Mike Braun

Mike Braun

Representative | District 63

Contact Information

Phone: 317-234-9447

Phone: 1-800-382-9841

Email: h63@iga.in.gov

Press Contact

Zach Weismiller

Phone: 317-234-9024

Email: zach.weismiller@iga.in.gov

2016 Digest of Enactments

Thank you for taking the time to visit my website. It is an honor and privilege to serve the people of House District 63 which includes portions of Daviess, Dubois, Pike and Martin counties.

By visiting my website, residents of southwest Indiana can find useful information about our district, current events and to learn more about my legislation. 

Your thoughts and opinions are important to me, so I encourage you to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have. I look forward to working with you as well as members of the General Assembly this session to find common ground on solutions that move our community and state forward. 

Sincerely, 

Mike Braun
State Representative
House District 63

Indiana House of Representatives: 2014 - present

Committees: 

  • Roads and Transportation
  • Ways and Means
  • Education

Occupation: Owner of Meyer Distributing and Meyer Logistics

Education:

  • Wabash College (Bachelor's Degree)
  • Harvard College (Masters of Business Administration)

State Representative Mike Braun joined the Indiana House of Representatives in 2014. Rep. Braun attended Jasper High School, graduated from Wabash College and earned his Masters of Business Administration in 1978. 

In 1981, Mike began his entrepreneurial career at Meyer Body Company, becoming the sole owner and converting it into a distributing company known as Meyer Distributing. His company has received numerous industry awards including Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) “Distributor of the Year”, and he was recently honored by Dubois Strong with the “Entrepreneur of the Year Award”. 

Mike currently serves as a board member of Conexus Indiana Logistics Council (Southwest), the Mid-State Corridor Development Corporation and has just finished 10 years on the Greater Jasper Consolidated School Board. He is also a member of the Nature Conservancy, Indiana Woodland Owners Association, and Quail & Upland Game Alliance. Mike spends most of his spare time engaged in forestry activities, including tree planting, timber stand improvement along with hunting and fishing.

Rep. Braun and his wife Maureen have been married for 38 years and have four grown children.   

House District 63: Portions of Daviess, Dubois, Pike and Martin counties

 

Braun to serve on Education summer study committee

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, June 23, 2016

STATEHOUSE (June 23, 2016) — State Rep. Mike Braun (R-Jasper) will serve on the Interim Study Committee on Education. In preparation for the 2017 legislative session, which begins in January, interim study committee members meet to examine assigned topics, gather testimonies and identify potential legislation. “The safety of our children

Rep. Braun: Washington resident receives Distinguished Hoosier Award

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 17, 2016

STATEHOUSE (June 17, 2016) — State Rep. Mike Braun (R-Jasper) congratulates Barbara Helm from Daviess County for her designation as a Distinguished Hoosier award recipient. Helm was presented the award at the Miss Indiana Competition Thursday night in Zionsville. “For many years, Helm has tirelessly supported the Miss Indiana Organization and

Rep. Braun: Martin County farm receives distinguished award

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, March 28, 2016

STATEHOUSE (March 28, 2016) — State Rep. Mike Braun (R-Jasper) congratulates the Klingle-Doty Farm in Martin County for their designation as a Hoosier Homestead award recipient for 100 years of family farm ownership. “Indiana agriculture supports nearly 190,000 jobs and contributes more than $44 billion to the Hoosier economy,” Braun

Rep. Braun votes in support of road funding plan

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Note to the press: Please include the following statement from State Rep. Mike Braun (R-Jasper) in your coverage of the House of Representatives passing House Bill (HB) 1001, which provides sustainable, long-term road funding for the state of Indiana. Rep. Braun serves on the Roads and Transportation and Ways and Means committees. He voted in favor of HB

Rep. Braun congratulates local families on long-standing farms

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 14, 2015

STATEHOUSE — State Representative Mike Braun (R-Jasper) congratulates the Danhafer and Fuhs families of Dubois County for receiving the Hoosier Homestead Award. The awards were presented by Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann at the Indiana State Fair. The Hoosier Homestead Award Program recognizes farming families who have owned and operated the same farm

Local farmer to be honored at Indiana State Fair

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, June 18, 2015

The operators of 17 farms from across the state have been chosen to represent the "Year of the Farmer" at this summer's Indiana State Fair. To honor and celebrate their contributions to our agricultural industry, each day of the fair will recognize a farmer or farm family who represent different segments of Indiana agriculture. I am proud to say that Dan

Reflecting on a successful 2015 session

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 8, 2015

The final day of the 2015 legislative session, also known as Sine Die, has passed and legislators are now back in their districts. While most of us will be returning to full-time jobs and look forward to being back home, it was an honor to serve our community and represent your voice at the Statehouse. We accomplished a lot in the House this session, but I

The end of the 2015 session is near

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 17, 2015

As we draw closer to the last day of the 2015 legislative session, my colleagues and I are working diligently to continue to promote legislation that will have a positive impact on our community and state. This week, we debated and discussed many Senate bills on the House floor, which had to be reviewed before several critical deadlines passed. With these

Improving Indiana's infrastructure

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, April 2, 2015

Although much of my first legislative session has been dedicated to crafting our state’s biennial budget, I have also enjoyed working with members on the Roads and Transportation Committee to advance policies to maintain and improve Indiana’s infrastructure. Specifically, I wanted to highlight two bills the House passed that would strengthen our

Investing in Indiana's education system

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 20, 2015

One of my top priorities this legislative session is to strengthen our investment in Indiana’s education system. With the second half of session underway, and with several critical deadlines behind us, I wanted to highlight a few of the bills we passed in the House that continue to support Hoosier teachers while also making sure our students are

Rep. Braun congratulates local family on long-standing farm

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 6, 2015

STATEHOUSE — State Representative Mike Braun (R-Jasper) congratulates the Ketzner family from Dubois County for receiving the Hoosier Homestead Award. The award was presented by Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann at the Indiana Statehouse. The Hoosier Homestead Award Program recognizes farming families who have owned and operated the same farm for 100

[r63] Rep. Braun applauds passage of House budget

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, February 24, 2015

STATEHOUSE — “I am pleased that House Bill (HB) 1001, the state’s biennial budget, passed the House today. As the only freshman legislator on the Ways and Means Committee, I was privileged to join my fellow committee members in crafting an honestly balanced budget that continues to live within our state’s means and maintain healthy

[r63] COLUMN: House Republicans announce budget proposal

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 20, 2015

House Republicans announce budget proposal As I near the halfway point of my first legislative session, I am as excited as when I first stepped through the doors of the Statehouse. Many bills continue to work their way through the legislative process and onto the House floor, including my bill addressing a local concern with levees that passed on third

[r63] Bill addressing local concern passes House

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, February 10, 2015

STATEHOUSE — State Representative Mike Braun (R-Jasper) authored a bill to address a local concern and reduce the burden impacting counties regarding the maintenance and repair of levees. It encourages conversation between land owners’ associations and counties to determine who is responsible to maintain or repair a levee that suffers damage.

[r63] COLUMN: First session off to a great start

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 6, 2015

First session off to a great start With a full month of session behind us, the energy at the Statehouse continues to grow. While each day presents new challenges, I have enjoyed working with legislators, industry professionals and Hoosiers, from all across the state, to address many of the issues facing our community and state. It has been an exciting

[r63] Rep. Braun joins Suits and Sneakers at Statehouse

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, January 29, 2015

STATEHOUSE — State Rep. Mike Braun (R-Jasper), legislators and staff wore sneakers at the Statehouse today in support of the “Suits and Sneakers” challenge to raise awareness of the fight against cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), in 2012, 35,000 Hoosiers heard the words “you have cancer,” and of those,

[r63] House Page Program now accepting applications

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, December 29, 2014

STATEHOUSE— State Representative Mike Braun (R-Jasper) is encouraging Hoosier students to apply for the Indiana House Page Program. The program offers students 13 to 18 years old the chance to visit the Statehouse and see a full day of legislative activity. “This is a unique and rewarding experience for young Hoosiers to meet and work closely

[r63] Rep. Braun ready to serve Hoosiers (11/18/2014)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Start Date: 11/18/2014 Start Time: 12:00 AMEnd Date: 11/18/2014STATEHOUSE — State Representative Mike Braun (R-Jasper) joined fellow legislators at the Statehouse today, Organization Day, for the first official meeting of the 119th General Assembly. All 100 members of the House, including eight new Republicans, were sworn in by Chief Justice Loretta

[r63] Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Thinking Pink!

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, October 9, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Thinking Pink! It is a sad reality that nearly all of us have been impacted by breast cancer. For instance, you may have heard that in the U. S. alone, it is estimated that one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. This disease affects us all personally, and I have had many friends and

[r63] Sign the pledge: End prescription drug abuse

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, October 3, 2014

Sign the pledge: End prescription drug abuse Have you ever heard someone say that awareness is the first step towards prevention? I think many of us would agree that it is difficult to solve a problem without first knowing that it exists. Efforts to increase awareness can come in many forms and can be as wide-ranging as a statewide campaign or as small as

[r63] Keeping Indiana's education system on the right path

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 26, 2014

Keeping Indiana's education system on the right path As a state, our future relies upon the next generation. That is why as state leaders, one of the most significant things we can do to make a real, lasting impact on our state is to keep our education system strong and growing stronger. Throughout my time in the House Republicans, education has

[r63] Remembering the Constitution every day of the year

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 19, 2014

Remembering the Constitution every day of the year Did you know that this year marks the 227th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution? This is the oldest and shortest written Constitution of any major government in the world, but is also one of the most important documents ever penned. The Constitution was written to guarantee the freedoms

[r63] Statehood Day: A celebration of Indiana's rich history

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 12, 2014

Statehood Day: A celebration of Indiana's rich history Indiana has a rich history, and each year on Statehood Day, there is never a lack of things to celebrate. Just as our state is comprised of thousands of individual communities big and small, our rich history is also made up of each of these communities’ storied pasts. For example, did you know

[r63] Honoring the heroes among us

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 5, 2014

Honoring the heroes among us It is hard to believe that it has been 13 years since the United States experienced the largest foreign attack on American soil. Like all of you, I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard the tragic news. My wife Kim and I had just gotten home from a trip to Scotland on Sept. 10th. The next day, I

[r63] Boosting public awareness of Indiana's lifeline law

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 29, 2014

Thousands of college students are now back in the classroom. This can be a huge adjustment, especially for freshman. They are miles away from their friends and families, they are not familiar with the area, classes are more rigorous and for many, this is their first glimpse at life as an adult. While college is a great way to meet people from all walks of

[r63] Setting records for Indiana jobs and investment

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 15, 2014

Life can be unpredictable. That is a reality we all face at one point or another. From an early age, we begin to understand that part of being an adult is financially preparing not only for what we know is coming, but also that which we cannot even begin to expect. However, we often make the mistake of not holding our local, state and federal government

[r63] Celebrating Hoosier farm families

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 8, 2014

Indiana is known for agriculture; so much so, that when the rest of the country hears “Indiana,” corn is likely one of the first things to come to their mind. As a result, no matter where you are in the state, you do not have to venture far to find a farm. Traveling on Indiana roads, we have become so accustomed to seeing crops, livestock and

[r63] Heading back to the classroom

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 1, 2014

It may only be the beginning of August, but for many local students, this means it is time to go back to school! Personally, I cannot believe how quickly the summer has flown by, and it seems like just yesterday when students were being released for summer vacation. Soon, young Hoosiers will be swapping days at the pool for days in the classroom, starting

[r63] Strassenfest: Alive with the Arts

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 25, 2014

During the legislative session, when new laws are being vetted and important decisions are being made, I make it a priority to keep you informed of what is going on at the state level. Although we are still hard at work during the summer months by serving on interim study committees, the summer allows me to spend more time in the district and be engaged in

[r63] 4-H, more than just a fair

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 18, 2014

It’s that time of the year again, when counties come together to celebrate 4-H. For some young Hoosiers, our 4-H County Fair is a culmination of a year’s worth of hard work, while for others it is simply a fun night out filled with good food, good family and good friends. Nowadays, for me, it is more of the latter, but when my daughters were

[r63] Looking out for Hoosier families

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 11, 2014

The coal industry has played an integral role in our nation’s history, and District 63 is very close to the heart of it all. Information on the Institute of Energy Research’s website reveals that from a global standpoint, the United States has the largest coal reserves in the world, enough to last us another 250 years. Living where we do,

[r63] Continuing to work hard for Hoosiers

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer is finally here and that means it is once again time to talk about interim study committees. After each legislative session adjourns, these committees allow my colleagues and me the opportunity to continue our work throughout the summer months. Members of the committees are tasked with discussing, debating and conducting in-depth review on certain

[r63] Addressing Indiana's meth problem

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 27, 2014

For the past several years, local law enforcement and state officials have been battling Indiana’s growing meth crisis. Unfortunately, according to statistics from the Department of Justice, Indiana led the nation last year in the number of meth lab seizures. One of the ways we sought to reduce the number of meth related incidents was by restricting

[r63] Insurance changes coming July 1

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 20, 2014

Unless you work in the insurance industry, or know it very well, chances are the word insurance is enough to make your eyes glaze over. There is no denying that it can be a dry, tedious topic. However, you may be surprised to know that there are a couple insurance changes going into effect soon that may directly impact you, and in fact, are pretty

[r63] Indiana moped regulations

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 13, 2014

With gas prices hovering around four dollars a gallon, many Hoosiers are in search of some relief. For some that could mean carpooling with a coworker, and for others, that could mean riding a bike or investing in a moped, depending on the commute. Now that the beautiful weather is here to stay, I anticipate seeing more and more people choosing the latter.

