For immediate release:
April 30, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS - Hard work has paid off for freshman State Rep. Christina Hale (D-Indianapolis), who already has pushed five bills into law, with 11 more awaiting the governor’s signature.
A few of Hale’s most notable accomplishments are her work in regulating precious metal dealers, developing the Employment Aid Readiness Network (EARN) Indiana program, and helping protect teenage girls from sexual abuse.
Last summer, Hale investigated “cash-for-gold” stores and spoke with store clerks to learn about the pawn shop business. She learned that metals are melted down almost immediately upon sale, which concerned Hale because a lot of families have dealt with home break-ins and theft in communities with these businesses.
“This legislation is a tool to help prevent theft,” Hale said. “Many Indiana communities have a serious issue with home invasion, because it is much too easy for criminals to steal family heirlooms and other valuable precious metals and sell them for quick profit. By establishing the 10-day holding period, the police have time to find the stolen items and prosecute the offenders.”
Hale also worked to establish the EARN Indiana program to help college students earn quality workplace experience.
“The goal is to help students at Indiana colleges to attain that critical first job by providing internships with work experience,” she said. “Rather than performing menial campus jobs as they often do under the current Work-Study program, qualifying students would gain skills they can easily translate to post-collegiate employment.
“The EARN Indiana Program also benefits small businesses that took a hit with the economic downturn,” she added. “Many businesses were forced to downsize their workforce, so this program can help replenish areas of need.”
During her first session, Hale also recognized a need to protect teenage girls from sexual abuse when the Center for Disease Control found that the number of Indiana high school girls who reported forced sexual intercourse was about 7 percent higher than the national rate. Hale amended a bill to add this issue to a summer study committee.
“We currently do not know why our number is so high compared to other states,” Hale said. “The summer study committee will gather more information and study the issue further so we can make Indiana safer for our teenage girls, and for all our citizens.
“This has been a busy session but I’m energized by the positive, bipartisan tone and I look forward to continuing my work through the summer and into the next session,” she concluded.