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HOAs cannot prohibit homeowners from displaying political signs

Monday, October 19th, 2020

As we get closer to the election, Hoosiers are choosing to show their support in a variety of ways. From casting their ballot early to talking to neighbors and friends about important issues, it feels like more voters are engaged than ever before. Some are even displaying signs in their front yards for candidates they support. Unfortunately, I have received numerous calls from homeowners who are told they cannot place political signs in their yards because of their homeowners association covenant rules. Under state law, HOAs cannot prohibit homeowners from displaying political yard signs 30 days prior and five days after Election Day.

Many choose to live in a community with an HOA for a variety of reasons. HOAs help keep common areas clean and maintained, and some provide additional services like snow removal. However, no one should be able to restrict a person’s right to free speech. That is why I supported a law in 2010 to prevent HOAs from adopting or enforcing a rule prohibiting a member from displaying a political sign on their property 30 days before and five days after the date of the related election. No matter who you are supporting, you have the right to display a sign on your property.

There is some discretion given to the HOA. They may adopt and enforce rules restricting the size of a campaign sign, but they must allow signs that are at least as large as signs commonly displayed during election campaigns. HOAs can limit the number of signs displayed, but only to a reasonable number, meaning an association cannot set this limit at zero signs. Rules and regulations may also be enforced relating to the location of a sign, but homeowners cannot be prevented from displaying a sign in a window or on the ground that is part of the homeowner’s property.

More information on this law can be found online at under Indiana Code 32-21-13-4. Please reach out to me with any questions at   


Hopeful our country can come together

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

Over the last several months, our way of life has changed drastically. What were once common activities we took for granted are now scarce and vastly different tasks. I, like many of you, am frustrated. We have been challenged in many ways recently, but I am hopeful our community, state and country can still come together during these trying times.

Since the start of the pandemic, I have had many conference calls with my fellow legislators, the governor and the vice president. In March, many decisions had to be made with little knowledge of what we were dealing with, but as time went on and we learned more about this virus, we have been able to make better-informed decisions. 

There are complaints we are not doing enough or we are doing too much. One thing is for certain, this disease is real and we must deal with it. We had to shut down business and travel for a period of time, but this is going on longer than expected. The government must step in to support those in need. 

Both parties in Washington, D.C. need to put aside their special projects and do what is right for Americans. Unfortunately, instead of providing relief to those struggling, both sides of the aisle are working for their party. They have lost sight of their objective. When they play these games, they cheat the American people. This is wrong. I hope Congress will follow Indiana’s example, where we work together to do what is right for Hoosiers. 

While we navigate this pandemic, we should not lose sight of what makes our country so great: religious freedom and separation of church and state. Like so many, my faith is incredibly important to me, and it frustrates me to hear COVID-19 being used as a reason to arrest those practicing their faith. I’ve read stories of pastors holding small services in their private residence being arrested. To me, this is wrong and a clear violation of religious freedom. 

My wife and I have been praying for every individual infected and impacted by COVID-19. We’ve seen recently how quickly this virus can spread, and I pray we find a way to stop it in its tracks. 

Outside the pandemic, I am very concerned about the violence occurring in communities across our country. Many are upset about some of the actions some police officers have taken, and I respect and agree with them. Every profession has good and bad actors. There are good politicians, good doctors, good teachers, good mechanics and more. But on the flipside, there are bad politicians, bad doctors, bad teachers, bad mechanics and more. While there are bad police officers, I believe most are good, honest people trying to keep us safe. To attack them the way we have seen is creating more chaos.  

It’s a known fact there are organizations like ANTIFA with very wealthy people financing destruction across the country. The end result is damaging to our communities. Law enforcement officers are afraid to do their jobs, and they enter situations fearful of being treated unfairly for no other reason than the uniform they wear. There are changes needed, but we cannot begin to move forward without giving each side an opportunity to be heard and respected. 

I’m a true believer the United States was founded on the principles of right and wrong. Everyone should be treated this same no matter their race, their religion or their political viewpoints. For the future of our country, I hope we can all put our differences aside and work to find common ground. 

In the midst of difficult times, let’s focus on the good

Monday, April 27th, 2020

More than a month ago, we could not have predicted we would be where we are today. Most of us staying home, foregoing our plans and traditions like birthday parties and weekly dinners, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. It’s been tough. But in the face of fear and uncertainty, I am encouraged by seeing Hoosier families and communities coming together to support each other.

Difficult times often highlight who and what is most important. Growing up, my father often abused my mother, eventually kidnapping her at gun point. Thankfully, she was able to escape and return home, and he was sent to prison. But during that time, my siblings and I were sent to a group home. I was around 4 years old, and I still recall how scared and overwhelmed I was. But what I remember most was my older brother, Dan, and how safe he made me feel. I knew no matter what happened, as long as I was with my brother and sister, I would be OK. We are all currently experiencing a difficult situation. It is important – now more than ever – to lean on each other and weather this storm together.  

Now as my wife, Volly, and I take walks and enjoy the spring weather, we see so many families spending time outside together. In this day and age, you are hard-pressed to see anyone without a cell phone in hand, but I’ve seen that less and less recently. While technology connects us when we are physically apart, it often created barriers for friends and families in the past. Even though these times are difficult, many are creating happy memories that will last a lifetime.   

