The Indiana Citizen

The Crossroads of Civic Engagement

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ROBERT BEHNING

Republican Birth Date: 01/18/54

Indiana House District 91 covers the suburban and rural Southwestside of Indianapolis, extending from the Indianapolis International Airport south to Heartland Crossing, a far-flung development of vinyl-clad homes, a golf course and walking trails that became a ground zero of sorts for foreclosures during the Great Recession. It has been represented since 1992 by Robert Behning, a florist who has made his reputation in the Indiana General Assembly as chairman of the House Education Committee, a perch from which he’s become one of the state’s leading advocates for charter schools and the use of state-funded vouchers for private school tuition.

Behning weathered a few years in which he drew primary challengers who criticized him on education policy but has won reelection handily. In 2020, he had nearly 60% of the general election vote over Democratic and Libertarian opponents.

CONTACT INFORMATION

(800) 382-9841
200 West Washington Street Indianapolis, IN 46204
http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/legislators/legislator_robert_behning_187

EDUCATION

  • BS, Business Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis, 1972-1976

COMMITTEES

Education (chair); Family, Children and Human Affairs; Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications.

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 Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives,  $1,000

Bingham Greenebaum Doll,  $1,000

Holladay Properties,  $1,000

Hoosiers For Quality Education,  $1,000

KRG Finance,  $1,000

RATINGS

Indiana Manufacturers Association Positions 88
Indiana Manufacturers Association Lifetime Positions 83
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Positions (4 Year Average) 98
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Positions 96
LEAP Forward Positions (Indianna) 8
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Positions 44
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Lifetime Positions 29
Indiana AFL-CIO Positions 33
Indiana Manufacturers Association Positions 85
Indiana Manufacturers Association Lifetime Positions 90

PROFESSIONAL CAREER

Director of external affairs, Educators College, Marian University; owner, Berkshire Florist.

DISTRICT

Population: 64,440

Race/Ethnic Origin: 88.5% white, 4.7% black, 1.7% Asian, 3% other, 2.1% two or more, 86.3% white non-Hispanic, 5.6% Hispanic.