Morris: Legislation in jeopardy

Friday, January 6, 2012 7:00 pm

Start Date:  1/6/2012    
End Date:  1/6/2012    

The 2012 legislative session was scheduled to begin last Wednesday. I was eager to resume the people’s work and pass needed legislation for Hoosiers and their families.  The House Democrats though failed to show up for the first week of session and have prohibited the House from conducting business.


When hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers are out desperately seeking employment, I am greatly saddened that elected officials, who have a job, do not show up to do their job. I wish they were able to show-up, participate and debate. 


Perhaps, what saddens me most is all of the Indiana citizens who will suffer because of their actions and all of the Hoosiers’ voices that have been silenced. There are many bills on the table that need to be passed to help Indiana residents.

One bill, House Bill 1059, would bring needed aid to our military men and women. Many of our soldiers return from duty and need aid to get back on their feet. To provide relief, a Military Relief Family Fund was created in 2007. This is primarily self-funded through the sale of “Support Our Troops” license plates issued by the BMV.


Qualified service members or their dependents are eligible to apply for the grants though this program, which can be used to pay for needs such as food, housing, utilities, medical services, transportation or other essential family expenses. But, we have found that with a down economy, our soldiers need help for longer than currently allotted.  


This year’s bill, House Bill 1059, would extend from one year to three years the time that a service member or a service member's dependent may be eligible to receive assistance from this fund.


Another bill that is needed prior to the start of the Super Bowl, would protect Hoosier children from human trafficking. State Attorneys from cities across the US that have hosted the Super Bowl have reported that they saw a rise in human trafficking. Legislation proposed would close loopholes and further define Indiana’s trafficking statute.


Other bills have been filed by legislators because they are needed for their communities. I filed a resolution that would increase Indiana’s representation on our National Guard Uniforms, a bill that would up the compensation for those that have frivolous lawsuits filed against them and one that would address chemical abortions and help further protect those that are our most vulnerable.


None of this important legislation at this point is even able to be heard because the Democrats are not showing up in the House chambers. Their actions are silencing all Hoosiers voices around the state.  They need to return to the House floor, do their job and represent their constituents through contribution to the legislative process. I hope the absent legislators soon join me and my colleagues on the House floor to do the people’s work.