State Candidates Give Thoughts On Pressing Issues

Candidates for the Indiana House and Senate took turns Wednesday answering 10 questions on a variety of topics from COVID-19 to teaching and health care.

The candidate forum, sponsored by the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce and Kosciusko Bar Association and featuring panelists from the local media, included House District 18 candidate Craig Snow (R) and District 22 candidates Kelly Thompson (D) and Curt Nisly (R), incumbent; and Senate District 18 candidates Laura Fred-Smith (D) and Stacey Donato (R), incumbent. Democrat candidate Chad Harris for House District 18 did not attend the event, which was streamed online. Story

Attorney General Opinions

AG Curtis Hill: Governor’s COVID-19 guidance to faith institutions was unconstitutional

Attorney General Curtis Hill today issued an advisory opinion that says the governor of Indiana may not place restrictions on religious activities and organizations that do not equally apply to comparable activities and organizations.

Attorney General Hill issued the advisory opinion in response to an inquiry from state Rep. Curt Nisly, who asked whether the governor may issue such restrictions using emergency executive authority.

As part of his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor in April issued guidance directed at faith institutions that said while church buildings and other physical locations for worship should be closed, church services could continue so long as they included 10 or fewer people. The guidance also provided parameters for drive-in services and voiced a preference for no communion.

The governor did not issue similar guidance for other essential businesses, the opinion states. The guidance “did not even attempt neutral treatment of religion compared with other ‘essential businesses and activities,’” according to the opinion.

The governor pulled back on the restrictions against faith institutions in a May executive order.

“Because it subjected religious activities and institutions to additional restrictions than other essential activities and businesses without any apparent justification, the Governor’s Guidance was unlawful as religious discrimination under the First Amendment,” Attorney General Hill’s opinion concludes.

Download the entire document here: Official Opinion 2020-8


Legislator posts letter chastising Holcomb

Goshen Republican Rep. Curt Nisly sent Gov. Eric Holcomb a letter Monday questioning his authority to close bars and restaurants and calling on him to rescind the order.

“Are you going to stand up for the rights of Hoosiers and let them conduct business like they see fit? Or are you going to use the heavy hand of government to let fear control Hoosiers?” Nisly said. The Journal Gazette Story

Letters to Governor

Dear Governor Holcomb

Today I sent this letter to Governor Holcomb regarding his order to close private businesses in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. -Curt

Dear Governor Holcomb:

These are unusual times right now with the coronavirus. My first thought is the health and welfare of all Hoosiers, and that we face this unusual season with the same rigor and grit that has become commonplace for Hoosiers since our founding.

At a time like this, you as Governor should indeed be giving advisories, warnings, guidance and suggestions to Hoosiers based on your consultations with doctors, health specialists, and other public officials. You also have direct and indirect control over many state services throughout Indiana.

However, I am asking you on behalf of Hoosiers to not go through with your heavy-handed order to close privately owned bars and restaurants like our neighboring states. This is a bad idea and goes against the very principles this nation was founded on, and the people of this state believe in.

The Constitution of the State of Indiana. Article I, Section 31 states that, “No law shall restrain any of the inhabitants of the State from assembling together in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good […].”

I’m sure many Hoosiers would agree with me that the breaking of bread with friends and family in public places is the common good. Of course, currently many Hoosiers may heed warnings and choose to limit their contact with others as they see fit.

But this is a far cry from you using the power of government to forcibly close all Indiana bars and restaurants. The point is, Hoosiers should retain the liberty to make decisions such as eating at a restaurant for themselves.

We also must be mindful of what you are doing to the owners of these private businesses all over Indiana. If restaurants and bars are to change their hours out of concern, let them make the choice, don’t force the choice upon them.

Many restaurants and stores are already taking precautions they deem necessary in order to advance public health and whether this storm. But with this proclamation, you are declaring you personally have more wisdom than the thousands of restaurant and bar owners all over the state of Indiana.

And what of the many workers in these Hoosier establishments? You are depriving them of their ability to earn a living with a stroke of your pen.

If you start at restaurants, what is next? Are you going to shut down walk-in shopping at supermarkets for the same cause? How many Hoosiers don’t have the ability to order groceries and other necessities for delivery through the internet? Are you willing to cut off basic necessities to people when they don’t have the means to take care of it themselves?