[r63] Making a difference in the community

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 6, 2014

Area schools are beginning to let out, and the warmer weather finally looks like it is here to stay. Between outdoor activities, lounging at the pool and family vacations, it is certainly easy to fill those long summer days; however, the summer is still an excellent opportunity for young Hoosiers to learn. Not necessarily in the academic sense, but rather,

[r63] Property tax protection for homeowners

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 30, 2014

Many of you reading this today probably own a home, and if you don’t, chances are, one day you might. Homeownership is a huge step in life that unfortunately does not come with an instruction manual; however, it does come with many added responsibilities, including paying property taxes. Prior to 2002, property in the state of Indiana was

[r63] Graduation season is upon us

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 23, 2014

For every graduate and their family this is an exciting time of year. For parents in particular, graduation ceremonies are a time for reflection. We wonder where the time went and how our little ones grew up so fast. As a father of four, with my youngest son Luke graduating this year, I speak from experience. Graduation is not just about reflecting on the

[r63] Celebrating Memorial Day

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 16, 2014

For many Hoosiers, Memorial Day weekend is one of the first opportunities to enjoy the beginning of summer. Some may invite family and friends over for a backyard cook-out while others enjoy the weekend at one of Indiana’s many state parks. As we participate in these activities, which are so central to the American way of life, it is important to

[r63] Looking out for Hoosier children

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 9, 2014

When you choose to become a parent, you are taking on one of the biggest responsibilities one can have in life. As our children start to get older and we think back on their childhood, the one thing that stands out the most is time; time that we spent reading to them, laughing with them and teaching them everything from how to tie their shoes to some of

[r63] Putting our children first

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 2, 2014

Many schools across Indiana will soon be letting out for the summer. But that didn’t stop us from working diligently this spring to ensure a safer environment for students when they return to school in the fall. As a parent, we often feel as if our children are an extension of ourselves. I speak from experience when I say it can be difficult to send

[r63] Helping disabled Hoosiers

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 25, 2014

When we think about protecting our most vulnerable members of society, we often focus on children, or even the elderly. However, regardless of their age, Hoosiers with disabilities have distinctive needs that deserve our care and attention. This session, we worked together to make that a reality. One example of this is Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 61, which

[r63] Helping Hoosiers obtain a high school diploma

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, April 17, 2014

Obtaining a college degree, or even a high school diploma, was not always as critical to one’s success as it is today. However, in order to succeed in today’s workforce, a high school diploma is absolutely critical, and this is a realization facing Hoosiers of all ages. While we continue to encourage students to attend some sort of

[r63] Updating Indiana’s criminal code

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 28, 2014

Whether it is major or minor, you can hardly turn on the news lately without seeing some mention of crime. While crime may be an inevitable part of the world we live in, it is important that we do everything we can to make Indiana a safer place for Hoosier families, and sometimes that means revaluating our criminal code. Before the 2013 legislative

[r63] Hoosier Homestead Awards recognize rich agricultural heritage

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, March 27, 2014

STATEHOUSE — State Representatives Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) and Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth) congratulate the Rothert Farm of Dubois County for receiving the Hoosier Homestead Award. Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and Agriculture Director Ted McKinney presented the award at the Indiana Statehouse on Thursday. The Hoosier Homestead Award Program recognizes

[r63] Legislation concerning career and technical education diplomas signed into law

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, March 25, 2014

STATEHOUSE – Legislation co-authored by State Representative Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) regarding career and technical education diplomas was signed into law by Governor Pence. House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1213 requires the Indiana Career Council to appoint a subcommittee to review the current Core 40 diploma course offerings, make recommendations to the

[r63] Promoting our Hoosier homegrown agriculture

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 21, 2014

Now that session has come to an end, I believe it is important to keep you informed of the new laws that we have passed and how they will affect you. Over the next few weeks, I plan to cover a variety of topics ranging from criminal code revision to public health. This week, I would like to focus on our efforts to promote our Hoosier homegrown agriculture.

[r63] Session Successful in Growing Businesses, Jobs

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 14, 2014

When the Indiana House Republicans unveiled the 2014 legislative agenda, we knew that we had set some lofty goals for a short session. Our goals included cutting taxes, increasing funding for roads, bridging the skills gap, creating a preschool voucher program and cutting unnecessary government regulations. Ten weeks later, I am proud of the work that we

[r63] Conference Committees Are Here

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 7, 2014

With hundreds of bills having passed both chambers of the Indiana legislature, we now come to what can be the most challenging part of session: coming to a consensus on the final language of the enacted laws. When the House amends a Senate bill, or vice versa, the author of the bill can either concur with or dissent to those changes. When they dissent, the

[r63] Indiana Legislation is Serving Veterans

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 28, 2014

As legislators, one of the things we strive to do is not only to fix problems, but to reward people who contribute to society. Few contribute as much as our men and women in uniform, who by serving sacrifice so much to ensure that we have continued freedom and security here at home. We have a number of bills this legislative session that help address active

[r63] Session Nearing the End

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, February 24, 2014

With only three weeks of session remaining, the deadline for the legislature’s work is quickly approaching. The House has passed 146 of our own bills, and we are now hearing Senate bills. Of those Senate bills, there are a few I wanted to highlight. Senate Bill 339 would allow the sale of alcoholic beverages at the Indiana State Fair. Indiana is an

[r63] Bill promoting entrepreneurship passes Senate

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, February 18, 2014

State Representative Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) authored legislation regarding the promotion of entrepreneurship in young Hoosiers, which passed the Indiana Senate yesterday with a 49-0 vote. House Bill (HB) 1332 takes several entrepreneurship initiatives and organizations and combines them into a single office known as the Office of Small Business and

[r63] Past the halfway mark

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 14, 2014

This week consisted primarily of committee hearings as Senate bills began to move over to the House. With only four short weeks left, things are really starting to pick up. This can be a very exciting and hectic time as you will now want to keep track of House and Senate bills that continue to move through the legislative process. Two bills that I am

[r63] Halfway through the 2014 session

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 7, 2014

This week marks week five of ten of the 2014 legislative session. So far, we have passed 146 bills out of the House. On Monday, that number increased dramatically because it was our third reading deadline. After the third reading deadline, bills that have been approved on final passage switch houses; House bills go to the Senate for further debate and

[r63] Approaching the halfway point

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 31, 2014

While I’m in session during the week until mid-March, I want to make sure to stay connected to my constituents and keep everyone informed of the legislative proceedings. It would be impossible to share with you every bill that we have discussed, but I would like to pick a couple that I think not only apply to our district but are also interesting.

[r63] House passes bill promoting entrepreneurship

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, January 29, 2014

State Representative Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) has authored a piece of legislation to further promote entrepreneurship in young Hoosiers. Yesterday, House Bill (HB) 1332 passed the Indiana House of Representatives with a unanimous vote. HB 1332 combines several pro-entrepreneurship efforts and organizations into a single organization, known as the Office of

[r63] On the docket this week

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 24, 2014

We have now completed the third week of the 2014 legislative session. Twenty bills have received final passage, all with bipartisan support. As I shared with you a couple weeks ago, one of the main items in the House Republican Agenda focuses on addressing the skills gap. This week, we were able to dive into this issue and explore it in greater detail.

[r63] Off to a productive start at the Statehouse

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 17, 2014

The first full week of session has now come to a close, and I am very optimistic for the remainder of session. There are some exciting things happening in our state capitol, and I want you to know about them. As you may have heard, Governor Pence gave the annual State of the State address on Tuesday in front of a joint session of the Indiana House of

[r63] Rep. Mark Messmer congratulate Barr-Reeve volleyball team on state championship

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, January 16, 2014

State Representative Mark Messmer honored the 2013 state champion Barr-Reeve High School girls volleyball team in a resolution on Thursday, January 16th at the Statehouse. “Excellence in athletics is achieved through dedication and determination,” said Rep. Messmer. “The Barr-Reeve High School volleyball team displayed outstanding

[r63] Rep. Messmer responds to Governor Pence’s State of the State address

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, January 14, 2014

“Job creation and economic development are key factors to Indiana’s future success. These are issues on which it is vital that the executive branch and the legislative branch are in agreement and present a united front. After tonight’s State of the State address, I am confident that our two branches will continue to work together for the

[r63] 2014 legislative agenda invests in Indiana’s future

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 10, 2014

On Wednesday, House Speaker Brian Bosma announced the House Republican agenda for the 2014 legislative session. From education to the skills gap, the agenda includes many issues that I believe are important for Indiana’s future. One of the most crucial issues that the Speaker addressed was education. As a state representative, it is important to

[r63] The importance of coal in Indiana

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 3, 2014

Before we get into the hustle and bustle of the 2014 legislative session, I want to acknowledge an issue that I have received a great deal of feedback about during the past year: the future of coal in Indiana. The coal industry plays a significant role in the livelihood of southern Indiana, so it is not hard to understand why many of my constituents feel

[r63] Bidding farewell to a great year

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, December 27, 2013

We’ve gotten through Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the holiday season isn’t quite over yet! The ending of one year and the beginning of another brings about reflection and resolutions. Today, I want to do a bit of reflection on what I consider the top legislative accomplishments of 2013. Many of these accomplishments center on the fiscally

[r63] 2014 House Page Program

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, December 19, 2013

If your teenager is like mine, chances are they look for an excuse to miss a day of school from time to time. They probably don’t often get their wish, however the House Page Program offers a day out of school that both students and parents can agree on! In reality, the page program is so much more than a day out of the classroom as it provides the

[r63] The greatest time of year

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, December 13, 2013

It seems like not too long ago, I was providing a legislative session wrap-up and here I am already talking about Christmas! While some people are fretting about the few number of shopping days left until Christmas, I am still trying to figure out where the past year has gone! Christmas embodies different things for different people, particularly when it

[r63] Celebrating Statehood Day

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, December 6, 2013

Each year, December is marked by busy shoppers, holiday decorations and abundant Christmas cheer. However, did you know that December also marks another significant holiday for Hoosiers? It marks Indiana’s birthday, commonly referred to as Statehood Day, which is December 11. This year will be the 197th anniversary of the day then President James

[r63] Rep. Messmer pleased to see local schools receiving some restitution

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, December 5, 2013

STATEHOUSE – State Representative Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) is pleased to see restitution for Shoals Community Schools from the settlement reached between the State of Indiana and the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) and the National Education Association (NEA). Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced earlier this week that her office

[r63] Winter fire safety

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, November 27, 2013

When you think about winter safety, what comes to mind? Chances are, you think about putting down salt to keep from slipping on the ice or survival kits that go in the trunk of your car in case you get stranded in a snowstorm. However, did you know that home fires are more prevalent in the winter than in any other season? Last week, such a tragedy took

