[r63] Rep. Messmer: Walkout tramples on principles of democracy

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 20, 2012

For the eighth of the 12 days since the beginning of the 2012 Legislative Session, the members in the House minority have refused to carry out their elected duties.  The irresponsible actions of House Democrats have denied representation not only to their own constituents, but to 6.5 million Hoosiers all across Indiana.  Because of the minority’s disregard for the democratic process to protect a single special interest, hundreds of important issues cannot move forward.

One such bill concerns drug testing of welfare beneficiaries.  House Bill (HB) 1007 would establish a pilot program to drug test welfare recipients.  Individuals with children that fail the test could be investigated by the Department of Child Services for child abuse and neglect.  With this legislation, we would be better equipped to identify the potential abuse of children and it would give incentive for those on welfare to seek help with drug addiction.

Another bill we are considering is HB 1005, which addresses conflict of interest and nepotism in local government.  This bill would put limits on local officials’ ability to hire family members. It would also prevent an individual from serving on the board that approves their own salary and benefits.

Finally, HB 1238 passed out of the House Financial Institutions Committee this week. This bill would help speed up the process of determining when buildings that are in foreclosure are abandoned. This would allow those properties to get back on the market more quickly and help alleviate the problems with blighted buildings in our communities.

These three bills represent only of a fraction of the work that’s not able to progress because of the mob-rule mentality of the House Democrats.  If our system of openly debating issues breaks down, we will lose the democratic process that our country was founded upon.  Right now all Hoosiers voices are being silenced by the inaction of 35 House Democrats.  I’m hopeful that the minority members will return to work soon so that we can act on all the important issues that are facing Hoosiers.