News Releases

Making sure your voice is heard


Submitted for use on April 1, 2022

Word Count: 305

Making sure your voice is heard

By State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond)

It is my belief that Democracy works best where open lines of communication exist with active engagement. Indiana’s Open Door Law currently allows the public access to government meetings but does not require that the public have opportunity to share their concerns on current issues and decisions at hand.

Locally elected school boards make many important decisions that affect the quality of K-12 schools across Indiana; however, in the last few years some parents have expressed increasing concern regarding the lack of opportunities for public input in some school districts.

In response to these concerns, this session I supported Senate Enrolled Act 83 and House Enrolled Act 1130. These new laws require school boards to allow comments from individuals who are physically present during in-person meetings. They also specify the comment period must occur before the school board takes final action on a topic.

The General Assembly also took into consideration the ability for school boards to run their meetings effectively by ensuring they can still maintain decorum and set time limits in order to complete their business in a timely manner. Additionally, fully virtual meetings will only be allowed during a disaster emergency where there is an imminent health risk and at least one school under the board's jurisdiction is closed at the time of the meeting.

This legislation was not considered to be punitive toward School Boards, in fact most School Boards take public comments on a regular basis. This legislation simply ensures all school boards are held to the same standard and an avenue is provided for citizens to express their thoughts in a way that works for everyone.

If you have any questions or concerns on this or other topics, feel free to contact me at or 317-233-0930.


Click here for a high-resolution photo of Sen. Raatz.