[r63] Organization Day in the General Assembly

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, November 22, 2013

Tuesday, November 19th was Organization Day at the Indiana Statehouse. This largely ceremonial day marks the first official meeting of the legislature prior to the start of another legislative session. Each year on Organization Day, new members are sworn in, the first roll call is taken and Democrat and Republican caucuses from both the House and Senate

[r63] Local schools get assistance with school safety

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, November 15, 2013

In light of recent tragedies which have occurred in schools across America, the Indiana General Assembly placed a large focus this past session on how we can work to ensure that similar heartbreak is not experienced here in Indiana. No child should have to go through a horrifying experience like what occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, and no parent should

[r63] Remembering our nation’s veterans, today and everyday

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, November 8, 2013

You are probably already familiar with the fact that Monday, November 11th, marks the 94th commemoration of what we now know as Veterans Day. What you may not be familiar with however is the storied history that surrounds this holiday. Today, in honor of our men and women in uniform, I would like to take a moment to recount that history. While the Treaty

[r63] New laws for winter

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, November 1, 2013

Just a few weeks ago, we were celebrating the arrival of autumn in Indiana. The recent cold spell makes me think we’re going to have a longer winter than normal, but I’m hoping the beautiful fall weather lasts a few weeks longer. With this, I got to thinking about the various laws we passed that more closely pertain to the colder months and how

[r63] The battle against prescription drug abuse

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, October 25, 2013

Across the country, more people abuse prescription drugs than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants combined. In Indiana, we have been battling the issue of prescription drug abuse and misuse on the home front as well. According to the State Department of Health, in 2011 alone, we lost 718 Hoosiers to accidental overdoses. What I have found most

[r63] Competition season is back

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, October 18, 2013

It seems like it happened almost overnight but the bright green leaves of summer have now been replaced by warm reds, oranges and yellows. There is no greater display of fall beauty than that which is occurring in southern Indiana right now. As we begin to see these changes and the brisk fall air rolls in from the west, I am reminded of why fall is one of

[r63] Matching people to jobs and jobs to people

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, October 11, 2013

Wednesday marked the 4th meeting of the Interim Study Committee on Economic Development. Once again, we had a variety of subjects to tackle and spent hours in productive discussion. When we get down into the weeds, it can be difficult to keep peoples interest; however I hope that like me, you will begin to notice some overall patterns in our discussions.

[r63] Area schools achieving excellence

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, October 4, 2013

Does your child attend Holy Family School in Jasper? Or, are you a member of the Jasper community? If so, you now have even more reason to be proud of your child and city. Last week, the U.S. Department of Education honored Holy Family School in Jasper as a National Blue Ribbon School. This makes them one of 286 schools from across the country to receive

[r63] From rental leases to trespassing, economic development is everywhere

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 27, 2013

I know the idea of rental leases isn’t incredibly exciting, however it affects us in more ways than we may think. At some point in each of our lives, we were probably all renters. We’ve probably all had that first apartment on our own; tiny in size but big in personality. We probably also all know someone who is a renter right now, whether it be

[r63] Small businesses, big impacts

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 20, 2013

Last week, I chaired a local Small Business Caucus field hearing in Vincennes. The National Federation of Independent Business worked to organize these hearings across the state in conjunction with the General Assembly. This gave small business owners a round-table discussion with state representatives and senators in order to discuss the issues that are

[r63] Know your rights, know the Constitution

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 13, 2013

This coming week marks the 225th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution. This is the oldest and shortest written Constitution of any major government in the world. It may only have 4,400 words, but it is safe to say that this document probably has more influence on our daily lives than anything else. The Constitution was written to

[r63] Reviving rural Indiana

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 6, 2013

This week was the second meeting of the interim study committee on economic development. We set out to find the best ways to attract new business, expand existing ones and promote gainful employment in rural Indiana. This meeting allowed us to speak directly to those with the highest stakes in the matter: the people of rural Indiana. Did you know that 63

[r63] Crane: keeping Indiana relevant and ready

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 30, 2013

The week before last, I shared with you my excitement regarding our upcoming legislative tour of Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane. This is something I have organized not just this year but for the past few years because I believe that Crane’s message is one that deserves sharing. Due to the nature of their work, much of what Crane does has

[r63] Making wine isn't all fun and grapes

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 23, 2013

We may not be in session every day, but there is still work that gets done in the Legislature year-round. Every year after we wrap up session, the Legislative Council meets to assign topics for study during the interim. These committees are an integral part of the legislative process as they allow us to go into more detailed discussion than time allows for

[r63] Advancing the U.S. Navy in the Hoosier heartland

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 16, 2013

As the month of August flies by, I am looking forward to the annual Indiana Legislative Tour at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Crane, Ind. The event is coming up in just a little over one week and will provide an excellent opportunity for legislators to learn more about the facility and the significant role that it plays in our part of the

[r63] Making back to school easier

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 9, 2013

The arrival of August is a reminder to students and parents alike that the relaxing days of summer are nearly over. Sleeping-in will soon be replaced by early morning alarm clocks, and days at the pool will now become days spent inside, reading and learning. This can be a hectic time as there are clothes to be bought, pencils to be sharpened and book fees

[r63] Alleviating the stress from higher education

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 2, 2013

Obtaining a college degree is one of the most important and rewarding accomplishments one can achieve for the betterment of their future. However, obtaining a college degree is not always the simplest process and anyone who has filled out student financial aid forms or tried to transfer credits from one institution to another knows how stressful it can be.

[r63] Revamping the world of utilities

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 26, 2013

During the hottest and coldest months in Indiana, utility costs are always a concern for Hoosiers. Because our state relies so heavily on the use of coal, Indiana enjoys electricity rates much lower than many other states. While the cost of energy in Indiana is comparatively low, the expenses of having the air conditioning run non-stop right now still

[r63] Making safety a priority

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 19, 2013

When we think about crime, we tend to be of the mindset that it will always happen somewhere else; never in our neighborhood or to the people that we love. Unfortunately, this is not always true. When something does happen and it is a little too close for comfort, we tend to have a very conventional way of thinking about our safety. We may want to know

[r63] Fostering a healthy Indiana

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 12, 2013

For years now, our country has been in the midst of a healthcare debate, which effects how Indiana offers various health care options. While the federal government has passed legislation to mandate that we all carry health insurance, here in Indiana, we have been hard at work trying to keep people healthy. The average individual has a variety of options

[r63] Helping Hoosier children

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 5, 2013

It seems like just yesterday we were wrapping up the 2013 session but here we are, 9 weeks out, and entering the month of July. This month marks a very special time as we celebrate Independence Day and reflect upon what it means to live in the United States of America. For centuries, people from around the world have flocked to this country in search of the

[r63] Crossroads of America

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer is officially here, and temperatures across Indiana are rising. Many Hoosiers take advantage of life in the Crossroads of America, to take family road trips to destinations across the country. For many, this is one of the countless fun parts of summer; however with driving comes an immense amount of responsibility. Quality time with family may be

[r63] Rep. Messmer appointed to summer study committees

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, June 24, 2013

STATEHOUSE — State Representative Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) has been appointed to serve as Co-Chairman of the Interim Study Committee on Economic Development as well as a member of the Military Base Planning Council. “I am honored to be serving on these two committees,” said Rep. Messmer. “Economic development is one of the greatest

[r63] Getting Smarter on Crime

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 21, 2013

When a crime is committed in our community, we expect an appropriate recourse. We hope that through a fair trial the justice system will hand down an adequate sentence to fit the crime; a consequence to be served by the convicted that does more than close a case but also acts as a deterrent to keep people from committing that action in the future. But, when

[r63] A debt of gratitude to our veterans

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 14, 2013

It seems that only during special occasions, like national holidays and ceremonies, that we pay tribute to our country’s servicemen and women for everything they do to protect us and our freedoms. There is greater support for our troops now than in some decades past, but, I feel that the job of a solider is underappreciated. Each day, while we are

[r63] Making next year even better for our students

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 7, 2013

While students across Indiana were packing their backpacks and heading to the classroom, I was packing my briefcase each day for the Statehouse. Almost daily, we were tasked with finding sensible solutions to the very issues your students were facing first-hand. Looking back on some of the many highlights from this session, I believe one thing is clear: the

[r63] Balanced budget casts a bright future for Indiana

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, May 6, 2013

In the early hours of last Saturday morning, the 2013 legislative session came to close with the fall of the Speaker’s gavel. The applause rang out as my fellow representatives reached across their desks to shake hands and celebrate a winning combination of a balanced budget that addresses education needs, infrastructure, and provides stability for

[r63] Productive session leads Indiana into an era of stability, growth

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 26, 2013

The 2013 legislative session has come to close, bringing an end to one of the most productive four months I have ever been a part of at the Statehouse. At the end of each session, I always try to reflect on some of the accomplishments and the work done on behalf of the people. Everything moves quickly at the Statehouse, but it is a process that works for

[r63] A true Hoosier hero

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 19, 2013

On Oct. 19 of 2012, I had the great honor of being a part of the process to name a bridge on Interstate 69 after Korean War hero Lt. Col. Don C. Faith Jr. of Washington, Ind. The Daviess County United States Army lieutenant colonel lost his life during battle while courageously leading his men to safety, but his body was unfortunately never recovered. He

[r63] Indiana’s fiscal future

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 12, 2013

The nights are getting longer, and the debate more spirited at the Statehouse; a trend unlikely to change over the next two weeks before the final day of session, April 29. There have been many diverse issues discussed with bills being proposed to make Indiana a better place to live, work and raise a family. I am pleased to report that recently two

[r63] Key differences to proposed state budgets

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 5, 2013

On Thursday this week, the Senate released their version of the state budget for 2014/2015. I have continually said one of my goals for this legislative session is to help pass a balanced budget that protects Hoosier taxpayers, focuses on education and invests in our state’s infrastructure. While a large majority of the Senate’s budget was

[r63] Community connections at the Statehouse

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, March 28, 2013

Every branch of government has been on full display this week. Most notably, the Indiana Supreme Court passed a ruling that education vouchers were constitutional. Since 2011, legislation to provide greater choices to low-income Hoosier families as been overwhelming supported as 9,400 low-income students are now enrolled in the program. I applaud this

[r63] Gaming in Indiana

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, March 26, 2013

You cannot put a price on the strength of working together. As a community, we do a very good job of coming together as a unit to provide support, outreach and resources for each other. I have always believed cooperation to be important, especially during my time at the Statehouse. As a House, I am proud to say that not only are Republicans and Democrats

[r63] Hoosier farmers recognized for achievements

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 22, 2013

STATEHOUSE – State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) congratulates the Auffart, Langebrake-Bilderback, George and Willard Keller/Bobby Sunderman, Johanneman, Seitz and Morehouse families from Dubois County for receiving the Hoosier Homestead Award. The award was presented today by Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and Agriculture Director Gina Sheets at the Indiana

[r63] Kids, veterans and local government: bills that work for you

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 15, 2013

It is an exciting time in Indianapolis as we continue to work through the second half of session. Bills from the Senate continue to move in the House of Representatives for discussion and debate. This week we have begun to see final passage of several bills. Among those is Senate Bill (SB) 153, which addresses the conditions under which a child between

[r63] Moving forward in the 2013 Legislative Session

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 8, 2013

The General Assembly has powered through the legislative session with last week marking the halfway point of session. The House passed 175 bills which have been sent to the Senate for further consideration. Similarly, 216 Senate bills are now being discussed and debated in the House. Now, with the bills changing house of origin, the debates, bills,

[r63] Future generations will inherit opportunities, not deficits

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 8, 2013

This week marks the mid-point of the 2013 legislative session. One of the most important pieces of legislation I have had the opportunity to vote on is House Bill 1001, more commonly known as Indiana’s Biennial budget. As I’ve said in many past reports, the passing of a balanced budget is an issue that I take very seriously. I am proud to say

[r63] Bills that matter

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, February 25, 2013

It was a very productive week at the Statehouse. Each day, new legislation is being passed and amended to create a better quality of life for Hoosiers. I wanted to take a moment to highlight three bills this week that I have authored or have great interest in. First, a piece of legislation I authored: House Bill 1027 is concerned with civil immunity for

[r63] Feeding Indiana’s Hungry

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, February 25, 2013

This month, members of the General Assembly have joined forces in the fight against Hoosier hunger. Partnering with Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, the nation’s largest food bank network, my fellow legislators and I are working to raise awareness and assist with the state’s domestic hunger relief efforts. To kick off the month of awareness, all

[r63] Rep. Messmer congratulates Jasper High School Marching Wildcats

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, February 25, 2013

STATEHOUSE- State Representative Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) presented a House Resolution to congratulate the Jasper High School Marching Wildcats on Monday for winning in the Indiana State School Music Association Class B State Marching Band Championship last November. “I am very proud of the Marching Wildcats,” said Rep. Messmer. “As a

[r63] Loogootee High School recognized for being true “Hoosiers”

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, February 18, 2013

As Hoosiers, basketball is in our blood. We watch games with passion, sometimes bated breath, always cheering our favorite team to victory. For the Loogootee High School boys’ basketball team, it was like the movie Hoosiers as they realized the ultimate victory in winning the school’s first state championship earlier last year. To recognize

[r63] “The Good Samaritan Act”

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, February 18, 2013

STATEHOUSE - State Representative Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) House Bill 1027 passed out of the House on Monday with a 93-0 vote. HB 1027 is concerned with civil immunity for services in a state of emergency and now moves on to the Senate for further consideration. “House Bill 1027 is also referred to the Good Samaritan Act,” said Rep. Messmer.

