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[r23] Friend Report: Looking back at session
Start Date: 5/8/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 5/8/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
Looking back at session

Legislators have been home for over a week now, and they have had some time to rest, get a haircut, do some business or try to find normal again. That normal feeling is not always easy to find after being gone and very busy for four months.  

The majority of legislators will return to a job, business or farm and find the sweet spot where they are comfortable once again. I am confident that everyone will make the necessary adjustments to get reacquainted.

Feedback on the new state budget has been mostly positive. Major improvements in funding were made for schools and local roads. We wanted to pass a budget that, at a minimum, restored education spending to pre-recession levels, and this was accomplished with a 2 percent increase in year one of the biennium and an additional 1 percent increase in year two. Local governments will get a needed boost to pave and repair more roads and bridges as well. I was glad the budget addressed these two areas in addition to many other priorities set by the Legislature.

My personal accomplishments this session were a mixed bag. Early on in the session, I was able to pass House Bill (HB) 1044, the bill requiring more training for law enforcement officers to recognize and help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or senile dementia. The bill will be signed by the governor on Thursday, making the training requirement a reality.

Also, I passed HB 1045 that deals with airport regulation and zoning issues. Another bill, HB 1222, deals with lobbyist regulation and reporting requirements. It passed with little controversy.

I also had some Senate bills to discuss and defend. Senate Bill (SB) 349 will correct a problem for the Peru Municipal Utility and allow them to contribute surplus funds to the Economic Development Corporation. The bill received some amendments that were eventually rejected, and the original subject matter passed easily to solve a local issue.

SB 373, the bill dealing with photos on private property, did not receive a final vote and failed on the last night of the session. It was a controversial bill that had constitutional issues and many questions arose about its language. It is an issue that will reappear in the future.

What are the duties and activities of a legislator when there is no session? It is a good question and deserves a quality answer. Representatives and Senators are at their homes and jobs and continue to receive missives from constituents about personal and business issues. Legislators are contacted almost daily about problems with state agencies concerning licenses, permits or requirements for a project. Sometimes the role of a legislator is to be a bureaucrat policeman. In other words, the legislator must intervene to help achieve a favorable solution.

My goal during this off-season is to talk and listen to office holders and constituents and gain knowledge about situations where I might be able to assist in a good solution. Sometimes, I can help. Other times, I cannot. Don’t hesitate to contact me with issues. I will always discuss it with you and offer advice, if I can.

This is your state government. Stay involved and communicate issues. I will listen and try to generate an answer, no matter the question.

My plan is to write and report as state and local issues arise. Thanks for all your support!

More later,

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

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