Other states and cities are already giving us glaring examples of ways government is seeking to take advantage of this crisis in order to abuse the rights of citizens and residents. The mayor of Champaign, Illinois is trying to use the crisis to ban the sales of alcohol and firearms to ordinary citizens. Other political leaders in other states are pushing similar power grabs. I believe that Indiana understands the concept of Freedom just a little better than some of our other states.

The only special powers you have as Governor under the Indiana Constitution in a time of public sickness are found in Article 5, Section 20, which states, “Should the seat of Government become dangerous from disease or a common enemy, the Governor may convene the General Assembly at any other place.”

So, the question is, how far are you willing to go to push executive authority in Indiana? Authority that I remind you, you do not have.

Your ill-considered executive order to close restaurants and bars is going to end up causing more problems than it solves because you’re depriving business owners and workers of desperately needed income to cover necessities of life, to pay other bills, or to pay for things to care for their children. And again, you will be depriving Hoosiers of their lawful right to assemble in a peaceful manner.

I believe that if you leave this in the hands of ordinary Hoosiers, you will see that we are capable of handling difficult times just fine without government interference.

I am asking you, on behalf of the citizens, residents, business owners and workers of Indiana, to rescind this order and give Hoosiers their liberty back. Your Governorship can be defined in this moment.

Are you going to stand up for the rights of Hoosiers and let them conduct business like they see fit? Or are you going to use the heavy hand of government to let fear control Hoosiers?

I am going to stand up for the rights of Hoosiers, and I pray to Almighty God you do too.


Curt Nisly
Indiana House of Representatives, District 22


Indiana Lawmaker Re-Files Bill to Outlaw Abortion in State

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — For the fourth year in a row, an Indiana lawmaker has proposed a bill that would declare that life begins at conception and would consequently outlaw abortion in the state.

“The general assembly finds that human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm,” House Bill 1089, filed by Rep. Curt Nisly, R-Goshen, reads in part. “Indiana asserts a compelling state interest in protecting human physical life from the moment that human physical life begins.”

It notes that the legislature derives its power to issue laws outlawing abortion from the Tenth Amendment, which outlines, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

Read Full Article at


New abortion ban bill introduced in Indiana House

NDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Rep. Curt Nisly (R) of Goshen introduced a new bill in the Indiana House Thursday that would ban abortions.

In its summary, HB 1089 proposes to repeal “the statutes authorizing and regulating abortion.”

The bill challenges the U.S. Supreme Court’s position on abortion and would likely meet an immediate legal challenge, similar to other state bans passed recently.

Read Full Article at WTHR


Proposal would make abortion murder in Indiana, attempts to void any court challenges

INDIANAPOLIS — A proposal introduced in the Indiana House of Representatives this week would ban abortion in the state at any point in the pregnancy.

House Bill 1089 was filed Thursday by Rep. Curt Nisly, R-Goshen.

The 37-page bill changes every reference of fetus to “unborn child,” and states that the “general assembly finds that human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm.”

Read Full Article at WRTV


Indiana lawmaker introduces abortion ban bill

INDIANAOPLIS (WAND) – An Indiana lawmaker has introduced a bill that would ban abortions in Indiana.

The bill filed by Rep. Curt Nisly (R) of Goshen would repeal the statutes authorizing and regulating abortion, according to the bill summary.

In the bill it also states, “The courts of the United States have no jurisdiction to interfere with Indiana’s interest in protecting human physical life from the moment that human physical life begins.”

Read Full Article at WAND


Hoosier lawmaker proposes bill making abortion illegal in the state

The proposed bill would make abortion illegal in Indiana, even if it is legal according to federal law. The bill begins, “Any act, law, treaty, order, rule, or regulation of the United States government that fails to protect a person’s inalienable right to life is null, void, and unenforceable in Indiana.”

It also expands the definition of a human being to include the moment of conception, “Human being means an individual who having human physical life (as described by IC 16-51-1-1), regardless of whether the individual has been born.”

Read Full Article ABC 57


Bill to cut township assessors

 The Indiana House scarcely approved a bill Tuesday that will abolish 13 township assessor offices around the state – including Wayne Township in Allen County.

More than a dozen legislators spoke for and against House Bill 1027, which passed 53-44 and now moves to the Senate.

The bill overrides voters’ wishes from referendums in 2008 and would go into effect in 2023.

Read Full Article