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[r23] Friend Report: Session underway and moving full speed ahead
Start Date: 1/14/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 1/14/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
Friend Report: Session underway and moving full speed ahead

The General Assembly has again convened, and the serious discussions on policy have begun.  It is a unique time because there are many new faces.  Governor Pence will head up a different thinking administration.  The House and Senate will each enjoy supermajorities, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz will work to adjust education policies.  Many new faces and names will become more recognizable over the next few weeks.

The House has 19 new Republicans and 5 new Democrats.  Factor in the 19 sophomore Republican members, and there are 42 members with two years or less experience in the Chamber.  Indiana seems to turn over House membership very effectively without term limits.  It is refreshing to see all the new faces.

First week activities are mainly perfunctory; organization, getting settled and working bill drafts to other members.  It is also a great opportunity to meet and get to know new members.  There are also the farewells to outgoing administration officials and hellos to the incoming folks.

Each of the 100 House members is allowed to file 10 bills by the filing deadline of January 14.  Some will take a very aggressive style and file all 10.  Others will hold back and only file 1 or 2.  Shepherding a bill through the legislative process requires a lot of time and effort.  Getting 10 bills through session takes a heroic effort.

I filed House Bill 1045, dealing with Grissom Air Force Base being added to the Indiana Airport Aviation Plan.  For 18 years, economic development officials had been frustrated by rejections of their efforts to be admitted to the plan.  By being in the state plan, Grissom officials can now apply to the Federal Aviation Plan and be eligible for federal funding.  After filing the bill, the Indiana Department of Transportation, the administering agency, paid me a visit and said that legislation would not be necessary.  They said a letter of acceptance would be issued by INDOT and no legislative work would be required.  After some discussions of skepticism were resolved, I was given a copy of the letter of acceptance on January 10.

Sometimes, just filing a bill can stimulate the powers that be to act in an affirmative manner.  There are several ways to make and change policy; it is great if legislation is not necessary. 

I also filed House Bill 1044 to address treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in extreme situations.  The bill adds Alzheimer’s and senile dementia to the list of conditions that policemen must learn about while completing academy training.  The bill is receiving lots of attention, and I have responded to many requests for interviews.  It seems to be common sense to me that as the prevalence of Alzheimer’s increases, this issue be addressed.

As an afterthought, the drought of 2012 seems to be behind us.  All summer long people were concerned about rainfall.  Government cannot control that, but it did not keep people from commenting about it.  Let’s hope we get replenished, and the water table will allow us all a more normal harvest.

Stay tuned for future updates from the Statehouse. It’s your government – participate.

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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