[r63] Small businesses, the driving force of the economy

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happy New Year! As you know, I have been focusing on and getting ready for the upcoming legislative session, which begins January 7. My previous columns highlighted my initiatives for this session and the process of how a bill becomes a law. The House offers a unique opportunity for students to come to the Statehouse and see all of these moving parts in

[r63] Legislative Update

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, February 5, 2013

We have been off to a fast start here at the Statehouse. Debates, bills, amendments, committee meetings and more are happening each day. Amongst the hustle and bustle of the Indiana General Assembly, Governor Pence delivered his first State of the State Address on Tuesday, Jan. 22. As he spoke about how honored he is to serve the state of Indiana, I

[r63] Linking Education and Jobs

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The 2013 legislative session is in full swing. There are many issues that I will be working on this session. However, there are three priorities that will be my main focus, promoting bills that focus on jobs, education, and a balanced budget. House Bill (HB) 1002 focuses on both the jobs and educational areas. HB 1002 establishes the Indiana Career

[r63] New year, new outlook for Hoosiers

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The festivities of the holiday season have quieted in time for the lively proceedings of session at the Statehouse. With a new legislative session underway, I am looking forward to tackling the challenges and opportunities facing Indiana and addressing those topics this year. A new year brings new beginnings and new opportunities. I am fortunate enough to

[r63] Rep. Messmer responds to State of the State address

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) issued the following statement in reaction to the Governor’s State of the State Address at the Statehouse. STATEHOUSE – “During the State of the State address this evening I felt that Governor Pence could not have spoken truer words – his remarks applied to Hoosiers everywhere. He addressed the topics of

[r63] Small businesses, the driving force of the economy

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Throughout my tenure in the legislature, and most of my discussions with Hoosiers, the number one concern that is brought up is jobs. America is the land of opportunity, and we cannot let the ideals that built this country be tarnished. Indiana is only as strong as its people and providing an environment for Hoosiers to flourish is essential for continued

[r63] House Page Program now accepting pages for 2013 session

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year! As you know, I have been focusing on and getting ready for the upcoming legislative session, which begins January 7. My previous columns highlighted my initiatives for this session and the process of how a bill becomes a law. The House offers a unique opportunity for students to come to the Statehouse and see all of these moving parts in

[r63] How a bill becomes a law: the breakdown

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, December 27, 2012

As 2012 comes to a close, there is still much work to be done at the Statehouse. For the past few weeks the members of the Indiana General Assembly have been filing their bills. To most, this process seems very complicated, so I wanted to give a more simple breakdown of how a bill become a law. After members have been sworn in, they have approximately two

[r63] A moment of reflection in the holiday season

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, December 21, 2012

It is once again that time of the year. December is here and with it come all of the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Every holiday season, I have always found it important to look back at the year prior and reflect upon the many blessings afforded to my family. I believe that the greatest gifts of all are family, friends,

[r63] As the year closes, jobs continue to increase

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, December 14, 2012

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation continues to outdo itself securing more jobs for Indiana. As I stated last week, new statistics released by the IEDC touted how successful our great state has been in growing and retaining jobs. As of late November, deals had been secured with 220 companies planning on expanding or establishing new business

[r63] Jobs for Hoosiers: Not such a long and winding road after all

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, December 7, 2012

“Are we there yet?” is probably the most typical question that you might get from your child sitting in the backseat during a long road trip. However, the age-old inquiry is one that has been consistently buzzing around the Statehouse for the past couple of years too. While it is a question that was often asked by my children when they were

[r63] Rep. Messmer appointed Chairman of Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, December 3, 2012

STATEHOUSE — House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) announced committee assignments and leadership appointments for the Indiana House Republican Caucus with Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) being selected to serve as the Chairman of Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development. Committee chairmen and caucus leaders are selected biennially by

[r63] Surveys, Session and Service

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, November 30, 2012

December is a truly festive time as we gather together with our loved ones to shop for the holidays, look at the twinkling lights and count down the days until Christmas. It is one of my favorite times of year as we enjoy family, fellowship and fun. Following the New Year, on January 7, the General Assembly will begin its work crafting a two-year, balanced

[r63] House Republicans now accepting intern applications for 2013 legislative session

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, October 22, 2012

STATEHOUSE – State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) is pleased to announce that the 2013 House Republican Internship Program is now accepting applications. The program is open to undergraduate and graduate students interested in working for the House of Representatives at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. “Students who participate in the internship

[r63] Messmer Report: Ensuring Hoosiers can own their American Dream

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Sunday, October 21, 2012

This week Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) along with my colleagues made a major announcement about our plans to help all Hoosiers own their American Dream. While the economy is slowly recovering, many families are still looking to get back to work and continue to cut back on their budgets in order to live within their means. We have three key parts

[r63] Messmer Report: New education opportunities improve economic development

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Interim Study Committee on Economic Development, of which I am co-chair, met this week to discuss the role education plays in economic development. Businesses across the state identified a significant problem in filling all the job openings they have available due to the lack of properly educated and trained workers. In the coming decade, there is

[r63] Messmer Report: Interim Study Committee on Economic Development

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Sunday, October 21, 2012

This summer I am once again Co-Chair of the Interim Study Committee on Economic Development. The committee is made up of legislators from the House and Senate from each party, as well as representatives from labor organizations, various business groups, education, local government and local economic development officials. Recently, we heard testimony in

[r63] Messmer Report: The Affordable Care Act pushes additional costs onto Hoosier taxpayers

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Sunday, October 21, 2012

Last year, I was invited by the National Federation of Independent Businesses to testify on behalf of small business owners in Indiana at a Congressional Subcommittee meeting entitled ‘The Recent Health Care Law: Consequences for Indiana Families and Workers’. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by Congress, many in our community

[r63] Messmer Report: New technologies creating jobs in our communities

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 7, 2012

Many of you have probably heard of Junior Achievement (JA), the organization that helps K-12 students learn and understand the importance of work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills. It is an after school program that many students can participate in to better understand the basics of setting up and running a small business, but it is

[r63] Rep. Messmer announces U.S. 231 updates

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 7, 2012

STATEHOUSE – State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) would like to announce upcoming improvements to several portions of roadways in and around Jasper and Huntingburg. “Having the infrastructure in place for transportation and commerce are vital to our community’s economy and standard of living,” said Rep. Messmer. “I’m

[r63] Messmer Report: New technologies creating jobs in our communities

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 31, 2012

We had exciting news for our area last week with the groundbreaking ceremony of the Battery Innovation Center (BIC) at Crane WestGate. This is just the latest of several major investment announcements that have been made at the Crane WestGate Tech Park, and each offer a unique opportunity for economic growth in our region. The BIC project differs from

[r63] Rep. Messmer: Lost River Volunteer Fire Department receives $400,000 grant

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 31, 2012

STATEHOUSE – The Lost River Volunteer Fire Department in State Rep. Mark Messmer’s (R-Jasper) district has been awarded a grant from the Community Focus Fund (CFF). Located in Shoals, the department will be receiving a $400,000 grant to build a new fire station. “I’m pleased to see this grant awarded to Martin County,” said

[r63] Messmer Report: Improvements and expansion of deer hunting for Hoosiers

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 24, 2012

This fall, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be rolling out improved and expanded deer hunting opportunities for Hoosiers. These rule changes are a response to the increasing deer-human conflicts and evidence that growing deer populations are straining the environment in some areas. First, there are changes to the urban deer zones this year.

[r63] Messmer Report: Rep. Messmer: Lost River Volunteer Fire Department receives $400,000 grant

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 17, 2012

Our children’s education is very important for their well-being and success, as well as the future economic success of our state and country. By 2018, 55 percent of Indiana’s jobs will require a postsecondary education; and currently, only 33 percent of Hoosiers hold at least a two-year college degree. Because education is so important to

[r63] Messmer Report: Helpful tips to start your school year off right

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, August 13, 2012

This month, students across the state are switching gears from summer days to school days. For students, as well as parents, this can be an exciting but also stressful time. So, I wanted to give you a few helpful tips and reminders to help get your school year started off right. The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) recently launched a new website

[r63] Messmer Report: Have an ‘udderly’ great time at this year’s State Fair

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The State Fair is an event that ‘celebrates the Hoosier spirit’. It is a summertime staple and doesn’t only bring friends and families together to enjoy a wide variety of food and entertainment, but also educates and puts on display some of our states’ best traditions. The fair this year is celebrating the year of the dairy cows,

[r63] Messmer Report: Summer study committees are underway

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 27, 2012

Every year after the legislative session has ended, the members of the Indiana General Assembly are assigned to interim committees to study specific issues. These committees examine issues that need to be more closely examined before legislative actions are considered. There are over 40 study committees for the 2012 calendar. You can follow the activity

[r63] Messmer Report: Scouting Adventure With My Son, Part II

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 20, 2012

Wow, what an adventure our trip to the Philmont Scout Ranch turned out to be. Our scout troop returned Monday evening from our trip to the mountains of northeast New Mexico. The physical and mental challenges of what ended up being more than 100 miles of hiking and almost 15,000 feet of climbing where daunting. Our first five days on the trail it rained

[r63] Rep. Messmer recognized as “pro-jobs” legislator

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, July 18, 2012

STATEHOUSE – The annual Legislative Vote Analysis completed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce ranked Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) as having the highest possible pro-jobs voting records for the 2012 legislative session. Rep. Messmer scored 100 percent for supporting legislation that will help create Hoosier jobs and strengthen our economy.

