Wrapping up the 2012 Legislative Session
The 2012 Legislative Session got off to a slow start but we were able to come together and tackle issues in a bi-partisan fashion. It was important that in the short amount of time we had that we focused on passing legislation that would improve the lives of all Hoosiers living throughout Indiana and right here in District 85.
We put an emphasis on drafting bills that would boost our economy and put more Hoosiers back to work. Our state led the nation in job creation by adding 12,000 jobs in December, falling ahead of states like Texas and California. I am confident that our pro-economy, pro-jobs legislation will only help us remain a leader in this category.
The Indiana Economic Development Office has received commitments from 5,124 new jobs and $655.25 million in capital investments from 49 companies so far this year, making 2012 the strongest start to a year in the organization’s history. This is a very exciting time for our state, and I am proud we put the focus back on Hoosier workers this session and bringing more jobs to Indiana.
Many of you may wonder what happens to all of these bills in the final weeks at the Statehouse. As session winds down, we work to clear the bill list and get bills sent to Governor Daniels’ desk, where they await his signature. Before this happens all bills must pass through both the Senate and the House chambers in identical form.
If a bill gets amended or changed then it must come back to its house of origin for “concurrence” or “dissent.” If the majority of the full body votes to concur, then the bill will move to the governor and await his signature. If the chamber votes to dissent on the amendments then the bill will go to a conference committee.
Toward the end of any legislative session there are always several conference committees. These committees are composed of two representatives and two senators, appointed by the Speaker and the President Pro Tempore respectively. The Speaker and Pro Tempore usually appoint one member from each party, though it is not required. They also have the power to remove a member from a committee and appoint someone else.
There have been many valuable pieces of legislation brought forth this year. The governor has signed multiple bills into law and this number will continue to grow as more bills land on his desk. If you would like to keep track you can visit the following website and view the 2012 Bill Watch: http://www.in.gov/gov/billwatch.htm
This truly has been a productive legislative session and I am proud of the steps we took to improve our state. I am confident we made decisions, some tougher than others, that will make us a leader not only in the Midwest but in the entire nation.