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[r23] Friend Report: Buddy, a legislator’s best friend
Start Date: 1/29/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 1/29/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
Friend Report: Buddy, a legislator’s best friend

Many of you know that our family has a three-legged golden retriever named Buddy.  Occasionally, I feel the need to talk to Buddy when I have a strange or difficult situation.  He is a smart dog that understands and listens to my ramblings.  On Saturday, Buddy dragged his empty dish through the doggy door for me to fill it with some dog food.  I seized the opportunity for one of our “talks.”  

“Buddy, have you ever heard of the 4th estate?”  He tilted his head and absorbed my question.  “Well, I think the 4th estate is the media and journalism profession and with regard to government, it is to help communicate the actions of elected officials to the public.”  He took a couple bites of dog food and stared knowingly at me.  I’m sure he agreed with me.

His eyes asked the question, “What is your problem with the 4th estate?”

“OK,” I said, “sometimes I write articles for the people I represent, just to communicate with them and the 4th estate doesn’t publish them. And, yes, my media assistant has spoken to their management, and they said they would work with me to get them printed.”

Buddy’s attention span on this topic was exhausted, and he gave me “the look.”  I knew what it meant. “We all have our challenges, and we solve them through better communication!”  Maybe, if I do a better job, the 4th estate will as well.  By this time, Buddy was more interested in a pigeon and our talk was over.

This past Thursday, I was able to greet the officials from Logansport and the several consultants working on the project of a new generating plant.  There is a substantial amount of information to absorb, understand and then make a major decision on.  I want to encourage and applaud everyone involved because a project of this scope and magnitude has far-reaching implications.  It will affect private citizens, corporate citizens, the state and the nation.  This truly is a very big deal.

House Bill 1044, dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and adding it to the list of conditions police are trained to address, passed the full House with a unanimous vote.  I sent the bill to the Senate with Senators Randy Head (R-Logansport) and Jim Arnold (D-LaPorte) sponsoring the legislation.  The reaction to this simple bill has been amazing.  Media all over the nation have picked up on this legislation, and I am pleased with its progress thus far.

I attended a Third House meeting in Rochester on Saturday morning.  District 23 has one township, Liberty, in Fulton County.  The meetings in Rochester have always been well attended, and this one was no exception.  I was joined by Senator Head, Rep. Tim Harman (R-Bremen) and Rep. Doug Gutwein (R-Francesville) as we interacted with the 40-50 attendees.

The concerns voiced were about highway and road funding, especially for local governments, education programs and the funding thereof.  There was also a question about the long-term effects of TIF districts on school funding.  That one will require more research.  These meetings are enjoyable and put legislators before their constituents so that opinions can be voiced and questions asked.  I always congratulate the citizens for participating in their government.

My wife and I recently saw the movie “Lincoln.”  I recommend it highly to everyone.  The man was under constant, intense emotional stress in every part of his life.  How he withstood the pressure is truly amazing.  And if his family tragedies and the pressures of the Civil War were not enough, the Transcontinental Railroad was being built during his administration.  It was a fascinating movie.  You should definitely see it!

The Legislature is picking up steam and more bills are being heard.  If you are interested in an issue, please let me know.

More later,

Bill Friend
Contact Information:
Name: Nicholas Goodwin
Phone: 3172329831
Email: ngoodwin@iga.in.gov
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