[r63] Messmer Report: A Summer Scouting Adventure with my Son

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer is the time many of us take trips and family vacations. There is such a variety of beautiful places in our country to see, from mountains to ocean front beaches, and everything in between. I must admit, the last few years our household has made the excuse that we have been too busy to take time off and enjoy a trip somewhere. This summer, while I

[r63] Messmer Report: 4-H offers more than just fairs to our community

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 6, 2012

For years, my family and I have enjoyed participating in 4-H events. And I know that for many people in our community, going to our local County and 4-H Fairs is a tradition that they enjoy every year. I believe this is partially because we know that 4-H is an excellent organization that offers leadership and educational programs to the youth in our

[r63] Messmer Report: To every soldier who has defined what it means to be an ‘American’

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 29, 2012

As we celebrate yet another Independence Day holiday with family, picnics, fireworks and other festivities, let us take a moment to remember the significance of this date – the Fourth of July. Not so long ago, a bloody struggle between the world's most powerful nation and a rebellious army of soldiers disturbed the peace of the world. These rebels

[r63] Messmer Report: ‘Building the best sandbox’ for the benefit of all Hoosiers

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 22, 2012

Very recently there has been a lot of good news for Indiana on the job front. Since the beginning of the year the state has added 38,700 total private sector jobs led by 12,000 in manufacturing. For 2012, Indiana private sector gains have doubled that of the nation. As a portion of the larger picture, it was just announced that our state has been ranked

[r63] Messmer Report: Making prevention a priority for men’s health, and their families

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 15, 2012

Since 1994, June has been recognized as Men’s Health Month, and I think it’s important to remind ourselves to take a moment to consider our health for our own benefit, as well as for the benefit of our families. Overall, the purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early

Messmer Report: Exciting additions at WestGate and Crane

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 8, 2012

An exciting announcement at the WestGate Technology Park at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane is the Battery Innovation Center (BIC), a new non-profit initiative that will link battery manufacturers, government agencies, research labs, academia and Fortune 500 companies together to accelerate the battery market. The BIC will leverage

[r63] Messmer Report: Cutting costs and providing up-to-date technologies for Hoosiers

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 1, 2012

My colleagues and I in the General Assembly have taken the initiative over the past several years to cut costs and redundancy in our state and local governments. Two pieces of legislation passed this year that will assist our local emergency services by saving them money on equipment and better allowing our local utilities to invest in up-to-date

[r63] Messmer Report: The great cost of freedom for all Americans

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 25, 2012

On Memorial Day, many of us gather with friends and family to mark the unofficial beginning of summer. However, sometimes the true meaning of Memorial Day can become lost as we fire up the grill, go on camping trips or open our swimming pools. While we enjoy the warm weather this weekend, I encourage everyone to a moment in recognizing those brave men

[r63] Messmer Report: Relieving financial strain for local governments

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 25, 2012

Our local economies, including both private businesses and government entities, are making a strong comeback from the recession. The success and prosperity of one always touches the other; so with that in mind, this session we created measures to help our local units of government make stronger investments. The first, Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 109, expands

[r63] Messmer Report: Helping Hoosier Companies Grow

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 11, 2012

Some of the legislation passed in the General Assembly this session works to strengthen and clarify laws already in the books. By doing this, we often can provide local governments or businesses in Indiana the tools they need to grow and thrive. One example, HEA 1325, is a law that clarifies to the Department of Revenue that plane reconfiguration is a

[r63] Messmer Report: Having a say in our choice of health care

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 11, 2012

Across the country, a topic that continues making headlines is President Obama’s federal health care overhaul. Currently, the U.S. Supreme Court is working to decide if the plan is constitutional. In fact, Indiana is one of 26 states involved in the lawsuit that deems it unconstitutional for the federal government to require all Americans to purchase

[r63] Messmer Report: A more cost effective and efficient government

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, April 30, 2012

Over the past several years my colleagues and I in the General Assembly have been working diligently to create a more efficient system of government. One of the first major steps towards accomplishing this goal was the creation of the Select Committee on Government Reduction. Created in 2011 by House Speaker Brian Bosma, the committee works to reduce

[r63] Messmer Reort: Stimulating our local housing markets

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 20, 2012

One of the key factors that caused the economic recession a few years ago was the bursting of the housing bubble in America. In order to aid our economy’s recovery, we have taken steps in the General Assembly that will expedite the foreclosure market. This will better allow potential homebuyers to get back in the market and stimulate the economy.

[r63] Messmer Report: Education issues in the national spotlight addressed this year

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 13, 2012

Over the past year there have been many discussions and debates, both statewide and nationally, on two major issues affecting children and our schools: bullying and the cost of higher education. This session we were able to take steps toward studying these issues more closely and how we can improve our education systems for all Hoosier children. The first

[r63] Rep. Messmer congratulates CPR Cell Phone Repair on EDGE Award

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, April 11, 2012

STATEHOUSE – Today at the Statehouse Scott Hutslar, owner of CPR Cell Phone Repair in Jasper, Ind., was presented with the Economic Development and Growth through Entrepreneurship (EDGE) Award. State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) would like to congratulate them on their success. CPR Cell Phone Repair was recognized as an emerging business and was

[r63] Messmer Report: Protecting the lives of our most precious citizens

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, April 5, 2012

Children are a blessing and knowing that I and my colleagues in the General Assembly do our best to give all Hoosier children the best opportunities we can so that they can grow up in a safe and caring environment. This past session we were able to pass several key pieces of legislation in order to protect children and hopefully ensure that they are well

[r63] Messmer Report: Public safety issues addressed by the legislature

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 30, 2012

Every year the General Assembly works to address issues to improve public safety and to crack down on crime in Indiana. This year was no exception and we passed multiple pieces of legislation that will help to protect all Hoosiers from harmful substances and actions. There are many Hoosiers that enjoy being able to drive their golf carts around their

[r63] Ensuring our 911 system is funded for all Hoosiers

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 23, 2012

Since session ended two weeks ago I have been enjoying getting back to life as usual with my family and at the office. The hustle and bustle of session always provides an exciting atmosphere, one that I truly enjoy, but, as they say, there’s no place like home. This session we were able to tackle several issues that will help make Indiana an even

Rep. Messmer's bill to assist charity gaming signed by governor (3/21/2012)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Start Date: 3/21/2012 End Date: 3/21/2012 STATEHOUSE – Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) allowing national charities to acquire a statewide gaming license for their local Indiana affiliates was signed into law by Gov. Mitch Daniels. “This summer I worked with the Gaming Commission and representatives

[r63] Rep. Messmer’s bill to assist charity gaming signed by governor

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, March 21, 2012

STATEHOUSE – Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) allowing national charities to acquire a statewide gaming license for their local Indiana affiliates was signed into law by Gov. Mitch Daniels. “This summer I worked with the Gaming Commission and representatives of several national charitable organizations to help make

[r63] Protecting those that serve and protect us

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 16, 2012

Senate Bill (SB) 1 was passed by the General Assembly this year in response to a Supreme Court decision in the 2011 Barnes vs. Indiana court case. The Court was deciding a case that dealt with whether a particular jury instruction was properly denied by the trial judge. However, in dealing with that issue, the Court went on to hold that there is no right

[r63] Investing in Indiana’s future

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Saturday, March 10, 2012

The 2012 legislative session is wrapping up and we’ve been able to accomplish many of our goals to make Indiana a better place to live and work. There are several bills of note that passed including a bill to provide an additional $80 to $100 million in funding for full-day kindergarten, improve the automatic taxpayer refund, phase-out the state

[r63] Messmer Report: Protecting Hoosier Freedoms

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 2, 2012

The legislative session is coming to and end and many bills are in their final stages before either being signed into law by the governor or being dead for the year. This past week we discussed and debated several topics that have been talked about often across the state in many communities. A statewide smoking ban passed the Senate, and in the House we

[R63] Rep. Messmer: Local schools honored by state for high performance

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, March 1, 2012

STATEHOUSE — Three area elementary schools represented by State Reps. Sue Ellspermann (R-Ferdinand), Steve Davisson (R-Salem), and Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) were recognized today by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). Ferdinand Elementary, Pine Ridge Elementary, and Huntingburg Elementary have achieved some of the highest growth in student

[r63] Messmer Report: Legislators enjoy the ‘bratzel’

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 24, 2012

The General Assembly spends several months each year working out solutions to many issues, but it’s also important to take the time to recognize the achievements of Hoosiers who make Indiana great. The highlight of my week was welcoming Jasper’s own Schnitzelbank Restaurant to the Statehouse. The Schnitzelbank’s ‘bratzel’

[r63] Rep. Messmer honors Schnitzelbank Restaurant for winning Super 46 Sandwich contest

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 24, 2012

STATEHOUSE – A resolution authored by State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) honoring the Schnitzelbank Restaurant in Jasper for winning the Indiana Office of Tourism Development’s (IOTD) Super 46 Sandwich contest was adopted today by the Indiana House of Representatives. “The Schnitzelbank Restaurant has been an excellent institution in

[r63] Rep. Messmer’s bills to bring testing, price preferences to national standards signed by governor

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, February 23, 2012

STATEHOUSE—Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law two bills authored by State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper). House Bill (HB) 1148, concerning engineer and land surveyor examinations and HB 1154, dealing with local purchasing and public works preferences, will both go into effect July 1, 2012. HB 1148 will update a state law stating that engineers and

[r63] Rep. Messmer sponsors bill to assist charity gaming

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, February 23, 2012

STATEHOUSE – A bill sponsored by State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) that would allow national charities to acquire a statewide gaming license for their local Indiana affiliates. Senate Bill (SB) 315 passed the House on final reading by a vote of 76-19. “This summer I worked with the Gaming Commission and representatives of several national

[r63] Rep. Messmer urges INDOT to rename bridge after Medal of Honor recipients

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, February 23, 2012

STATEHOUSE – A resolution urging the Indiana Department of Transportation to rename North Bridge Structure I-69-63-9501 (northbound) after Private Richard Taylor and South Bridge Structure I-69-63-9502 (southbound) after Lieutenant Colonel Don C. Faith, Jr. for their bravery was passed today in the House Roads and Transportation Committee. The

[r63] Rep. Messmer honors Pike Central students for design of disaster shelter

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, February 22, 2012

STATEHOUSE—State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) honored three Pike Central High School students on the House floor yesterday to recognize their achievements. The resolution recognized students Jessica D’Esposito, Colton Newton, and Anna Woolery for their economical design of a disaster shelter. After visiting Haiti and Japan in the wake of

[r63] Rep. Messmer recognizes North Daviess dual-credit program

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, February 21, 2012

STATEHOUSE—Students, teachers, and administrators from North Daviess Community School Corporation and Oakland City University were recognized Monday by State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) and his colleagues in the Indiana House of Representatives. North Daviess Jr./Sr. High School has partnered with Oakland City University to provide greater access to

[r63] Messmer Report: Bills for charities and Hoosier businesses advance in General Assembly

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 17, 2012

The pace has been pretty hectic this week in the Indiana House of Representatives, but also a productive one. House committees met all week to take testimony and vote on Senate bills, and several pieces of legislation were sent to the governor to be signed into law. The General Assembly hopes to complete the business for this year’s Legislative

[r63] Rep. Messmer: Bill to update exam procedures passes Senate

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, February 15, 2012

STATEHOUSE—A bill authored by State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) to permit computer-based exams for engineers and land surveyors unanimously passed the Senate Tuesday, February 14. Before they can be qualified as professional engineers and land surveyors, applicants must take an exam administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering

[r63] Messmer Report: Success with the Super Bowl, progress in the General Assembly

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 10, 2012

With the roaring success of the Super Bowl last weekend, the entire nation witnessed the qualities that have made Indiana a leadership state. By all accounts, visitors from across America and around the world were impressed with everything our state had to offer. The event gave Indiana a chance to exhibit our business-friendly climate, our modern

[r63] Rep. Messmer hosting local town hall

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, February 6, 2012

STATEHOUSE— State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) will be hosting a town hall meeting on Monday, February 6. Rep. Messmer will be joined by State Sen. John Waterman (R-Shelburn). The meeting will be held at 1:00 p.m. at the City Council Chambers in Washington, Ind. Rep. Messmer will discuss legislative issues and concerns of constituents this session.