Each day, the governor provides an update to Hoosiers on our fight against the coronavirus. There is a lot of information to digest, and what I find most inspiring are the stories of neighbors helping neighbors, sewing groups donating hundreds of homemade face masks, students shopping and delivering groceries to the elderly, and private companies stepping up to support our state. While there is a lot of negative we can focus on, it is clear there is far more good in the world that deserves our attention.

While many are blessed to be able to spend time with their family and work from home, others lost their jobs and are social distancing alone. For those in need, there is help available. Visit for the latest information on Indiana’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, and click “Public Resources,” for a list of resources and guides during this public health emergency. I remain available to answer questions and help navigate state issues. Please contact me at, and I will respond as quickly as possible. I also provide regular updates through an e-newsletter, which can be subscribed to at

I continue praying for our community, state and nation. We will get through this together.


Standing up for children with dyslexia

Friday, February 28th, 2020

Lawmakers find inspiration for legislation in several ways. In many cases, we learn of an issue and work to find a solution after constituents reach out in need of support. An issue I am passionate about is supporting Hoosiers with dyslexia. My dedication for students and others with dyslexia started because of a community member, Cheryl, and her son, Josh.

A few years ago, I was at the county fair when Cheryl approached me and asked if I was familiar with dyslexia. She explained that while Josh may look like his classmates, he doesn’t learn the same way because he has dyslexia and faced challenges at school due to this learning disability.

Because Cheryl reached out to me about an issue she saw in our community and state, I was able to help.

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability that can affect an individual’s ability to read, write, spell and pronounce words. It can occur in people of all backgrounds and is unrelated to intelligence. Dyslexia does not hinder a student’s ability to think or be creative. In the U.S., 1 in 5 people are dyslexic to some degree, and after speaking with Cheryl and her son, I now know I also have dyslexia.

The conversation I had with Cheryl became the backbone for a law I authored in 2015 defining dyslexia and ensuring aspiring teachers to know the signs of it so they can support these students and not let them fall behind their peers.

Then, I met Erin, who shared that before she was identified with dyslexia, she had low self-esteem and thought she wasn’t smart. When Erin first came to the Statehouse to testify in a committee hearing, she was afraid to talk, but she wrote her story on a poster board for everyone to read. Even though Erin wasn’t confident in her speaking abilities, she knew it was important for lawmakers to know her experiences.

During a committee meeting in 2018, I shared Erin’s story. I did not know it at the time, but she and her mother were watching in the gallery. Later, Erin told me she was moved by how her story had a lasting impact on the General Assembly. Erin has become an advocate for Hoosiers with dyslexia. She knows she learns differently, and that’s okay.

I sponsored another law in 2018 to ensure students in kindergarten through second grade are screened for this learning disability. This year, I am working on a proposal that would provide accommodations on statewide exams like ILEARN to students with individual education plans related to reading. Identifying dyslexia and providing appropriate accommodations can go a long way in setting these students up for success.

I will continue to stand up for equitable education in the classroom for students with dyslexia who experience unique challenges when it comes to learning, but still have the same potential to be successful.

This is an issue near and dear to my heart. Visit to learn more, including the signs of the learning disorder and how you can help those who have it. If you or someone you know struggles with a learning disability like dyslexia and needs help getting assistance, please contact me at 317-234-9447 or


New laws strengthen student safety

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

As summer winds down and a new school year begins, keeping young Hoosiers safe remains a top priority for everyone in our community. Several new laws strengthen student safety as they travel to and from school, and spend their days in the classroom.

If you have been outside in the early morning or midafternoon, chances are you have seen school buses on the road. We must all remember to pay attention and stop for school buses picking up or dropping off students. When a bus is stopped with its flashing red lights activated and its stop arm extended, drivers are required to stop when approaching it from any direction. If motorists are on a highway that is divided by a barrier or unpaved area, they are only required to stop if they are traveling in the same direction as the school bus.

Most drivers follow these traffic laws, but there are many who are either unaware or disregard the law completely. In fact, Hoosier bus drivers report an average of more than 2,500 stop-arm violations each day.

To keep students safe and hold motorists accountable when they fail to stop for a bus, I supported a new law increasing the penalty for injuring or killing someone as a result of recklessly passing a school bus. This could result in larger fines and longer jail sentences, and a violator’s driver’s license can be suspended for up to a year.

Once students arrive at school, they and others should continue to be safe. With new laws I supported, local schools have more flexibility to qualify for school safety matching grants, which can be used toward adding mental health resources, hiring school resource officers or improving physical security. Before providing mental health services, schools must meet with a student’s parents or guardians to discuss any concerns and obtain their consent.

Schools can also use grant money to implement app-based emergency response systems that alert all on-duty and off-duty police officers in the area when activated. This enables law enforcement to act quickly in the rare event of an emergency.

To improve communication between local law enforcement and schools, officials can now share information related to school safety so they can work together to better protect students. Without this new law, information concerning a student’s potentially alarming behavior, school files or criminal records could not be shared between schools and police, even if it pertained to public safety threats. These efforts will help protect young Hoosiers, educators and school visitors. 

Indiana continues to be a leader when it comes to keeping our schools safe, and these additional measures will better protect our schools. By working together, we can ensure young Hoosiers have a secure school environment. I wish all the students and educators back at school a fun and safe year of learning!


State Rep. Woody Burton (R-Whiteland) represents House District 58,

which includes a portion of Johnson County.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.