I write informing readers about proposed legislation allowing government to regulate church outreach ministries in Indiana. Similar legislation, which would regulate activities and food served at church day care centers, was introduced last year by my own state Rep. Rebecca Kubacki.
Seeking to address my concerns about that 2013 bill, I arranged a meeting with Rep. Kubacki, with disappointing results. ... Thankfully, that bill was not passed by the Senate last year.
The legislation to regulate church day care centers has been submitted again this year as House Bill 1036. This bill has already passed the full House, with Rep. Kubacki’s vote, her support as co-author and with approval by the House committee she chairs.
Those supporting HB 1036 argue that since these church day care centers receive some government funding they should have their activities regulated by the state. However, these churches have not asked for subsidies from the government. Instead, many low-income families who qualify for vouchers from the state are choosing church day care centers for their children. The government money is tied to parental choice, and simply follows the child to the day care center. Moreover, these centers already comply with health and safety regulations.
I urge the Senate to not pass HB 1036, since it represents unnecessary government regulation of church outreach ministries.
— John B. Lowe II
New Life Christian Church
Pets can also be affected by secondhand smoke
February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, and while most of us are aware of the dangers of secondhand smoke to nonsmokers, recent studies have shown that secondhand smoke also poses a significant health threat to pets. Dogs are susceptible to lung and nasal cancer, while cats have been associated with oral cancer and lymphoma. Even birds are not immune to the dangers of secondhand smoke, as it has been known to cause pneumonia and lung cancer.
Nicotine poisoning, which is often times fatal, is another serious risk. Domestic pets, especially dogs, can fall ill when they eat cigarette butts, chewing tobacco and nicotine gum and patches. While it would be most beneficial for a pet owner to give up smoking altogether, even stepping outside to smoke would be an improvement in the quality of life of their pet. The bond between a pet owner and their pet often runs very deep; it would be a shame for it to be cut short because of secondhand smoke.
— Sue Bumgardner
A tip of the cap to Anne Reel
There are people in this world who live to better the lives of others. Anne Reel of the Humane Society of Elkhart County is one of those civic-minded, altruistic people.
Over the course of five years, the Humane Society of Elkhart County has been blessed with the leadership of Anne Reel. Her hard, inspirational work has helped the HSEC become a pillar in the community.
For that, Anne, we sincerely thank you. You have helped create a place of respect and refuge for those often forgotten. We thank you for your dedication to the inhabitants of Elkhart County: four-legged and bipedal.
— The Board of the Humane Society of Elkhart County