[r79] Democrats Flee the Statehouse (2/23/2011)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Start Date: 2/23/2011 All Day
End Date: 2/23/2011
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country"- Thomas Paine from "The Crisis" December 1776

As a lifelong student of American history, I have tried to observe events as they unfold - analyzing their impact and recognizing whether history repeats itself. All across America we are beginning to see the proverbial thresher harvesting of what we have sown.  Our state is in debt, just as many other states,  and the time has come to make tough decisions that honestly, as Thomas Paine stated, 'try men's souls.'

I am not a movie reviewer or promoter, but I highly recommend a documentary called IOUSA. The film is about the biggest issue we face as Americans - our uncontrolled spending and consequential rising debt.  It is well worth your time to watch this documentary - for more information check out www.iousathemovie.com.

What does this have to do with the Indiana General Assembly?

Being that this is a budget session, the legislature faces difficult decisions for FY 2011-2013. Despite similar revenue levels seen in 2005, Republicans have promised to not raise taxes. I remain optimistic as pro-job and pro-growth policies are continuing to be passed by the House this session, and the unemployment rate has lowered to 9.5%.  The proposed budget is fiscally sound, establishes a responsible reserve, protects K-12 education funding, promotes job growth and trims state government.  As a state we are living within our means, exemplifying the efforts of all Hoosier families.  We have worked to pass bills that promote economic development and improve the prospects of luring new capital to the state: HB1005, HB1006 HB1008 and HB1046 are a few examples.

In order to pass the budget and other important legislation, we need a quorum.  This week's events  are disappointing as the Democratic caucus has not show up to do the people's work.  You will hear that it was about labor and the threat to unions; you will be told that it is about school vouchers and the threats to public education.  If these issues are that threatening, you should be in this House chamber defending your position vigorously, instead House Democrats fled the state and abandoned democracy.

I want to hear the debate about right-to-work.  I want to hear the debate about school choice. I firmly believe that hard working, tax-paying Hoosiers deserve better from their elected officials. I hope that the Democratic caucus returns to work, ready to debate and defend the issues that the great people of Indiana have elected us to do.