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JOHN YOUNG

Republican Birth Date:

Just beyond the southern suburbs of Indianapolis, Indiana House District 47 centers on the city of Franklin and includes surrounding rural areas of Johnson and Morgan counties. It is represented by John Young, a Franklin attorney from a family of former Johnson County officeholders. When a 10-term incumbent retired in 2012, Young ran but finished second in the Republican primary; when the seat opened again in 2016, he ran again and won.

In an interview soon after taking office, he said his desire to be a legislator came from his experience watching from the sidelines as an attorney for local government boards. Though he was “just there to give legal advice,” the process whetted his appetite for a more active role. “I may totally disagree with how a board ends up voting, but that’s not my job. Those individuals are either elected or appointed by the proper authorities, and they’re the ones responsible. Now, I am the one making those decisions.’’

A former deputy prosecutor, Young’s authored legislation during the past four sessions deals almost exclusively with the operations of Indiana courts and civil and criminal law, often delving deep into the details. Of his two bills to pass and be signed into law in 2020, one cleaned up typos and grammatical errors in the Indiana Code and the other increased the filing limit for small claims courts from $6,000 to $8,000.

In 2019, Young was among several legislators in both parties to introduce legislation to decriminalize possession of various quantities of marijuana. Young’s proposal was among the least lenient, setting the limit at one ounce and applying only to those ages 21 and older; the prosecutor’s office in neighboring Marion County since has initiated a policy of not filing charges for possession of less than an ounce. Other legislators set the limit higher or provided for outright legalization. Despite decriminalization across state lines in Illinois and Michigan, the Republican legislative leadership remains opposed to a change in the law, and neither Young’s nor any of the other bills made it out of committee.

Johnson and Morgan counties are Republican strongholds and, as with Young’s predecessors, incumbents tend to continue serving until they decide to retire. Young won both the 2016 and 2018 general elections by more than 10,000 votes and was unopposed in 2020. – Kevin Morgan

CONTACT INFORMATION

(800) 382-9841
200 West Washington Street Indianapolis, IN 46204
http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/legislators/legislator_john_young_1

EDUCATION

  • BA, Indiana University
  • JD, Southern Illinois University

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. No

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

William W. (Bill) Barrett, $500
Indiana Multi-Family Housing, $500
Krieg Devault LLP, $250

RATINGS

Indiana Manufacturers Association Positions 88
Indiana Manufacturers Association Lifetime Positions 77
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Positions (4 Year Average) 87
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Positions 79
LEAP Forward Positions (Indianna) 13
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Positions 50
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Lifetime Positions 54
National Rifle Association Candidate Positions on Gun Rights 93
Indiana AFL-CIO Positions 30
Indiana Manufacturers Association Positions 71

DISTRICT

Population: 64,584

Race/Ethnic Origin: 96% White, 0.8% Black, 0.9% Asian, 1.1% Other, 1.2% Two or More.