[r63] Messmer Report: Halftime in the legislature

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 3, 2012

It’s half-time in the state legislature and we’ve been able to pass 108 bills out of the House that will hopefully make Indiana a better place to both live and work. On the survey I sent out to all of District 63 before the start of session, I asked if you would support prohibiting local government officials from hiring his or her family

[r63] Rep. Messmer authors bills to bring testing, price preferences to national standards

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 27, 2012

STATEHOUSE – Two bills authored by State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) passed the House today. House Bill (HB) 1148, concerning engineer and land surveyor examinations, passed the House by a vote of 88-3. HB 1154, dealing with local purchasing and public works preferences, passed the House by a vote of 73-18. HB 1148 would update a state law stating

[r63] Messmer Report: Progress being made on bills to provide more efficient government

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 27, 2012

It’s been a productive week at the Statehouse. The top story across the state was when House Bill (HB) 1001, known as the Right to Work bill, received final approval in the House. The bill passed with a vote of 54-44. I was required to abstain from voting on this particular bill. We have a part-time citizen legislature, and when dealing with a bill

[r63] Rep. Messmer: Walkout tramples on principles of democracy

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 20, 2012

For the eighth of the 12 days since the beginning of the 2012 Legislative Session, the members in the House minority have refused to carry out their elected duties. The irresponsible actions of House Democrats have denied representation not only to their own constituents, but to 6.5 million Hoosiers all across Indiana. Because of the minority’s

[r63] Working for a safer, more prosperous Indiana

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 13, 2012

Although this is a short Legislative Session, we in the General Assembly are busy working on many important issues that will help strengthen Indiana. Some proposals now under consideration include tougher human trafficking laws, a statewide smoking ban, and a fairer sales tax. While everyone is proud to host the Super Bowl in Indiana, such large crowds

[r63] Rep. Messmer remarks on State of the State address

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, January 10, 2012

“Since Gov. Daniels took office in 2005, his vision and plans to create a prosperous and stronger state for all Hoosiers have been very successful. One of his biggest accomplishments that has directly benefited our community is the extension of I-69 that will better connect local businesses, including Crane Naval Base, to Evansville and Indianapolis.

[r63] All Hoosiers’ voices stifled by House Minority no-show

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 6, 2012

Wednesday, January 4 marked the first day of the 2012 Legislative Session, but the House has yet to be able to begin its business. Due to the fact that most of the House minority party has chosen not to be present on the House floor and do the job they were elected to do, a bill list has not been handed down to be assigned to committees. In order for the

[r63] Messmer Report: Bills to be introduced by Rep. Messmer in 2012 Legislative Session

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, December 30, 2011

This week I’d like to cover the bills I have been working on for the 2012 Legislative Session. Two of the bills came out of discussions we had in the Interim Study Committee on Economic Development that I co-chaired. The first bill would repeal some of the language that was inserted in House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1004 in conference committee during

[r63] Messmer Report: What’s likely to be discussed in the upcoming session

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This week I thought I would give an overview of some of the high profile legislation that the General Assembly will likely be dealing with during the session that starts on January 4. This is a short session that will end on March 14. Next week, I will share my thoughts on the individual bills that I am working on. I would expect the legislature to once

[r63] Messmer Report: Christmas traditions abound in our communities

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas is a time when we can reflect on the past year and on those that have helped shaped our lives in a most significant way. It is a time when we can put our differences aside, remember how much we value our relationships with family and friends, and give to those in need. But ultimately, Christmas is the time of year when we celebrate the birth of

[r63] Messmer Report: Increase in funding for Full Day Kindergarten

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, December 9, 2011

During the last legislative session, it was announced by Gov. Daniels, House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and Senate Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) that, due to a forecasted increase in state revenues, the legislature would be able to expand education opportunities for Hoosier students by increasing funding for the Full Day Kindergarten (FDK)

[r63] Messmer Report: Asking for your thoughts to better represent you this session

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, December 2, 2011

Every year the members of the General Assembly mail out a survey to their districts to get a better idea of how the members of our communities feel about specific issues. I’d like to fill you in on what is included in mine so that when yours arrives in the mail in the coming weeks, or if you decide to complete it online, you’ll have a better

[r63] Messmer Report: Focusing on getting Hoosiers back to work this session

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This week the General Assembly returned to the Statehouse for Organization Day. Traditionally, the Speaker of the House delivers a speech that sets the tone for the upcoming legislative session. Members of the General Assembly also continue work on legislation to be presented when session begins and we meet with Hoosiers from across the state. This year,

[r63] Messmer Report: Counting our blessings and helping those in need

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, November 18, 2011

Over the years, as my wife Kim and I’s children are growing up, it has become increasingly more important for us to keep traditions that bring the entire family together. Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays for just that reason. We can all spend a few days together and remember how blessed we are to have our family and friends, a roof over

[r63] Messmer Report: November is National Adoption Month

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, November 10, 2011

My wife and I are very blessed to have four children that have enriched our lives. Being a parent brings great responsibility, but it is a joy that I hope that those who wish for it are able to experience. That being said, it is an unfortunate truth that there are more than 107,000 children in foster care in the U.S. that are eligible for adoption. These

[r63] Messmer Report: Veterans Day, Honoring all who served

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, November 4, 2011

On Friday, November 11, Veterans Day celebrations will be held across the country. Veterans Day is a time where we thank and honor all those who have served in the military. We all know someone who has dedicated their life and sacrificed to protect our great country. There are multiple programs going on in our community to commemorate those who have

[r63] Messmer Report: Otwell Elementary: Another gem in our community

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 23, 2011

We have many good reasons to be proud of our community. Our strong traditions, good neighbors and continual growth are all proof that this is a great part of Indiana to work and live. An excellent example of that is Otwell Elementary, which continually receives honors and awards for their high achievement and strong academic standards. It was recently

[r63] Messmer Report: Launch your career with a House internship

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 16, 2011

In today's job market it is common for students graduating from college to have had at least one, if not multiple, internships. For college-aged students interested in politics and government one of the best opportunities is an internship with the Indiana House of Representatives. It is available for students who want firsthand experience to see state

[r63] Rep. Messmer: Otwell Elementary is USDOE Blue Ribbon School

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 16, 2011

STATEHOUSE - State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) congratulates Otwell Elementary School as being recognized as a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School. It was announced this week by the Indiana Department of Education and the United States Department of Education (USDOE) that Otwell Elementary School in Otwell, Ind. is one of nine schools in Indiana to be

[r63] Messmer Report: Crane: Continuing to Defend America

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 9, 2011

This week many of us will take time throughout our communities to remember the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. We can all probably remember what we were doing the day the terrorists struck the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon with the hijacked airplanes and what a paralyzing feeling it gave us. Since that unforgettable day, every American realized that

[r63] Messmer Report: Crane Naval Base: One of Indiana's best partners in creating high-tech, high-paying jobs

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 2, 2011

Recently I organized for a group of state legislators, including myself, to take a tour of Crane Naval Base. Crane is located in District 63 and it seems that many Hoosiers I speak to don't know much about the base. Over the years, and during other similar tours, I have learned quite a bit about the many research and development projects that Crane does for

[r63] Messmer Report: Creative solutions to boost the economy

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 26, 2011

A great resource for economic development in Indiana is our excellent higher education system. This week, the Interim Study Committee on Economic Development met and discussed how we can further improve the mutually beneficial relationships between Indiana's universities and colleges, state government and how education ties into economic growth. Over the

[r63] Messmer Report: Starting the school year off right

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 19, 2011

This week, many families have had to switch gears from enjoying summertime activities to getting back to studying and class projects. I know my kids were always excited to start a new school year, but it can also be overwhelming at times for both the parent and child. However, there are always steps you can take to get back into the school routine. We are

[r63] Messmer Report: Celebrating our community's heritage - Strassenfest

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 29, 2011

Jasper and the surrounding towns have a rich German history. I have heard it said, and also believe, that Strassenfest is one of the finest festivals in the state. Strassenfest began in 1979 when members of the Jasper business community wanted to continue the tradition of celebrating our communities' German heritage, which had not been celebrated since the

[r63] Messmer Report: A small business success story in our own backyard

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 22, 2011

In the General Assembly one of our top priorities is to create jobs and give a boost to entrepreneurs and small businesses in Indiana. A great partner in our efforts, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), has recently released a list of 'Companies to Watch' for 2011. One of the 43 companies awarded with this honor is in our own backyard,

[r63] Messmer Report: Indiana Sportsmen's Caucus weekend retreat

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, July 14, 2011

Knowing that there is an abundant interest in sport hunting and fishing in Indiana, a group of legislators this year created the first ever Indiana Sportsmen's Caucus. Myself and several other state legislators meet throughout the year and discuss and remain informed on many issues that impact Hoosier sportsmen, as well as related legislative issues. The

[r63] Rep. Messmer congratulates Jasper on receiving more than $500,000 grant

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, July 13, 2011

STATEHOUSE - Today a community in State Rep. Mark Messmer's (R-Jasper) district, the City of Jasper, was awarded $535,565 by Lt. Governor Becky Skillman for a wastewater project through the Community Focus Fund. "I am pleased that the City of Jasper will be able to move forward with this project," said Rep. Messmer. "Many of our communities have suffered

[r63] Otwell and Ireland Elementary Schools receive high scores on ISTEP

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, July 13, 2011

STATEHOUSE-The Indiana Department of Education released the results for the spring 2011 ISTEP+ tests in third through eighth grades today. Two schools in State Rep. Mark Messmer's (R-Jasper) district were recognized for their exceptionally high scores. Ireland Elementary School received a 92.3 percent and Otwell Elementary School received a 90.9 percent.

[r63] Messmer Report: Opportunities for youth to learn in fun ways all summer long

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 8, 2011

Our community offers many great year-round youth programs that offer educational and fun opportunities for children of all ages. Two organizations that I particularly enjoy supporting are 4-H and the Boy Scouts of America. My wife and I have always tried to use our children's summer break from school as a time to teach them in interesting and enjoyable

[r63] Messmer Report: Studying new issues to better our communities

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 1, 2011

When the House and Senate are in session at the beginning of every year, we are very busy discussing and deciding upon the issues before us. However, Indiana's General Assembly is a part-time legislature, meaning during the interim we spend much of our time at home in our districts and at our other jobs. But the work and our duties as state representatives

[r63] Messmer Report: Gun laws are now more uniform and simpler to understand

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 24, 2011

We are lucky that in America we are guaranteed certain rights, including the right to bear arms as stated in the Second Amendment. This year in the General Assembly we passed two pieces of legislation that will help protect and strengthen those rights in Indiana, and one that made reporting requirements more consistent for all types of firearm purchases.

[r63] Messmer Report: Safety first, but still allowing Indiana's entertainment industries to flourish

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 17, 2011

Over the years, the General Assembly has passed many laws that affect how alcohol and tobacco are used and sold and how gambling is run in Indiana. This year was no different. There were several pieces of legislation that will help improve sales for beer and wine makers in Indiana, keep children from buying tobacco products and help strengthen gambling laws

[r63] Messmer Report: Obamacare: anything but affordable

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 10, 2011

I often hear worries from people in my district about the effects of the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare. As a small business owner I also have many concerns about the efficiency and cost of the system when it goes into effect. I was invited by the National Federation of Independent Businesses to speak on behalf of small business owners

[r63] Messmer Report: Saving lives, knowing where your money is spent and a free fishing weekend

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 3, 2011

Starting on July 1 many of the bills we passed this legislative session will take effect. There are several that I thought you would find interesting and would like more information on including a texting and emailing while driving ban, increased transparency in our state government, and a tougher stance on meth use. Studies in recent years have shown that

[r63] Rep. Messmer's bill creating tax and hiring incentives signed into law

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, June 2, 2011

STATEHOUSE - State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) and many House Republican members were present today at the Statehouse as the governor signed into law several bills providing additional economic development tools to communities in order to better foster job growth. Included in those was House Enrolled Act 1007, authored by Rep. Messmer that will create tax

[r63] Messmer Report: Remembering those who protect the American dream

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day, originally called Declaration Day, was created to honor the fallen soldiers of the Civil War. Our Founding Fathers created a revolutionary way of life and it is important that we remember those that have fought to protect our independence and freedoms and that we show our respect for their heroic efforts. Memorial Day, which is often thought

[r63] Messmer Report: Many programs that help our community were restored in the budget

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 13, 2011

This week a budget for fiscal years 2012-2013 was signed into law by the governor. I heard from many of you during session about concerns and questions you had about funding for various programs in the budget. I have good news for all of the programs I heard about most frequently including: the new Jasper Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Technology at

[r63] Messmer Report: Strengthening our economy by helping Hoosier businesses and entrepreneurs alike

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 6, 2011

Now that session is over, things have calmed down and legislation is all finalized we can take a deeper look at all that was accomplished over the last four months. This week I will focus on a few of the job creating and economic rehabilitating bills that passed. One such bill that I authored promotes private sector job creation in a number of ways.

