Indiana senators bring guests to State of the Union

Indiana Senators Todd Young and Joe Donnelly are bringing guests to the State of the Union, Tuesday.

Posted: Jan. 30, 2018 6:56 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLFI) — Indiana Senators Todd Young and Joe Donnelly are bringing guests to the State of the Union, Tuesday. 

Both of which, represent legislation signed into law within the last couple of months. The senators said their guests were invited to demonstrate success over the past year and into the future.

Two years ago, Lebanon Police Officer Taylor Nielsen responded to a double homicide involving a mother and her four year old child.

The tragedy affected Nielsen and eventually led to her attempting to take her own life.

She said while she was in the hospital she was left with a choice, sweep the incident under the rug or speak out. Nielsen decided to speak out. 

"Let's go ahead and suffer through the vulnerability as hard as it is going to be and let's share our story to make a difference," said Nielsen. 

Her story made a difference. It inspired Donnelly to author the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act, which helps first responders fund peer mentoring and mental health resources.

Sen. Joe Donnelly thanked Nielsen for being his guest by saying, "Taylor was a great partner in this effort and has been a great friend and I want to thank you so much for being here with us today." 

Sen. Todd Young also helped with that piece of legislation. However, his guest represented tax reform. Young invited a First Farmers Bank teller to the speech.

"She got a raise, she got a bonus, and the bank President Gene Miles will be joining her," said Young. 

Lafayette is expected to get a First Farmers Bank this year. First farmers Bank and Trust Vice President and Director of Communications and Public Relations Tade Powell told News 18 about plans to open it on tuesday.

Powell said the fact a bank teller is benefitting from the tax plan doesn't surprise him.

"Anytime you have a circumstance where your expected expenses are decreased, you have an opportunity to place those in a variety of different areas," said Powell. 

Powell said using that money for raises and bonuses to employees like Young's guest makes sense to attract and retain key people.

Sen. Young said he's heard a lot of these stories right here in Lafayette.

"We have Hoosiers who will be building more jet engines on account of the tax reform package," said Young.

Both Senators hope the President focuses on some of the successes in 2017 but they also want some guidance on upcoming issues this year.

News 18 sat down with Purdue Political Science Professor Josh Scacco to talk about what we can expect to hear during the State of the Union. That video is also attached to this story. 

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