Speaker Huston Pledges Steps Forward After Racial Tensions In Indiana House

Feb 23, 2021

Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston speaks with reporters on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, at the Indiana Government Center in Indianapolis.
Credit (AP Photo/Tom Davies)

Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said his chamber needs to take steps forward after the “step backward” last week that culminated with lawmakers having to be physically separated from each other.

Black Democratic lawmakers were booed and heckled by some Republicans after raising concerns about what they saw as discrimination in a piece of legislation.

Huston said he’s “embarrassed” by what happened.

“I’m committed today to increase focus on maintaining decorum, civility and professionalism in this institution,” Huston said.

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House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) said the legislature needs to be better. And he encouraged his members to do their part.

“Reach out today or tomorrow and introduce yourself to someone on the other side of the aisle that you haven’t met yet," GiaQuinta said. "Give them a fist bump or an elbow bump, and pledge to do your best to find common ground on legislation.”

GiaQuinta said there are more conversations needed with Huston about ensuring decorum.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.