[r82] The Halfway Point (10/11/2013)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Start Date: 10/11/2013 Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Date: 10/11/2013 End Time: 8:00 AM

This November marks the halfway point of my first term in office, which doesn’t seem possible. I am still very grateful for the opportunity to serve as your voice in the General Assembly. It’s a responsibility that I take seriously and I strive every day to live up to your expectations of a servant leader. 

With a little more than half of my first term left, I’d like to reflect back on the goals and expectations I set prior to stepping into office and talk about what else I hope to accomplish in the upcoming session.

During an interview last November, I said my plan to help get our economy in better shape included passing a balanced state budget and taking a close look at regulations that impede business growth and put restrictions on local governments.  

After reviewing my first session, I would say that we stuck to that plan pretty closely. Our $30 billion budget for the next two years passed with bi-partisan support and includes the largest tax cut package in Indiana history along with increased funding for education and infrastructure. It also maintains healthy state reserves in excess of $2 billion, ensuring that no matter what happens nationally, Indiana will continue to be able to weather the storm.

The immediate repeal of the death tax will not only eliminate a layer of government that solely focuses on processing these taxes, but it will also prevent families from having to hire attorneys and accountants to discuss the death tax with relatives who want to pass on their inheritance of small businesses and family farms. Hopefully this will incentivize more Hoosiers to keep their businesses in the family and in Indiana and to grow their businesses without the worry of their progeny having to pay for it down the road. 

All last session I closely followed legislation pertaining to local government issues to ensure that we’re working with mayors, councilmen, trustees and other local officials who have to implement changes or new policies at the county, city and local levels. I firmly believe that the state should not hinder the ability of local government to do its job, and I want to assure you that will continue to be one of my top priorities.  

My focus during the upcoming session will remain on these issues. Many people in our community have told me that they want to be kept up-to-speed on what is going on in Indianapolis during session, particularly regarding local government issues. I will do my very best to fulfill this request, and I ask that you let me know if there are better ways for me to share information.

As always, the goal during session will be to create or enhance legislation that keeps Indiana moving forward. We will be working toward continued economic growth, job creation and infrastructure improvements along with a variety of other issues that are important to Hoosiers across the state.

One way you can help the General Assembly is to share your ideas about how to keep improving Indiana. Let my office know if you have a solution to any of the issues you see in Indiana. I value your input and would enjoy having a conversation about what we can do to keep Indiana as the best state to live in the Midwest.

Please feel free to email me at h82@iga.in.gov or call my office at 317-232-9643. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Rep. Ober represents all of Noble County and portions of Allen, Elkhart, LaGrange and Whitley counties.

Ober_Halfwaycolumn.doc