Part of the press packet handed out at the former-Senator’s visit to Fort Wayne on December 20, 2010.
Evan Bayh Accomplishments
Evan Bayh is a common-sense pragmatist who focuses on innovative solutions to help tackle this country’s toughest challenges at home and abroad. In an era of polarization, partisanship and paralysis, he occupies a unique position in American politics – a “get-the-job-done” consensusbuilder consistently supported by Hoosiers of diverse backgrounds, party affiliations, and political ideologies.
Because of his insistence on progress over partisanship, Hoosiers have consistently returned Bayh to public office. He has never lost an election in five runs for statewide office in Indiana. In more than two decades of public service to Indiana, Bayh has served his state as senator, governor, and secretary of state.
Evan Bayh, 54, was born in Shirkieville, Indiana. He graduated with honors from Indiana University in 1978 and received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1981. He and his wife, Susan, an attorney, are the proud parents of twin sons, Nick and Beau, 15.
INDIANA GOVERNOR (1988 – 1996)
As a successful two-term governor, Bayh met his obligations to the people of Indiana by creating jobs, expanding educational opportunities and improving health care for Hoosier families. He balanced the state budget for eight consecutive years without once raising taxes. He helped build one of the strongest, most financially secure economies in the country, characterized by sound management and fiscal growth that created more than 350,000 new jobs – or 1,000 new jobs every week he was governor.
Bayh left office with a 79 percent approval rating, prompting The Indianapolis Star to write: “When Republicans praise a Democratic governor’s …achievements in stimulating industrial growth, bringing in new jobs, securing existing jobs, moving ahead in public education, coping with crime, drug abuse and teenage pregnancy, and helping to preserve and strengthen solid, healthy middle-class values, it’s good news. Indiana is lucky to have a governor in tune with the times, whose new fatherhood …makes him sharply aware of the things that matter most to families.”
CUTTING TAXES: Under Bayh, Indiana had one of the lowest tax burdens in the nation, eight years of balanced budgets and a leaner state government. His administration left Indiana with the largest budget surplus in state history-three times the national average. His governorship marked the state’s first eight-year period in 40 years without a tax increase. He signed into law the largest
single state tax cut in Indiana history when he slashed the state’s annual auto excise tax in half, saving taxpayers $1.6 billion over six years. In addition, he achieved $1.5 billion in savings by comprehensively restructuring the state Medicaid program to eliminate waste and inefficiencies.
CREATING JOBS: His economic development program attracted dozens of new companies to Indiana, bringing in $2.3 billion in new investment and creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. To protect taxpayers, he utilized tough “clawback” provisions that prevented companies from receiving incentives if job creation promises were not kept. More than a half-million Indiana businesses and citizens benefited when Bayh slashed government regulation by eliminating or reducing two thirds of state fees under his control.
- CNN’s Moneyline noted in February 1996: “Indiana’s economy is churning out the jobs at twice the national average.’: The Economist commented in January 1996: “If anyone doubts the new industrial vitality of America, look to Indiana.”
THE ‘EDUCATION’ GOVERNOR: Bayh raised academic standards and created unprecedented opportunities for students to atterld college. His signature educational accomplishment, the 21st Century Scholars program, guarantees free in-state college tuition to
underprivileged students who graduate from high school with passing grades, so long as they sign a pledge to be alcohol, drug and crime free. The program continues today, and more than 120,000 Hoosier students have enrolled.
- Under Bayh’s leadership, Indiana moved from 40th to 9th in the nation in college enrollment. He also increased funding for schools in every state budget, increasing funding by $3.1 billion for grades K-12, even during an economic downturn. He oversaw a $30 million grant program to put computers in every Indiana school and expanded remediation programs so that every child who has difficultly meeting high academic standards could receive extra instruction.
CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERSHIP: Bayh’s tenure as governor was also marked by historic civil rights advances. He appointed the first woman and the first African-American to the Indiana Supreme Court. In 1996, he received the Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award for appointing more talented and qualified women to top executive and judicial positions than any governor in state history, with fully half of top administration jobs filled by women. The Bayh administration also revitalized the Indiana Civil Rights Commission and contracted with the greatest number of minority- and women-owned businesses in state history.
REFORMING WELFARE: Bayh played a leading role in utilizing government to ease the burdens confronting families. He advocated common-sense measures to strengthen the lives of our children, from encouraging responsible fatherhood to moving Hoosiers from welfare to work. Under his leadership, Indiana led the nation in reducing the numbers of its citizens on welfare, transitioning more than 1,000 families per month from government dependence to selfsufficiency. He did so while ensuring Hoosiers had the necessary support to maintain selfsufficiency, such as adding 31,000 new child-care positions statewide.
SUPPORTING HOOSIER FAMILIES: Bayh championed responsible fatherhood initiatives and adopted policies holding non-custodial parents financially responsible for their children, leading to unprecedented collections to help single moms. The Bayh administration also implemented Project RESPECT, a campaign to reduce teen pregnancy that leveraged millions of dollars of paid television and radio advertising, while distributing grants to schools, social service agencies and religiously affiliated groups to fund educational initiatives for young Hoosiers.
PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT: Finally, Indiana made substantial environmental strides under Bayh’s gubernatorial tenure. Toxic chemical emissions dropped 82 percent as Indiana adopted some ofthe toughest water quality standards in the nation. He led a nationally recognized effort to restore environmentally hazardous sites in Indiana for future community use, forging a partnership between government, communities and businesses to clean up contaminated sites in urban centers and return them to economic usefulness. He also oversaw the largest expansion of state parks since the 1930s to ensure that Indiana’s natural wonders would be protected for generations to come.
