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[r23] Friend Report: Pre-session greeting
Start Date: 12/20/2012Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 12/20/2012End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
Friend Report: Pre-session greeting

I haven’t written since last summer, and the time has come to get started again.  My practice has always been to communicate weekly to the district about “things” in the General Assembly.  This will be the first of the 2013 session.

This past summer was difficult on Hoosiers, especially farmers.  The drought was a constant concern for everyone, and they communicated that at every festival and fair.  I can’t tell you how many people said to me, “Just make it rain and you will have my support!”  Of course, I couldn’t make it rain, but the public expressed their very real fears that the crops would be ruined.  The actual result was all over the board as far as crop yields were concerned, but prices helped to moderate the lower yields.

As you know, there was an election this year, and it consumed the media and the activities of most of us elected officials.  This was a new experience for me because District 23 changed drastically.  The district now includes most of Miami County (except Jackson Township), northeast Cass County (including Adams, Bethlehem, Clay, Eel, Miami, Noble and Jackson Townships and Logansport), and Liberty Township in Fulton County.  This new configuration of District 23 is much more compact and easier to service.  The cities of Peru and Logansport, plus the smaller towns and rural areas, have much more in common than the old District 23, which was 100 miles long and had parts of five counties.  I look forward to serving the citizens of this new District 23.

Much is being written about the upcoming legislative session.  The election will put in place a new Republican governor, Mike Pence, as well as Republican supermajorities in the House and Senate.  This creates a very unique situation because one party has the power as well as the responsibility to create good government.  It is a task that requires fairness, inclusion and bridled control.  Our caucus elects three positions to leadership:  Rep. Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) is the Speaker of the House, I am the Floor Leader, and Rep. Kathy Richardson (R-Noblesville) is the Caucus Chair.  Our collective goal is to be a team that leads with a philosophy of bipartisanship to keep Indiana moving forward.

The only directive the General Assembly must accomplish in the upcoming session is crafting a new two-year budget.  It will be an interesting discussion for many reasons.  Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) is the new Chairman of Ways and Means.  He will bring a new perspective to all the deliberations.  With some legitimate reports of healthy balances for our state revenues, there will be a multitude of requests for additional funding to various programs.  Many really good proposals will need to be considered and some will not be approved.  The decisions will be very difficult.

Also on the horizon for the Legislature will be education and social issues.  Discussions must continue with the new Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz.  I am sure her views will stimulate noteworthy conversation for the General Assembly.  Additionally, there will be questions about other “social issues”.  Selling alcohol on Sundays is being advocated by large retailers; decriminalization of marijuana has been put in for discussion; and modifying the sentencing for criminals is on the table. 

This session, the Legislature will be discussing a lot of issues that matter most to you and your family.  I will do my best to report on the activity each week.  It’s your government, stay involved.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

More later,

Bill Friend
Contact Information:
Name: Nicholas Goodwin
Phone: 3172329831
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Alerts and Notification
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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