Bell: Gearing up for the 2008 legislative session

Friday, January 4, 2008 7:00 pm

Start Date:  1/4/2008  All Day  
End Date:  1/4/2008    
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Things are gearing up at the Indiana Statehouse for the 115th General Assembly, where resolving the property taxes crisis is going to be the first priority for my colleagues and me. How the legislature decides to handle the problem will affect almost everyone, making it crucial that you contact me with your thoughts and concerns during this critical time.

In addition to property taxes, I will be hearing and voting on several local and regional issues that could affect your daily life. As your representative, I want to hear from you so I can make the best decisions for our communities and ensure your voices are heard in Indianapolis.

On my Web site, I have posted a short survey that I hope you will take to time to fill out. There is also a comments section where you can let me know what's on your mind and provide me with additional comments. You can find my Web site at http://www.in.gov/legislative/house_republicans/homepages/r83/ . The survey link is on the right side of the screen under Recent News and is listed as "Click here to answer my 2008 legislative survey."

The Web site also allows you to stay up to date on what's happening by watching the legislative process on the House Internet Program, which allows you to view both the House floor and committee proceedings at www.in.gov/legislative . Click on "Watch the General Assembly session" on the right side of the screen. 

I also encourage students to get involved with the legislative process. The Indiana House of Representatives offers a Page Program, which allows students from across the state to experience the lawmaking process firsthand.

During the page experience, students will be given a tour of the Statehouse, including the governor's office, the chambers of both the Indiana House and Senate and the Indiana Supreme Court. Also, pages have the opportunity to witness any floor sessions and committee hearings that might be taking place during their visit.

Pages must be at least 13 years old, and they will receive an excused absence from school for the day. Each page is responsible for transportation to and from the Statehouse. Availability is limited, so students should send in requests quickly. The House page office will try to meet requests for specific dates.

The Indiana legislature is part-time and rotates between a four-month session in odd-numbered years and a three-month session in even number years. This year's legislative session runs from Jan. 8 through mid-March.

I encourage you all to stay up to date on what's happening during the session and to contact me with your thoughts, concerns and comments. I may be reached by phone at 1-800-382-9841, by e-mail at h83@iga.in.gov or by mail at 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.