[r63] Rep. Messmer delivers on promises

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 29, 2011

STATEHOUSE - The 2011 legislative session has been a session of historic challenges and historic accomplishments. Despite the road bumps presented this session House Republicans have delivered on the promises they made in 2010. State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) along with other House Republican legislators presented the 'Strengthen Indiana Plan' in Sept.

[r63] Messmer Report: Nearing the light at the end of the tunnel

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 29, 2011

The final week of a legislative session is usually a very busy and exciting week as legislators work diligently to finish up all of our work before Sine Die (session adjournment) on Friday. At the beginning of the week however, while many bills are having final details worked out in conference committees, legislators take time to recognize deserving groups

[r63] Bill authored by Rep. Messmer to promote economic growth heads to Governor's desk

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 29, 2011

STATEHOUSE - A bill authored by State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) passed its final vote in the House on Friday and is now headed to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' desk for approval. HB 1007 encourages economic growth through tax incentives designed to help and attract businesses in Indiana. The bill allows a city, town or county to establish tax abatements

[r63] Messmer Report: One week left and our goals are within reach

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, April 21, 2011

With only one week left in the 2011 legislative session we are working diligently to accomplish our work before the April 29 deadline. Conference committee work is on next week's calendar. A conference committee is formed when changes are made to a bill that left the House or the Senate that are not agreeable to the original author. A conference committee

[r63] Rep. Messmer appluads funding for UV-Jasper campus project

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 15, 2011

STATEHOUSE - The General Assembly's Budget Committee announced that Vincennes University (VU) will receive $8 million to construct the Jasper Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Technology. "This will be a wonderful addition to the campus and I am pleased that the General Assembly can help provide the resources for this project," said State Rep. Mark

[r63] Messmer Report: Exciting news for education and jobs in Indiana

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 15, 2011

We are quickly approaching the end of session and we are optimistic that we will accomplish our goals to strengthen Indiana by promoting job creation and expanding educational opportunities. Bills from the House and Senate are making progress including one of my bills, House Bill 1007. HB 1007 is going to help create jobs in Indiana by giving communities

[r63] Messmer Report: Creating stronger charities, more jobs and standing up to Washington, D.C.

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 8, 2011

We are rolling right along in the House and making progress on the Senate bills that were sent over for our consideration. Our goal to strengthen Indiana by creating jobs and standing up to the federal government concerning health care is being accomplished one step at a time. A bill that I authored, House Bill 1007, to promote job creation is being heard

[r63] Messmer Report: Protecting the sanctity of life

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, April 1, 2011

After a five week stalemate in the House, our counterparts have returned to work and we were able to finish the calendar from February 22. We worked late into the night for three days in a row and discussed many issues. In the end, we made great strides to pass the final House bills out of the House and over to the Senate. Included in those bills were a

[r63] Rep. Messmer congratulates Washington Hatchets on 3A state championship title

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, March 28, 2011

STATEHOUSE - State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) would like to extend his utmost congratulations to the Washington High School boys' basketball team on their 3A state championship title for the second year in a row. The Washington Hatchets defeated Culver Academies on Saturday in Conseco Fieldhouse 61-46. The Hatchets have won the state championship four

[r63] Messmer Report: Exercising our commitment to Hoosiers

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 25, 2011

In what is now the fifth week of the House Democrats' strike, the legislators that faithfully show up to work every day to perform the people's business have been able to make good on the announcement made by the House and Senate leaders last week and work together to make progress on pending legislation. Working with our legislative colleagues in the

[r63] Messmer Report: Moving Forward

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 18, 2011

As we encroach on the month long strike by the House Democrats steps have been taken by leadership in the House Republican caucus and by Senate leadership to salvage the legislative session. The resolve of the three remaining caucuses to work together for the majority of Hoosiers and not only special interest groups is a responsibility I take to heart. In

[r63] Messmer Report: Putting students first to strengthen Indiana

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 11, 2011

A focus of the Strengthen Indiana Plan is to expand education opportunities for Hoosier children. A number of bills were authored this session to help us create stronger schools and provide students with outstanding education opportunities. Three of those bills have made it through the first step this session, one in the House, and two in the Senate, that

[r63] Rep. Messmer recognizes Distinguished Hoosier award recipient

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, March 8, 2011

STATEHOUSE - Hoosier conservationists Al and Ida Meyer were presented with the Distinguished Hoosier award today for their service to Indiana through their tree conservation efforts and educational outreach regarding forestry and wildlife conservation. The Meyers were nominated by State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper). The Distinguished Hoosier award is one

[r63] Messmer Report: Protecting Hoosier taxpayers, strengthening the economy

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 4, 2011

Every two years the General Assembly is required by Indiana's constitution to create and pass a budget by the end of the legislative session in April. The process begins in the House Ways and Means Committee, and the budget that was proposed by the committee is for fiscal years 2012-2013. In an effort to stay true to the Strengthen Indiana Plan the proposed

[r63] Messmer Report: House Dems are letting Hoosier taxpayers down

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 25, 2011

This week was an eventful, yet unproductive, week at the Statehouse. The House Democrats fled the Statehouse shortly after session started on Monday and have not returned since. Their absence means that we do not have the required 67 members present to have a quorum to do business on the House floor. After giving our Democrat colleagues many opportunities

[r63] Unanimous votes to fulfill the Strengthen Indiana Plan

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 18, 2011

Three bills that will help directly fulfill our goals in the Strengthen Indiana plan were passed through the House on their third and final reading this week in a bi-partisan effort. House Bills 1005, 1006 and 1008 will, respectively, help revitalize hard hit communities, promote job creation and improve access to capital. HB 1005 will provide a renewed

[r63] Messmer Report: Strengthening Indiana through job creation

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 11, 2011

After the ice storm in Indianapolis last week we have been spending this week catching up and discussing several very key bills that would help us reach our goals of the Strengthen Indiana Plan. One of our top priorities outlined in the plan is to create jobs for Hoosiers by revitalizing hard hit communities and focusing on entrepreneurship and small

[r63] Rep. Messmer's bill encouraging job growth heads to Senate

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, February 10, 2011

STATEHOUSE - State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) has authored House Bill 1007 that would provide additional economic development tools to local governments in order to help attract new businesses to Indiana and promote job growth. In September, House Republicans introduced their "Strengthen Indiana Plan", which included the legislative plan to provide local

[r63] Rep. Messmer's Bill encourages job growth

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, February 8, 2011

STATEHOUSE - State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) has authored House Bill 1007 that would provide additional economic development tools to local governments in order to help attract new businesses to Indiana and promote job growth. In September, House Republicans introduced their "Strengthen Indiana Plan", which included the legislative plan to provide local

[r63] Messmer Report: Weathering the storm

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 4, 2011

Despite the ice and snow this week we were able to make progress in the House and voted on several significant bills. The Speaker fast-tracked a bill from the Senate that would establish vote centers as an option for all counties. In addition, two other bills of public interest were discussed. The first would help Indiana pay back a major deficit and the

[r63] Messmer Report: Health and wealth for Hoosiers

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 28, 2011

It has been an eventful week at the Statehouse. All committees have met and have been hearing multiple bills. I had a bill pass through the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee, of which I am Vice Chairman, which would help attract new businesses to the state by allowing local governments to provide businesses with incentives and tax

[r63] Messmer Report: Hit the ground running

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 21, 2011

It has been an eventful week at the Statehouse. All committees have met and have been hearing multiple bills. I had a bill pass through the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee, of which I am Vice Chairman, which would help attract new businesses to the state by allowing local governments to provide businesses with incentives and tax

[r63] Rep. Messmer announces Loogootee town display

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, January 18, 2011

STATEHOUSE - State Representative Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) is encouraging residents in his district to visit the Statehouse later this month to see a piece of local history. The Statehouse will be displaying a 9 foot by 5 foot town model of Loogootee from January 28 through February 11. The model, hand-built by Loogootee native Tom Strange, depicts

[r63] Messmer Report: Setting the tone

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 7, 2011

This Wednesday, January 5, the 117th Indiana General Assembly convened at the Statehouse. Speaker of the House Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) had announced on Organizational Day, in November when we were sworn in, that we would be willing to work together in a spirit of bipartisanship. He demonstrated that by appointing two Democrat members as Committee

[r63] Messmer Report: Caroling and candy, a few of my favorite Christmas things

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas is the time of the year that we celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is the day we celebrate when God came into the world, when God became man, and to ultimately atone for our sins by his crucifixion. Christmas celebrations are our celebration of God's gift of salvation to us. One of the most beloved Statehouse Christmas traditions is organized by

[r63] Rep. Messmer paging students for 2011 session

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, December 21, 2010

STATEHOUSE - State Representative Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) is encouraging students ages 13-18 to sign up for the Indiana House Page Program. The program allows students to view and participate in the day-to-day activities of the General Assembly and the Statehouse. "The Indiana House Page Program is one of my favorite educational opportunities for

[r63] Messmer Report: How To: Visit the Statehouse

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, December 17, 2010

STATEHOUSE -- The 2011 legislative session will be beginning January 5 and when talking to people I get a lot of interest in visiting the Statehouse. Whether you are looking for an educational experience or just something fun to do in Indianapolis, coming to the Statehouse is an opportunity to take advantage of. Our state capitol is a spectacular building

[r63] Messmer Report: Complex Operations

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, December 6, 2010

I had the distinct privilege to spend Tuesday afternoon at the Governor's mansion this week. If you've ever driven north on Meridian, you may have passed it-it's at the intersection of Meridian and 46th. No one lives in it now, and it is primarily used for conferences and receptions. I was there as part of a new economic development initiative that pulled

[r63] Messmer Report: Divide and Conquer

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, November 26, 2010

Large groups can take a long time to accomplish tasks, and that's why sometimes it's better to break off into smaller groups to take action and reach a decision. Whether you're looking at Moses appointing judges throughout the Israelites, Girl Scouts divvying themselves up according to troops or U.S. Air Force cadets being assigned a squadron as they enter

[r63] Messmer Vows to Fight for Jobs, Bipartisanship

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, November 16, 2010

STATEHOUSE - Today marked Organization Day for the Indiana House of Representatives, a ceremonial day on which all 100 members-including 19 new State Representatives-were sworn in by Chief Justice Shepard. The newly elected Speaker of the House, Brian C. Bosma, pledged that he will do his duty and asks that all the Representatives do the same. "We will

[r63] Messmer Report: Frightful Weather, Frightful Electric Bill?

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, November 12, 2010

As the weather gets colder, there's nothing more satisfying than tucking away a space heater under your desk at work, or coming home to a crock pot full of hot chili. What you may not realize is that enjoying that heat during the very coldest months often comes at a premium. Several of my constituents are unhappy about a new policy adopted this year,

[r63] Give Thanks to our Veterans

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Every November 11th is special because it reminds us to take the time to honor our veterans-the men and women who have so courageously fought for our rights and our safety in this country. When the economy is bleak, unemployment is still high and education is still on our minds, it can be easy to brush aside how grateful we are to those that have served

[r63] Messmer Report: Fresh Faces

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, November 5, 2010

The Indiana House was actually the first chamber in the nation to flip from Democrat to Republican on Tuesday night. Republicans now have a higher majority in the chamber than in any year since 1984. So what does this really mean for the Indiana House? Being in the majority means much more than being able to count on being able to pass a particular bill.

[r63] Messmer Report: What's at Stake?

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, October 29, 2010

You, as a voter, hold all the cards in the upcoming election. It may be tempting to sit back and say, "My vote doesn't matter anyway. What will happen will happen, and politicians will do what politicians will do." If that's your attitude about this year's election, I'd like to fill you in this week on just what is at stake for next year. At the state

[r63] Messmer Report: Go Vote!

