State Representative Gail Riecken’s Statehouse eUpdate for March 22, 2013‏



INDIANAPOLIS – As you may have heard, Indiana’s unemployment rate has gone up to 8.6 percent.

For those who continually trumpet that Indiana is a job creation machine, this news is “very confusing,” in the words of our state’s commissioner of Workforce Development.

Gov. Mike Pence responded in this fashion: “Our state’s unemployment rate is too high…we have no choice but to remain bold in our efforts to strengthen the economy and put Hoosiers back to work.”

Actually, there’s no reason to be confused about this. From the start of this session, the majorities that control state government haven’t done enough to empower the middle class and put Hoosiers back to work. Three months have gone by and there still hasn’t been a substantial proposal put forth that could provide good-paying jobs for Hoosiers right now.

But there isn’t any need for a bold solution to this problem. There’s an easy one right in front of us.

Just bringing the Affordable Care Act to Indiana is expected to create as many as 30,000 jobs in our state and extend affordable health care to 400,000 additional Hoosiers.

If there hasn’t been much of an effort this session to help improve the lives of Hoosiers, it hasn’t been for a lack of trying by House Democrats.

Here are a few of the proposals that have come from members of our caucus in recent days:
•Increasing the state’s minimum wage. (amendment offered to Senate Bill [SB] 213)
•Restoring transparency and public accountability to utility regulation in Indiana. (amendment offered to SB 560)
•Making the head of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission an elected position. (amendment offered to SB 560)
•Curbing utility companies from using the trackers that raise your rates without any kind of public review. (amendment offered to SB 560)
•Ensuring that governors follow the same ethics rules as other state employees when they leave office. (amendment offered to SB 350)
•Using Indiana steel to build Indiana wind turbines. (amendment offered to SB 529)
•Giving older Hoosiers additional relief from property taxes. (amendment offered to SB 275)

These ideas share one common theme: all were rejected by the House Republicans.

But there have been some successes in recent weeks as well. Thanks to House Democrats, we have legislation alive that:
•Places a freeze on tuition and rates for Hoosier veterans attending college. (SB 177)
•Makes sure children of disabled Hoosier veterans can attend college for free. (SB 177)
•Creates jobs by making all state-funded building projects more energy-efficient. (SB 586)

In the time we have left before the end of this session, I hope we can see more proposals like these become law. They offer more hope for Hoosiers than what we have seen from those in charge.


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

State Representative Gail Riecken
Indiana House District 77


  1. Anyone who thinks that Obummercare is going to create 30,000 jobs in Indiana is delusional. The Unaffordable Care Act will kill over one million jobs in the U.S.

  2. The best way to improve the economy of Indiana is to repeal the state income tax. Every state without a state income tax has a booming economy. Both Texas and Florida are booming. Why? Businesses flock to states without state income tax!

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