My column is going away, but I'm not
By the time you read this, I should be in Washington, D.C. I'm chaperoning my son John's 8th-grade class trip this week. It's the only trip to Washington I have planned. A friend recently asked me what office I'm going to run for next. I wouldn't rule anything out, but I'm content where I am. I'm blessed to have the opportunity to serve in the Indiana General Assembly, and there's still much more I want to accomplish in the Statehouse.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your state representative, and I plan to seek a third term next year. I'm not even halfway through my second term, and it's already time to start running again. Representatives serve for two years, and state senators serve for four.
I have tried to minimize politics in my column; there's already too much partisanship. Of course, sometimes politics is unavoidable. It is, after all, a political office and a political process. Regardless, I always seek to inform, and I always try to be fair. As a newspaper reader, I'd like to hear from more elected officials, regardless of where we are in the election cycle. Whenever there's a question of fairness, there should be more voices, not fewer.
Even without my column, there will still be plenty of good reasons to read the News and Tribune, including several other good, local columns, and I encourage you to keep reading - or start.
My newspaper column is going away, but I'm not. In addition to my electronic newsletter, I'll be looking for more opportunities for face-to-face communication with constituents. To that end, I've scheduled three town hall meetings for October. In addition to discussing the outcome of this year's legislative session, including the status of various new laws, I'll preview the upcoming session and solicit your opinions and ideas. If you have a position on an issue or a suggestion for a bill, now is the time to voice it. The meetings are scheduled at three different times of the day to accommodate varying schedules. All three locations are handicap accessible:
The session is fast approaching. Bills may be filed starting on Organization Day, which is Nov. 22, and the session will begin the first week of January. The 2012 session will be a "short session," with adjournment by March 14. In contrast, in odd-numbered years, the legislature meets from January through April; the state's two-year budget is written during this "long session."
It will be an election year, and tensions are already high. I was reminded of that recently when a former elected official for whom I have a lot of respect commented to me that she wanted to "hurt" a current elected official for whom I have a lot of respect.