20th District State Representative Tom Dermody addressed members of the Starke County Chamber of Commerce on Friday to discuss legislation that has been considered since January. Portions of Starke County are included in the LaPorte Republican’s district.
Dermody says the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) controversy is a reminder that social issues can also be economic issues.
“I’m sorry for what the perception has done for the state of Indiana,” says Dermody. “We’re now moving back forward, I can just tell you, I would never discriminate against anybody.”
The bill was clarified by members of the General Assembly and signed by Governor Mike Pence.
Dermody sponsored a bill earlier in the session that would have allowed the Sunday sale of alcohol for carry-out. The legislation received a couple of hearings before ultimately being pulled for a variety of reasons, among which was lacking support.
Staying consistent from earlier comments in January and February, Dermody says he believes this was the right time to have a discussion on the issue.
“When you’re looking to bring the young, best, and brightest into our state, it doesn’t stop jobs, but people look and go ‘Hmm. That’s a law in Indiana.’ What else is out there?”
Those in attendance questioned the state’s current school funding methods.
Dermody says there are a host of issues involving special education funding that need to be addressed.
The long-session of the General Assembly will continue through April 29th.