Top priorities advance during 2024 session

Last Updated on April 1, 2024 by State Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Logansport)

The 2024 legislative session recently concluded, and I joined fellow legislators taking several legislative priorities across the finish line, including stepping up for public retirees, protecting critical farmland and supporting Hoosier students.

During this time of high inflation, we know that pension benefits do not go as far as they used to. That’s why I co-authored a new law providing a supplemental payment also known as a 13th check to the state’s nearly 100,000 retired public servants, like law enforcement and teachers, to help cover the increasing costs for daily necessities. Payments would be based on an employee’s number of years vested in their retirement plan. Indiana already has existing resources available to give these payments, which would average about $360 per recipient. This new law will also provide a 1% annual cost-of-living adjustment for public employees who retire after July 1, 2025, and an annual 13th check for those who retire before this date.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, foreign ownership of U.S. land is up 40% since 2016. As of 2022, over 438,000 acres in Indiana were owned by foreign entities. To keep Hoosier farmland from being leased or owned by foreign adversaries, I supported House Enrolled Act 1183. As one of the top agricultural states in the U.S., it’s critically important that we protect this land and control over our food supply. The U.S. Department of Commerce maintains a list of adversarial countries, which currently includes Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela. This new law will bar foreign adversaries from owning or leasing Hoosier farmland and that includes mineral, water and riparian rights on Indiana agricultural land. We also recognize the importance of our military installations like Grissom Air Reserve Base, not only for their contributions to our national security, but also for their positive economic impacts. This new law will also ban purchases and leases of land in a 10-mile radius of a military installation by persons and entities from China, Iran, North Korea, Russia and countries designated threats to critical infrastructure.

I also co-authored House Enrolled Act 1137, which will ensure students can attend off-campus religious instruction during the school day if their parents request it. Currently, when parents submit a written request for their child to participate in religious instruction, it is up to the principal to decide whether or not to allow the student to have “release time” to participate. This is a strong step toward empowering families and young Hoosiers.

Over the summer, I will meet with groups and constituents to learn more about how I can better represent our district at the Statehouse. Thank you for the opportunity to serve our community and make a difference. To stay in touch and keep up to date on what I’m doing during the summer, sign up for my e-newsletter at

SOURCE: Guest column from State Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Logansport), who represents House District 23, which includes portions of Cass and Miami Counties

Cass County Online