher now retired. Though not the chamber’s most vocal advocate of social conservatism, it is probably on that issue that Thompson has drawn the most news coverage. In 2012, he was blocked in attempts to add amendments to three different bills to revoke specialty license plates for the Indiana Youth Group, a support group for LGBT young people; the group later lost its plates on an administrative technicality.

Thompson also made headlines in 2015 with his introduction of a bill to create a state-funded Indiana Office of Marriage Promotion with the goal “to increase the number of children born to married parents” and to “promote the following ideas: (1) Children born to married parents are more likely to better develop academically and socially. (2) Children born to married parents are more likely to be physically and emotionally healthier. (3) Children born into single parent households are more likely to live in poverty, commit crimes, commit suicide, use illegal drugs and tobacco, drop out of school, be an unemployed adult, and be incarcerated.” The bill was assigned to a House committee and did not advance further.

The bromide that it’s not over until it’s over has its own meaning in the Indiana General Assembly; bills that appear safely headed toward passage can be derailed at the last minute, and new provisions can suddenly appear through amendment, even in the final hours of a session, and be passed into law. More than most legislators, Thompson has been associated with the latter. In 2013, he successfully added an amendment ahead of a key legislative deadline to bar Indiana schools from deducting union fees from teachers’ paychecks; the amendment was added to a bill on an unrelated topic. Late in the 2020 session, one of Thompson’s bills was amended in the Senate to allow charter schools to share in the funding gained through tax referendums; with Thompson’s backing, the amended bill was passed and signed into law.

Though adjacent to suburban areas that have undergone some Democratic realignment of late, Thompson’s district is solidly Republican; all its precincts went for Trump over Clinton in 2016, most by a 2-to-1 margin. Thompson tends to win by similar or wider margins when Democrats field a candidate in the general election, including in 2020. – Kevin Morgan

CONTACT INFORMATION

(800) 382-9841
200 West Washington Street Indianapolis, IN 46204
http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/legislators/legislator_jeffrey_thompson_529

EDUCATION

  • BS, Physics, Purdue University, 1978

COMMITTEES

Education, Elections and Appointment, Ways and Means.

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. Yes

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. No

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

Indiana Bankers Association, $1,000

Hoosiers for Quality Education, $1,000

Indiana Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, $800

Anheuser-Busch Co, $500

Nextera Energy, $500

RATINGS

Indiana Manufacturers Association Positions 89
Indiana Manufacturers Association Lifetime Positions 81
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Positions (4 Year Average) 96
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Positions 95
LEAP Forward Positions (Indianna) 12
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Positions 53
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Lifetime Positions 32
Indiana AFL-CIOPositions30
Indiana Manufacturers Association Positions 86
Indiana Manufacturers Association Lifetime Positions 89

PROFESSIONAL CAREER

Chemistry, physics, and math Teacher at Danville High School, retired.

DISTRICT

Population: 64,462

Race/Ethnic Origin: 95.2% White, 1.7% Black, 0.9% Asian, 0.9% Other, 1.2% Two or More.