The Indiana Citizen

The Crossroads of Civic Engagement

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JOHN PRESCOTT

Republican Birth Date:

Randolph County was among the first settled in Indiana, the destination of Quakers who left North Carolina in the early 1800s for a northern state more hospitable to their religious objections to slavery. They were the first of generations of farmers who made their homes on the flat terrain of eastern Indiana and helped to build the Quaker Trace, a horse-and-buggy thoroughfare between Richmond and Fort Wayne which was also a route on the Underground Railroad. Randolph and, to its north, Jay counties comprise most of House District 33, which also includes part of Delaware County east of Muncie, It has been represented since 2018 by John “J.D.” Prescott, a Randolph County farmer who is one of only a few left in a legislature that was once dominated by those who make their living off the land.

Rather than agriculture, though, it appeared to be education that dominating the campaign as Prescott sought a second term in 2020. He faced a primary challenge from a Jay County teacher who called attention to one of Prescott’s larger campaign contributions, $1,000 from education-reform group Hoosiers for Quality Education, saying in the Muncie Star-Press, “I am disappointed that he would be willing to take money from an organization that focuses on promoting charter schools when he does not even have a charter school in his district.” Prescott won the primary with about 70% of the vote and went in the fall to face another schoolteacher from Muncie, winning by a similar margin.

During his first term as a legislator, Prescott authored seven bills, none of which made it out of committee; in both 2019 and 2020, he introduced a bill to effectively allow the use of 529 college savings accounts as retirement accounts and to remove penalties for their use for purposes other than higher education. Also in 2020, he authored a bill that would have gotten rid of the state’s IREAD3 standardized test, telling the Star Press that he favors limited government involvement in education, and another to expand broadband in rural areas like his own. The latter issue was highlighted as schools closed in favor of at-home learning during the coronavirus pandemic. – Kevin Morgan

CONTACT INFORMATION

(800) 382-9841
200 West Washington Street Indianapolis, IN 46204
http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/legislators/legislator_john_prescott_1

EDUCATION

  • Graduated, Winchester Community High School, 2010

COMMITTEES

Agriculture and Rural Development, Environmental Affairs, Natural Resources

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. No

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. No

HB 1414-2020 (Electric generation). Prohibited utilities from closing coal-fired generating plants without permission from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. No

TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Prescott, Cheryl,  $2,000

Associated Builders & Contractors Indiana / Kentucky,  $1,500

Hoosiers For Quality Education,  $1,500

American Electric Power / AEP,  $1,000

Professional Fire Fighters Union of Indiana,  $1,000

RATINGS

National Rifle Association Candidate Positions on Gun Rights 92
Indiana Manufacturers Association Positions 88
Indiana Manufacturers Association Lifetime Positions 88
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Positions (4 Year Average) 82
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Positions 82
LEAP Forward Positions (Indianna) 8
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Positions 53
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Lifetime Positions 53
National Rifle Association Candidate Positions on Gun Rights 93
Advance America Positions 100

PROFESSIONAL CAREER

Farmer, Small business owner.

DISTRICT

Population: 65,036

Race/Ethnic Origin: 96.6% White, 0.6% Black, 0.3% Asian, 1.5% Other, 1% Two or More, 2.3% Hispanic, 95.7% White Non-Hispanic.