(STATEHOUSE) Jan. 7, 2009 - Rep. Rich McClain (R-Logansport), along with his House colleagues, opened the 2009 session of the Indiana General Assembly today at the Statehouse. Rep. McClain starts the session with a number of goals that aim to control government spending and maintain high-quality services to Hoosier families.
"As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, our biggest challenge this legislative session will be to pass a balanced budget. It will be tough, but it has to be done. We have to demand a balanced budget without increasing taxes, because Indiana has to live within its means."
"I am also looking forward to working to find ways that will bring more higher-paying jobs to our community and improve education for our Hoosier students."
Rep. McClain joined with his House Republican colleagues in support of Hoosier Families First, their caucus agenda outlined in a recent press conference. Their aims are short and simple:
-Taxpayer protection. No tax increases. No gimmicks. Just a lean, common-sense-based budget that keeps state government operating efficiently.
-Job Creation: Focus on the Future. Indiana has been a leader in the Midwest at attracting new jobs, and we will continue to aggressively seek high-paying, quality jobs for our citizens. No new general business taxes and no new burdensome regulations.
-Education reform: Competing in the 21st Century: The Hoosier State has bright students, solid, innovative teachers and concerned parents, and House Republicans believe they all deserve support. This includes getting more education money directly to classrooms, protecting parental choice and charter schools, rewarding highly-qualified educators and giving teachers the power to appropriately discipline their classrooms. Supporting strong education is foundational to invigorating our economic development efforts.
During the session, Rep. McClain will sit as a member on three House legislative committees - Ways and Means, the Statutory Committee on Ethics and the Statutory Committee on Interstate and International Cooperation.
The Indiana General Assembly is a part-time legislature, meeting on a two-year cycle - three months in even-numbered years and four months in odd-numbered years.
Historically, there has not always been a short session. Until 1969, Indiana legislators met only in even-numbered years. In 1970, the legislature decided to allow short sessions during the off years to deal with important issues facing the state.
As the session moves forward, the public can keep track of the legislative process by watching House and committee proceedings at www.in.gov/legislative/ and clicking on "Watch the General Assembly Session."
Rep. McClain encourages constituents to contact him with questions or concerns through e-mail at email@example.com, by calling the Statehouse toll-free at 1-800-382-9841 or by writing him at 200 W. Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204.