Last week was slow at the Statehouse, except for one small development. Several of the original Kernan-Shepard recommendations were heard by the House Government and Regulatory Reform Committee.
I asked you how you felt about these recommendations in the survey I sent out before the start of session. And you responded. An overwhelming majority thought these proposals were a step in the wrong direction.
On Wednesday, the committee voted to reject those proposals. The committee chair combined several of the original recommendations, including the elimination of township boards and replacing county commissioners with a single county executive, into a single bill, which failed to pass.
However, where Kernan-Shepard goes from here is uncertain. I still expect to see something brought to the House floor before we adjourn in April, but at this point, it's unclear what that will be.
Of course, if any of these proposals do come before the House, you can be sure I have listened to your voice on the issue and will vote accordingly. That's my job as your representative for District 16.
Another major issue before the General Assembly right now is the state budget. A couple of weeks ago, the House voted to send a broken and incomplete budget over to the Senate. Obviously, I couldn't support this measure. There were many problems with the House Majority's budget plan. It would spend too much money and deplete our much-needed reserves and trust funds.
It's important to note that the budget is nowhere near complete. It's currently in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and I am confident the members will restore the bill so it will help, not hurt, Hoosier taxpayers. The budget must be balanced, and it must not contain wasteful government spending. The economic conditions of our state and nation are too serious to waste taxpayer dollars.
I will always support legislation that helps improve our state through fiscally-conservative means. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your concerns, issues or questions. I am open to hearing what you have to say. You may reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling toll-free 1-800-382-9841 or by writing me at the Statehouse at 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204