It has been one of those weeks when it’s hard to convince Hoosiers we’re doing anything in the Legislature.
It was the kind of week where we had to recommit to incumbent worker training in a new program because the administration hasn’t funded it over the past few years. This is a program that benefits workers with portable certificate training in advanced manufacturing, technology, and logistics—all skills that are critical in the southern Indiana job market.
It was the kind of week where we found out that the administration is continuing to have trouble getting its act together to convince the federal government that it has a viable plan to provide affordable health care services in our state.
We continue to hear from the leaders in the House and the Senate that they have done many things already.
What have we done to put Hoosiers back to work now? NOTHING
What have we done to provide a chance for 30,000 Hoosiers to have jobs? NOTHING
What have we done to cut the textbook tax for Hoosier families with children? NOTHING
What have we done to restore and protect our traditional public schools? NOTHING
What have we done to ensure affordable health care for Hoosiers? NOTHING
What have we done to keep Hoosiers from using the emergency room as their primary health care option? NOTHING
What have we done to confirm our commitment to protect abused and neglected children? NOTHING
What have we done to give the people of our state a break from the social issues that divide us? So far, nothing, but trouble looms if our leaders feel compelled to require us to deal with issues like trans-vaginal ultrasounds.
Based on the evidence, it is difficult for me to say we have done anything for Hoosiers.
We still have more than a month before our April 29 deadline, but it will take a lot more than what we have seen so far to make anyone believe we are trying to take care of the middle class first or create jobs or reinforce traditional public schools.What is missing is a sense of urgency. There are people in this state who need help now, and we are not giving them any reason to think that we care about them.
We run the very real risk that when we reach the end of April, Indiana will have no plan to provide affordable health care, that we will offer no help to our middle class, and that we will continue to try to use one pool of money to fund three school systems: the traditional public schools where most of our kids get their education, the wild west of deregulation that is our charter school system, and the voucher system for our private schools.
You should expect more from your Legislature.
As always, please contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns related to our state government. Here is how you can stay in touch: call my office toll-free at 1-800-382-9842; write to me in care of the Indiana House of Representatives, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204; or email me at email@example.com.
State Representative Gail Riecken
Indiana House District 77