[r88] A transcription of Speaker Brian Bosma's speech delivered at the historic signing of House Bills 1002 and 1003 (5/11/2011)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Start Date: 5/11/2011 All Day
End Date: 5/11/2011
Thank you Tony Bennett, David Long and the others you will be hearing from this morning. My name is Brian Bosma and I have had the honor and privilege of serving as the Speaker of the House during this most eventful and historic legislative session. It has been historic in many ways. For some that are here today this is the end of a very short march. Maybe 3, 4, 5 months, for others this is not the end of a long march but the end of the first part of a long march. I asked our staff to pull a list of a couple of bill histories. Tony indicated that I have been doing this for longer than most of you have been alive. I take issue with that with respect to Tony and I will take that with the young people here and a few others.

I did ask them to pull a bit of bill history and just to refresh my memory of when this all began. In 1993, a couple of folks in the Indiana House thought it would be a great idea if a family could pick for their children whatever school they wanted to attend and have the money follow that child. That was in 1993 and the author of that bill, ironically, Representative Bill Crawford and a new young legislator by the name of Brian Bosma. I am looking at committee hearing granted, reassigned to Ways and Means, again and again and again.

Then in 1995 we thought we would take a different tact and introduce the first charter school legislation in the state of Indiana and a long line of authors and co-authors, including myself, Representative Bob Behning in the House. Senator Teresa Lubbers in the Senate and every year the bill passed on second reading and then was reassigned to the Committee on Ways and Means. In 1997 the bill passed the House 80-19 then no second reading was allowed in the Senate.

In 1998 no committee hearing granted, reassigned, passed the Senate, reassigned, and passed the Senate, reassigned. It was not until 2001 when charter school legislation was adopted in this state and many of us know we have done nothing by defend it sense and no one has seen a bill pass the House that fulfills our constitutional obligation, not to institutions, not to buildings, not to systems but to provide each of these young people and so many more across the state the education that is best for them and their family, whether it is at home, in a public school, charter school or private school and that is precisely what has happened this session.

It is a historic day not only in Indiana but because I believe as the first part of our march ends this march will begin in virtually every other state in the nation some of whom are already on the march some of whom are sitting and watching, So today ladies and gentleman as four of us get the privilege of signing this bill into law it is a day that we will look back at years from now and say this is the day that Indiana got it right, not for institutions, not for buildings but for these children and those to follow. Thank you - and thank you for being here today.