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GUEST COLUMN: Preparing for the 2013 Legislative Session
Start Date: 11/16/2012Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 11/16/2012End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

By State Senator Randy Head (R-Logansport)

Another election has come and gone, bringing in a new legislature with new goals for Indiana’s future. On Tuesday, the full Indiana Senate will meet for the first time since it adjourned in March. This day – Organization Day – will kick off the 2013 legislative session.

Organization Day is mostly ceremonial and involves the swearing in of new senators and arranging of committees. While legislation is not voted on or discussed during the day’s events, our members are already preparing for the official beginning of the bill-hearing process on Jan. 7. Because the 2013 session will be a budget year, our work in the Statehouse will center on fiscal responsibility that fits Indiana’s needs.

Additionally, as the newly appointed chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government this session, I will focus on policies aimed at maintaining effective and responsive local governance. This includes legislation that addresses structural reforms, land use issues and public work projects, among other related topics. It’s important to ensure our government operates efficiently on all levels, and that goal will drive our committee’s work this year.

Many other issues will be brought to the table for discussion in 2013, including:

  • BUDGET SURPLUS: Indiana is projected to have a budget surplus of more than $400 million in 2013. However, it has yet to be determined if this money will be returned to taxpayers or used to boost funding for state services. This debate will be reviewed as we construct next year’s budget.
  • PHYSICAL RESTRAINT ON STUDENTS: During the summer and fall, I had the opportunity to serve on the Indiana Commission on Autism. One of our meetings focused on the issue of restraining students in the event a child becomes violent while in school. This session, the General Assembly will consider establishing statewide rules for the appropriate use of physical restraints in school settings.
  • SENTENCING REFORM: As a member of the Criminal Code Evaluation Commission, this is an issue of great importance to me. We have reviewed Indiana’s system for categorizing crimes and made suggestions for improvement. The goal of this reform is to make sure crimes of similar severity carry similar sentences. Our proposed legislation to change felony sentencing will be discussed once session begins.
    • VOCATIONAL EDUCATION FUNDING: Many Hoosiers feel there should be a stronger emphasis on vocational and technical education in high school so students can graduate with skills necessary to succeed in the workforce, even if college isn’t part of their plans. Legislators are considering increasing school funds to support these programs, which would provide a variety of opportunities for students.

    I am committed to encouraging a jobs-friendly, low-tax environment that supports our communities. I welcome your concerns and comments to help me do this. Throughout session, I encourage all residents in our communities to stay in touch by contacting me at Senator.Head@iga.in.gov or calling 1-800-382-9467. 

    Contact Information:
    Name: Tracy Lytwyn
    Phone: 317-234-9221
    Email: tlytwyn@iga.in.gov
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    Entry Type:
    Press Release
    Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Government
  • Agency Name
    Senate Republican Caucus

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