UNITED STATES SENATE (1998-2010)
During his two terms in the United States Senate, Evan Bayh has focused his domestic legislative agenda on job creation and helping middle class families.
PROPERTY TAXES: When local property taxlbills soared in Indiana, Bayh wrote and passed the first ever federal property tax deduction for Homeowners who do not itemize, providing a $1,000 deduction to 570,000 eligible Hoosier homeowners.
CREDIT CARD REFORM: Bayh used his position on the Senate Banking Committee to cast the tie-breaking vote to advance credit card reform and crack down on abusive bank practices that keep consumers mired in debt by tucking exploitative clauses in the fine print of credit card agreements.
SAFEGUARDING AMERICAN INNOVATIONS: To defend the work of America’s large and small businesses, Bayh wrote and enacted legislation to create a new federal enforcement network to crack down on foreign competitors that are stealing American innovations through product piracy and counterfeiting.
PROTECTING JOBS: He fought successfully to persuade international entities to crack down on unfair trade practices and strengthen U.S. enforcement when foreign competitors illegally dump their products on American consumers and flood our markets with their cheap and unsafe goods.
Bayh helped revitalize the recreational vehicle industry during tough times in the economic recession, passing a generous new sales tax deduction to help families purchase recreational vehicles. He also pushed the Small Business Administration to free up capital to help dealers
maintain inventory supplies and stay in business through the recession.
Bayh slashed a proposed job-killing tax on Indiana’s medical device manufacturers, helping to project more than 63,000 good-paying jobs in Indiana’s life sciences industry.
LEADING AUTO SECTOR INTO 21st CENTURY: Bayh has also helped retool Indiana’s automotive industry to be a leader in making the advanced vehicles of tomorrow, securing more than a half-billion dollars for Hoosier companies making the hi-tech batteries and component parts of the clean-energy vehicles of the future.
ASSISTING WORKERS: He also helped to pass and renew Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation to assist workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own when American companies move operations overseas or close due to unfair foreign competition.
CHILDREN’S HEALTH: He has been a leader in promoting children’s health, writing and passing a bill to improve pediatric health to ensure that every federal dollar authorized for children’s health is a dollar spent on the best care available.
COMBATING ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: Bayh wrote and enacted bipartisan legislation to better coordinate federal efforts to treat, prevent and ultimately develop a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. His legislation instructs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop the nation’s first comprehensive plan to combat Alzheimer’s.
RESPONSIBLE FATHERHOOD: He has been the Senate’s foremost leader in promoting responsible fatherhood initiatives, assisting single parents, supporting local organizations that foster family stability, helping fathers reconnect with their children and be the role models their children need them to be.
SAYING “NO” TO WASTE: Bayh has waged a sometimes lonely battle to stop wasteful spending before it starts through balancing the federal budget, ending frivolous earmarks, reining in corporate subsidies and closing tax loopholes. He has voted against billions of dollars in pork barrel projects, including the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere,” and helped close the “Bermuda tax loophole” that allowed certain companies to set up P.O. boxes overseas and avoid U.S. taxes.
FIGHTING TERRORISM: A member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Armed Services Committee, Bayh is one of Congress’ most respected voices on a wide range of security issues. In 2010 the Director of National Intelligence awarded Bayh the National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal in recognition of his distinguished service to the Intelligence Community.
A leader in the fight against international terrorism, Senator Bayh authored a key provision in the Senate’s anti-terrorism bill to disrupt terrorist financial networks by requiring international finance groups to register and report suspicious activity. He has cosponsored bipartisan
legislation to expand international education programs to encourage civil society in places where government is not responsive to the needs of its people.
Bayh is chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on International Trade and Finance, a post he uses to oversee the national security implications of foreign investment. He passed legislation to protect critical U.S. infrastructure and valuable energy assets, requiring the director of national intelligence to review foreign transactions before they are approved.
CURBING SPREAD OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: Bayh wrote and passed the toughest economic sanctions ever approved against Iran in an effort to stop its illicit nuclear weapons program, targeting the regime’s Achilles heel-its reliance on imported petroleum-to stop the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism from obtaining an atomic weapon. Bayh has worked with fellow Indiana Senator Richard Lugar on nuclear non-proliferation issues,authorizing the establishment of an international nuclear fuel bank to provide a safe supply of civilian nuclear energy to developing countries and deter nations seeking atomic weapons under its guise. Bayh has also championed the Nunn-Lugar program to dismantle and safely store “loose nukes” in the former Soviet Union and cosponsored legislation to help our allies detect and interdict nuclear bomb-making components.
PROTECTING OUR HOMELAND: He was a lead proponent of legislation calling upon Congress to fully implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, and he pushed legislation to more closely scrutinize cargo at our ports to monitor for explosives and dangerous shipments. He also helped eliminate old stockpiles ofVX nerve gas and worked with U.S. Army officials to increase security at storage facilities to deter any potential terrorist attack.
SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS: Bayh has also fought to provide American military personnel with the equipment they need to stay safe. When he discovered U.S. combat troops were being forced to scavenge for “hillbilly armor,” Bayh forced the U.S. military to purchase thousands of up-armored Humvees to help protect our combat forces. He passed legislation to improve care for soldiers returning from battle in Iraq and Afghanistan with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). He worked successfully to protect military families from financial difficulties as a result of their service to the country, eliminating the “Patriot Penalty” pay cut that many National Guard members and reservists face when they leave their civilian jobs for active duty. He also passed legislation that will save the average active duty service member thousands of dollars on direct student loans.