Tuesday, November 19th was Organization Day at the Indiana Statehouse. This largely ceremonial day marks the first official meeting of the legislature prior to the start of another legislative session.
Each year on Organization Day, new members are sworn in, the first roll call is taken and Democrat and Republican caucuses from both the House and Senate have the opportunity to meet and organize their priorities for the next session.
This coming session is considered a “short session” because we do not have to prepare a budget. In the short 10 weeks that we will be meeting, I look forward to continuing our hard work from last session particularly when it comes to economic development and bridging the skills gap in Indiana. I am also looking forward to continuing the mutual respect demonstrated over the last couple of years between both political parties at the Statehouse. The gridlock seen in Washington D.C. is not prevalent in Indianapolis as a large majority of the bills are passed with bipartisan support.
Taking place just before Thanksgiving, each year Organization Day also carries another important purpose. Speaker of the House Brian Bosma has traditionally invited a charity to the Statehouse to participate in the day’s festivities and for legislators and staff to get into the holiday spirit by putting on a donation drive for the organization. Last year, it was the Salvation Army Shelter for Women and Children. This year, it was the Special Olympics of Indiana (SOI).
I was honored to participate in this event and join Democrats and Republicans alike in giving back to our fellow Hoosiers. Together we collected golf balls, basketballs, volleyballs, sports drinks, healthy snacks and other miscellaneous items which will be used to support their organization and help them continue their hard work. SOI does not receive any state or federal funding and relies solely on generous contributions from people like you and I.
The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is known as a time of giving, and Hoosiers in particular are known for their hospitality. If you are considering donating to a charity this year, the Special Olympics of Indiana is one which I can assure you truly changes lives. Their athletes are transformed not only physically but also mentally and emotionally as they learn teamwork, friendship and acceptance. Whether big or small, your contribution will be going to good use with SOI.
Before the hustle and bustle of another session begins, I am looking forward to the upcoming holidays. This Thanksgiving, my family and I will celebrate the holiday together, right here in Jasper and enjoy some deep fried turkey! One of the many things that I am thankful for this year is the ability to serve the people of District 63 in Indianapolis. I am still so humbled when I think of the responsibility that you all have entrusted in me, and I work hard every day to maintain your confidence. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving surrounded by those you love and that the spirit of friendship and gratitude stays with you throughout the year!