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, October 22, 2010

It's sad, but true: Americans know less about the people who make our laws than they do about the people who made the latest song playing on the radio. While almost 90% of 14-17 year olds know who Hannah Montana is-(not a huge surprise)-less than half of them were able to name the party in control of Congress. And that isn't saying much, considering there

[r63] Messmer Report: Destination for Defense

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, October 8, 2010

If you're a regular subscriber, I hardly need remind you that Crane Naval Base invests over $1.3 million per day in the State of Indiana economy. employs thousands of people in Martin County and the surrounding areas. Personally, I see Crane as more than just a large employer or a footnote for southwestern Indiana. I see it putting us on the map as a

[r63] Changes to Wild Turkey Hunting Season

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, September 8, 2010

This year please note the following changes to turkey hunting season: adding seven days to the early archery portion of the fall turkey season adding a second (late) archery turkey season to coincide with the late deer archery season (they are at the same time) expanding the fall turkey firearms season in the south for seven more days (12 days total -

[r63] Messmer Report: When Desks Go Empty

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 3, 2010

As I've mentioned, legislators are trickling through the Statehouse this month for small groups called interim summer committee meetings. These meetings help jumpstart the process of crafting bills, so that when session starts in earnest in January, a bulk of the homework will be done. The goal is to be ready to turn policy proposals that have already

[r63] Messmer Report: Education News Keeps Coming

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 27, 2010

As you can tell if you've been reading my column this summer, education has been a reoccurring theme at the Statehouse recently. Now, as we head back to school, it's at the forefront of state officials' agendas more than ever. and it will continue to be one of the main things we discuss next year as we craft a state budget. First, we learned some great

[r63] Messmer Report: State or Sponsored?

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 20, 2010

You may not expect to see a fast food logo on a fire hydrant, or as you drive into your favorite state park this fall. But putting up with a little extra advertising in unexpected places may be a way for some states to avoid painful tax hikes, and that's exactly what governments are trying to do as we head towards the light at the end of this economic

[r63] Messmer Report: Back to School

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 13, 2010

In my opinion, the best thing about August is that it means September is coming! This has been one of the hottest summers I can remember, but of course the big signal that it's over is right around the corner: going back to school. If going back to school means college plans loom ahead, I recommend taking advantage of Indiana's free 1-800 helpline for

[r63] Messmer Report: Now is the Time for Your Input

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer tends to be a quiet time of the year at the Statehouse. The House and Senate are not in session, so their chambers sit empty. Kids are splashing in pools or running around at camp, rather than taking class field trips to see where state law is made. Aside from the occasional press conference or Supreme Court nomination, there's not too much news

[r63] Messmer Report: I-69, SW Indiana's Artery

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 30, 2010

As you know if you've ever studied a map, a grape vine, or a human heart-things which are cut off from the main artery stem rarely survive. In a vineyard, being cut off from the vine can result in shriveled branches. In a heart, it can mean a life-threatening heart attack. In our ultra-connected society, it means entire communities blocked off from

[r63] Messmer Report: A Classroom, Virtually

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 23, 2010

What if your student could attend school online, from home, and for free? There are still opening's at Indiana's second virtual charter school in Indiana: Indiana Connections Academy. The academy's purpose, according to news article - what news articles, is to serve "a wide range of students, from those who are ahead or behind academically, to those who

[r63] Messmer Report: Numbers Worth Noting

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, July 2, 2010

Up at the Statehouse there have been some press conference wars lately. As I mentioned last week, one legislator might send out a media advisory to announce that they are sending a letter to a state agency. The state agency will hold its own press conference to announce that they are responding with a public letter of their own. Then the legislator

[r63] A Great Day for Americans, says Messmer

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, June 28, 2010

Please insert the following into your coverage of today's Supreme Court decision on the government's inability to restrain gun rights. "Today, I'm very pleased with the court's ruling on the gun ban in Oak Park. It reaffirms the right to own firearms, which, frankly, is consistent with our 2nd Amendment protections," said Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper).

[r63] Messmer Report: Luring Businesses

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 25, 2010

Have you ever wondered how the state actually lures businesses and jobs into Indiana? Indiana is in tough competition with 49 other states-and the world-in attracting jobs. My House Republican colleagues and I have worked hard with Governor Daniels to attract jobs to our state by creating the strongest tool kit. Indiana brings a variety of incentives

[r63] Messmer Report: ISTEP-ping Up

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 18, 2010

This week, the state of Indiana got some great news. Education, and making sure education funding dollars end up in the classroom, is one of the first things on everyone's minds right now. This week, we finally received the results of the Indiana Statewide Testing for Education Progress-also known as ISTEP- which was taken by 500,000 Hoosier students this

[r63] Messmer Report: 1099 Frankenstein

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 28, 2010

A very select group of people would take the time to read a novel of 2,400 pages. Even fewer would choose to read a law that long, which has become apparent as more and more surprises keep popping up in the healthcare bill recently passed by Congress. The latest, tucked away on page 737, is a pretty creative attempt to raise revenue for the government.

[r63] Messmer Report: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 21, 2010

Summer is almost here and with summer comes college students arriving home from school with lots of dirty laundry and lots of free time-that is, if they don't yet have a summer job. My two oldest children, Eric and Laura, are taking some summer school classes this summer. Laura is studying down at USI and Eric is down at Middle Tennessee. While Eric is

[r63] Honoring Veterans, at Home and Abroad

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 14, 2010

Ah, the signs that summer is approaching. school kids (and their teachers) are getting antsy to escape, graduates can't wait to parade across that stage in those caps and gowns, and you find yourself mowing twice a week just to keep up with the neighbors' perfectly manicured lawn. But more importantly, the official kickoff of summer provides a "time out"

[r63] Mandating Morality?

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 7, 2010

On Thursday night, I spoke at the National Day of Prayer service in Alfordsville. I was thrilled to be asked to participate, because as the name implies, events were happening all over the country on the National Day of Prayer, and the day has a rich history. Nationaldayofprayer.orggives a concise summary of that history. It says: "Since the first call to

[r63] Improvements Coming for Special Ed Grants

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Indiana's system for coordinating special education support is about to change for the better, according to State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper). This week, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) announced the creation of six resource centers which will assist schools in providing comprehensive special education support and assistance. The centers will

[r63] No Such Thing as a Free Lunch- or Free Healthcare

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, April 12, 2010

The hot topic in the news right now is the federal healthcare bill. Normally, I try to stay away from talking about national politics in the Messmer Report. After all, I am your state representative. There is enough confusion about which levels of government handle which kinds of legislation. However, some of the provisions in the healthcare bill that

[r63] Protecting Hoosier Taxpayers- One Dollar at a Time

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 26, 2010

You know, there's nothing like filing your taxes to make you wonder exactly how the government is choosing to spend your hard-earned money. As we make appointments with the family accountant or install the do-it-yourself computer software, each of us is searching for every possible deduction. So, I thought I'd take this opportunity to talk about the

[r63] It's That Time of the Decade Again

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 19, 2010

The 2009-10 Indiana General Assembly has adjourned. The group of 150 senators and representatives who made policy at the Statehouse is not likely to be gathered together ever again. This session has been especially memorable for me, since it's my very first. In the next few weeks, I'll write about some of the things I found most surprising about my first

[r63] Rep. Messmer Upbeat About 2010 Session Conclusion

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Saturday, March 13, 2010

STATEHOUSE - Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) says he is pleased by the state legislature's productivity this year. Today was Sine Die, or "Last Day," at the Indiana Statehouse. "This session was a major victory for Hoosiers," said Rep. Messmer. "It was a win for everybody-taxpayers, teachers and especially Hoosier job seekers." During the final hours of

[r63] Messmer Bill on Governor's Desk

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 12, 2010

I'm sure you've had days where you reach bedtime and think, "I've been running around since I woke up, but what have I done today?" Well, that's how this whole week has felt at the Statehouse. The two issues that have dominated discussions here for several days are still being fine-tuned. Although we have had more than two months of hearings and

[r63] Rep. Messmer Honors Reagan Hochmeister in Indiana House of Representatives

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, February 26, 2010

STATEHOUSE - Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) honored Reagan Hochmeister on Tuesday, February 23, before the Indiana House of Representatives for her heroic act last spring in which she saved a boy from drowning. The event occurred while Reagan was playing with her friends in a Knoxville, Tennessee hotel swimming pool during a break in the Destination

[r63] Rep. Messmer: Grandparents' Rights Bill Still Alive- And Moving Back to Senate

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A bill co-sponsored by Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) will allow grandparents to petition the court for visitation rights, if approved by the Senate author, the full Senate and Governor Daniels. Senate Bill (SB) 59 would improve visitation rights for grandparents and great-grandparents in cases of estrangement. The bill would become effective immediately

[r63] Texting Ban and Smoking Ban Pass House

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, February 8, 2010

We are about halfway through the 2010 session and we have already passed significant measures for Indiana. These include a constitutional property tax cap referendum, an ethics reform package and a measure giving visitation rights to grandparents. This week we passed two other bills out of the House which you'll be hearing a lot about in the news. One is

[r63] Messmer Report: Halftime Report

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, February 1, 2010

We continue to move at a breakneck pace here at the Statehouse. And although the schedule has been hectic, the fact that we have been so busy in the House during the first half of session is an encouraging sign. As we look at other states mired in politics and political game-playing, it is great to know that here in Indiana, legislators are reaching across

[r63] Messmer: Grandparent Visitation Rights Closer to Passage

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, January 26, 2010

STATEHOUSE - Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) wants judges to start taking grandparents into consideration when doling out visitation rights-as soon as possible. House Bill (HB) 1055, co-authored by Rep. Messmer, would improve visitation rights for grandparents and great-grandparents in cases of estrangement. Rep. Messmer's amendment, which makes HB1055

[r63] Rep. Messmer to Hold Town Hall in Loogootee

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, January 25, 2010

STATEHOUSE - Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) announced today he will hold a town hall this Saturday at 9:00 a.m. in the Loogootee City Council Chambers, 401 J.F.K. Ave. Loogootee, IN 47553. "Session is well underway and already we've addressed some really big issues in the Indiana House of Representatives," said Rep. Messmer. "A town hall is always a great

[r63] NEW: Watch Rep. Messmer's Comments on the Start of Session

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Session has begun, and Rep. Messmer paused today to record a few thoughts on property tax caps, how the current session has differed so far from the last one, and what he believes is his number one priority as your representative. Did you know you can also watch Indiana House proceedings live? Session is typically scheduled to begin on Mondays and Tuesdays

[r63] Constitutional Property Tax Caps Pass House, Advance to Senate

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, January 11, 2010

STATEHOUSE- Representative Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) released the following statement today in response to the passage of HJR1, the constitutional amendment to permanently cap homeowner's property taxes. The measure passed the House by a vote of 75 to 23. "This is a historic victory for Hoosier taxpayers. HJR1, if approved by the Senate and by the voters in

[r63] Another Victory for Taxpayers in Indiana

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 8, 2010

The session opened on Tuesday, with speeches given on the House floor by leadership from both parties. There was a commitment by both parties not to raise taxes this session. During these tough economic times, when families could least afford it, that is good news. Several bills were scheduled for action on the House floor this week that had been

[r63] Permanent Property Tax Relief is in Sight

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, January 7, 2010

STATEHOUSE-Constitutionally protected property tax caps passed a significant hurdle today in the House of Representatives, despite three amendments filed by House Democrats in an attempt to delay passage of the caps. The property tax caps constitutional amendment, also known as House Joint Resolution 1 (HJR1), passed today on second reading unamended and

[r63] Rep. Messmer Readies for 2010 Legislative Session

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, January 6, 2010

STATEHOUSE - Yesterday, Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) signed on as a co-author to House Bill 1055 to improve visitation rights for grandparents and great-grandparents. While laws are currently in place giving grandparents some rights with regards to visiting grandchildren, HB 1055 includes great-grandparents in those rights. A large portion of the bill
Rep. Braun and his wife, Maureen, support ICADV on Organization Day.
Rep. Braun at his desk in the House Chamber.
Rep. Braun listens to debate on the House floor.
Rep. Braun shakes hands with Rep. Charlie Brown on the House floor.
Rep. Braun discusses the proposed state budget on the House floor.
Rep. Braun welcomes local students who served as pages for the day.
Rep. Braun speaks at the Washington Fraternal Order of Police Memorial Service. The service was held at the Daviess County Courthouse to honor Indiana police officers and firemen who lost their lives in the line of duty.