The legislative process is a changing landscape. Issues take shape from a multitude of places: current events, the media, public interest or even a reaction from another level of government. The votes cast on each issue represent a final snapshot, but the work that goes on in-between votes is just as important.
We are all a part of our democratic system, and we all have a voice to be heard. I was humbled by the opportunity to serve as one of your elected voices in government, and I always welcome the chance to meet with constituents at the Statehouse, in the district, at local events and fairs or at town halls. A lot of bills are passed into law each session, so staying informed and having a transparent government is critical.
When the House or various committees are meeting, a live feed is broadcasted online on the state’s government website, so anyone can watch floor debates and see how representatives voted. Different local and statewide groups also tend to provide scorecards at the end of each session, ranking the members on bills that were important to the industry that they represent. The Indiana Manufacturers Association (IMA) provided a “voting scorecard” so that the public can see a legislator’s overall support for certain bills that the organization felt important to the manufacturing industry. I received high marks from the IMA with a score of 95 percent.
Fewer than 600 votes were cast this session, and I’m proud to say that I only missed three. Being attentive throughout session and casting votes on the issues that matter most to Hoosiers might seem like the most basic function of my public responsibilities, but it’s arguably the most important to me. I was elected to serve our community, and each vote is a humbling reminder that the issue at hand will affect our district.
Jobs are my number one priority and will continue to be my focus. Our state’s unemployment rate decreased last month, which is welcomed news, but it is still too high. We need to find innovative ways to employ more Hoosiers to keep our economy growing.
According to the IMA president and CEO, Patrick J. Kelly; Indiana has the highest share of manufacturing as a percentage of private industry Gross State Product in the U.S. (29.7 percent) and the highest percentage of the workforce employed in manufacturing (16.4 percent). The importance of this industry cannot be understated and local businesses like Ashley Industrial Molding in our community are helping to bring the unemployment rate down.
Although session is over, my work continues in the summer months by serving on interim study committees. These commissions and committees serve as the workhorses of the institution. Each committee provides an opportunity for greater discussion and collaboration on important issues so that we can continue to move our state forward.
Lastly, it was great seeing everyone that attended the proclamation ceremony for Kendallville’s 150th birthday, and as the celebration continues, I hope everyone continues to enjoy the many available festivities in celebrating the city’s rich Hoosier history. For those I was unable to see, if you have any concerns, ideas, suggestions, I encourage you to contact me via email at email@example.com or by phone at 317-232-9643. If you are active on social media, I encourage you to add me on Facebook, by searching David Ober, or follow me on Twitter using my handle @DaveOber.