[r54] Here's to good luck in 2011 (1/11/2011)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Start Date: 1/11/2011 All Day
End Date: 1/11/2011
Old wives tales sometimes say that when something starts off rocky, it means good luck. For example, if it rains on your wedding day, you and your spouse are supposed to have a long, happy marriage together. In this case, I hope it's true because when we kicked of session on Wednesday, nothing went off without a hitch.

House Democrat leadership used frivolous stall tactics to delay House proceedings, turning what is suppose to be the easiest day of session into a circus show. Fortunately, when we reconvened on the second day, the sense of bipartisanship was present and we were able to move things along. We were out in 20 minutes, which is usual when you have no bills ready to be heard on the House floor.

Needless to say, I hope that Wednesday's occurrences didn't set the mood for the rest of session. To be honest, no one wants sit around waiting for political feuds to be resolved when we have work to do for the benefit of the state.

Jobs, for example, are on the mind of every Hoosier-employed or unemployed. When unemployment is low, the entire state benefits because jobs bring in revenue, which boosts our economy.

Government can't create jobs-we know this-but we can certainly create an environment that is "business friendly." In order to do this, we have to be bipartisan.

We have to agree on tax breaks for small businesses and more entrepreneurial programs at Indiana schools and universities, if that is the road we choose to take. People are sick of hearing political jargon. What they want to hear is how we will tackle the tough issues, such as getting quality jobs to Indiana and how we plan on providing our students with the best education.

Although education is a sensitive subject, it's a conversation we need to have. It's also a conversation that is not just for legislators and superintendents. It's a conversation for teachers, principals and parents. Everyone needs to come to the discussion table in order to establish what's best for our students to be prepared for tomorrow's workforce.

So let's put the past behind us and hope that the rocky start of session will simply bring us luck for the future. We have serious issues to discuss and resolve and we owe it to our state to find solutions.

This session, when I am not voting on the House floor, I will be spending my time working on the Local Government; Natural Resources; Interstate and International Cooperation; and Roads and Transportation House Committees. I look forward updating you on the issues that not only come before the House, but also what takes place in those committees.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my office at 1-800-382-9841 or email H54@in.gov. You can also visit my website at www.in.gov/h54 -which also has my 2011 legislative survey that I encourage you to fill out if you haven't already.

You can also look for my weekly columns to update you on the most recent Statehouse happenings.