[r17] Work underway at the Statehouse

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Thursday, January 17, 2013

Work underway at the Statehouse

It has been quite an exciting start to my first term serving as your state representative. During my first weeks in the Statehouse, I have had the opportunity to meet Governor Mitch Daniels and thank him for his service to the state of Indiana. I also attended the inauguration of Governor Mike Pence on the steps of the Statehouse.

Committee meetings are underway and in full force. I currently sit on the Courts and Criminal Code, the Government and Regulatory Reform and the Local Government committees. I am confident that a number of issues will be brought to light this session, and I will be working diligently to address those issues and the direct impact they have on our communities.

This session, our main priorities are getting Hoosiers back to work, expanding and improving education opportunities for students and passing a balanced budget that provides the financial framework for continued progress. The Indiana General Assembly has accomplished many notable feats in the last several years, and I am excited to be a part of the continued work to improve Indiana.

This session, we will put a strong focus on equipping Hoosiers for jobs in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields (STEM). In Indiana’s current job market, there are two and a half STEM job openings for every unemployed Hoosier. At a time when unemployment stubbornly hovers around 8 percent, we must do more. To bridge the gap between industry and higher education, one measure I will be working on with fellow legislators is to improve career and technical education in high schools to fill high-demand, high-wage jobs currently available in Indiana.

Another jobs bill was recently introduced by Speaker Brian Bosma that will create an Indiana Career Council, designed to coordinate between multiple participants in the state’s educational, job skills and career training systems. I believe legislation like this will go a long way to benefit Hoosiers searching for employment who require the skills needed to reenter the workforce.

I recently mailed a survey to our district that highlights these issues, and I am eagerly waiting to hear from you. I am open to new ideas that you feel will help Hoosiers and ask that you bring to my attention any concerns you may have. Please contact me by email at h17@in.gov or by phone at 317-232-9678.

In his inaugural address, Governor Pence encouraged all Hoosiers to dream big. It is this mentality, the drive and ambition that has made Indiana the great place it is today. I encourage all of you to tell Indiana’s story and work together to accomplish the dreams of what this great state come be moving forward. I will continue to listen, to serve and to work hard in order to help more Hoosiers make their own dreams come true.