US Sen. Todd Young visited Madison on Monday with stops at local manufacturer Grote Industries and Madison Police Department where he was honored and thanked for his support at both places.
Young, R-Indiana, has served as Indiana’s US Senator since 2017, after six years as Indiana’s Ninth District Congressman before that.
At Grote, Young received the Joseph M. Magliochetti Industry Champion Award, a recognition given by the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) to elected officials who have shown outstanding leadership on behalf of motor vehicle component suppliers. Young was presented the award by Bill Long, MEMA president and CEO, along with Dominic Grote, president and CEO of Grote.
“I am grateful for this recognition and the thousands of Hoosiers who work in the motor vehicle parts sector,” said Young. “In the Senate, I will continue to fight for policies like USICA that support domestic manufacturing and encourage American innovation.”
At Madison Police Department, Young was presented a key to the city by Madison Mayor Bob Courtney — just the fourth person to receive the honor since Courtney began serving as Mayor in Oct. 14, 2019.
A day after visiting Madison, Young, was one of 14 Republican US Senators to vote Tuesday in support of a gun safety bill in response to mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, that passed the Senate by a 64-34 majority .
The bill includes money for school safety, mental health, state crisis intervention programs and incentives for states to include juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which would provide a more compressive background check for those between the ages of 18 and 21 seeking to buy guns.
On Monday in Madison, Young talked about the need for more mental health training, more mental health providers and more mental health resources. He also expressed the need for “additional infrastructure in our schools to ensure that local decisions are made on how they make them safer.” Additionally, he talked about using criminal backgrounds to decide who cannot purchase of firearms.
Young posed the proposed question on whether the police officers thought the legislation conflicted with the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms, and the officers said they did not think that was the case.
“If we don’t do things that are reasonable, don’t you feel thats the second amendment, too?” Young asked.
The meeting with the county’s public safety officials provided a chance for them to voice their concerns to Young with hopes that changes cane be made through policy.
“This is a very challenging time,” Young said, noting his concerns about drug traffic involving US borders where policies on border security he said are making that more difficult to control. He also talked about providing resources for public safety to help “make your jobs easier.”
“We have seen some of the anti-police and anti-public safety rhetoric shape people’s opinions around the state and country,” Young noted. “It’s important that I am accessible and visible especially during times like this. I am here to let you know I appreciate you.”
Officers express their concerns about the high rate of illegal drugs they’re seeing with fentanyl and methamphetamine wrecking lives. Young said the impacts communities across the board.
“Emergency rooms start to see an uptick and need for public assistance. People are wanting labor but can’t hire people to come in the door because they can’t pass the drug test,” Young said. “The implications are pretty widespread.”
Young said battling the drug epidemic has “got to be a priority of our leaders. The answers actually aren’t all that complicated. It just needs to be a priority.”