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[r23] Friend Report: 63 percent of budget to education and teachers
Start Date: 4/3/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 4/3/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
63 percent of budget to education and teachers

As is customary for the month of March, an unexpected and unwanted snowfall occurred last Monday. Roads and travel were not good, schools were closed and activities were canceled or delayed. It simply reinforces my description and feelings about March being an unpredictable month in Indiana.

I noticed that on US 31 south of the US 31-US 24 interchange that there is another eagle’s nest west of US 31.  I’ve been watching a nest for the last two or three years in that grove of trees. The eagles have chosen a new tree to nest in, but there is no doubt that their construction of a nest is to create more eagles. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) should be very proud of their efforts to reintroduce the eagle to Indiana river and reservoir areas. Many constituents enjoy their picture-taking adventures as they observe eagles along the Eel, Wabash and Mississinewa Reservoirs.  Eagles are important to our ecosystem and to our pride as a nation.  I am pleased the programs from the DNR have increased the eagle population.

I held a Third House meeting Saturday morning with Senator Randy Head (R-Logansport) in Peru at the Ivy Tech facility.  It was well attended for an Easter holiday and spring break weekend. Sen. Head and I addressed the group of about 40 people concerning bills currently before the Legislature. We spoke mainly of the budget and its emphasis on education. The House budget obligates 46 percent to K-12 education, 12 percent to higher education and 5 percent to teachers’ pensions. So, in one way or another, 63 percent of tax revenues are spent on education. I think that represents a sincere dedication to educating our children and is a worthwhile investment in our state’s future. Several questions were asked and a good discussion followed. The meetings are beneficial for citizens and legislators alike.

Several neighbors have voiced their opinions about Senate Bill 373, a bill regarding unauthorized photos or videos in livestock or manufacturing facilities. The bill has whistleblower protections if a person documents abusive practices at an installation. I amended the bill in committee to delete all references of distribution of the photos and to describe three scenarios that would be illegal: 1) a person legally on the property to deliver or repair that takes photos without permission; 2) a person illegally on a property that takes pictures without permission; and 3) an individual that submits a fraudulent application for employment. 

In each situation, the violation is a Class A misdemeanor and carries some jail time as well as a fine. The key to each of these scenarios is the intent of the individual. If intent is to defame or harm the owner, the penalties can apply.

Proponents of the bill are farm groups and manufacturers. Opponents of the bill are animal welfarists, news media and the motion picture industry. I am trying to find the “sweet spot” where the parties can agree. They don’t have to be happy; they just need to agree on a reasonable result.

I hope everyone was able to enjoy Easter this weekend with friends and family. The fellowship of the holiday is always uplifting to me. For believers, Easter is the most important observance of the year because it recognizes the crucifixion of Christ and his resurrection. My wish is that we can all find some faith in the observance.

It’s your state government. Please observe and stay involved.

More later,

Bill Friend
Contact Information:
Name: Nicholas Goodwin
Phone: 3172329831
Email: ngoodwin@iga.in.gov
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  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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