Pharos-Tribune

State News

October 4, 2012

With eye on power, House Republicans set agenda

Bosma prioritizes job training, education

INDIANAPOLIS — There’s still a month to go before the November election, but Republicans who dominate the Indiana House of Representatives have already unveiled their legislative focus for the next session.

At a press conference in the House chambers Thursday, Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said more job training and more education reform, along with a fiscally responsible budget, would top his caucus’ agenda when the General Assembly convenes in January.

Missing from the formal agenda were social issues, including an expected vote on a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. But Bosma said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if that and other social issues were pushed through by Republicans who are likely to keep their power in the Statehouse — and may gain even more in November.

Bosma offered a grand vision of legislation that he said was aimed at securing the “American dream” for the next generation of Hoosiers. But he said details still need to be hammered out.

Still, he made clear that on the to-do list would be more access to pre-school education for low-income families, a big push for more and better vocational training in high school and beyond, and some serious resistance to the tax-cutting promises made by the men who want to be Indiana’s next governor.

“Some worthy programs have taken it on the chin,” said Bosma, referring to state funding cuts to social services, education, and local public safety services over the last two budget cycles. It’s time, he said, for some “restorations and strategic investments.”

Indiana ended the 2012 fiscal year with a $2 billion surplus, due to continued budget cuts and improved tax collections. Some legislators on both sides of the aisle are eager to spend some of that.

One idea floated by Bosma: expansion of the state’s private-school voucher program to more families, including low-income families who could use the taxpayer-funded voucher to pay for their children’s pre-school education.

Both major-party gubernatorial candidates, Republican Mike Pence and Democrat John Gregg, have vowed to cut taxes if they’re elected in November.

Bosma, though, made it clear that he’s warned both candidates that their promises may be foolhardy. He noted the legislature has already approved a phase-out of the inheritance tax and a lowering of the corporate income tax — both of which will impact state revenues.

 “Any tax cut in addition to those has to be sustainable,” Bosma said. “Our team definitely has a long-term vision, not a campaign-oriented vision, for how we budget.”

Bosma is in a position to make that kind of claim. Republicans, who now hold 60 of the 100 House seats, are expected to pick up even more in November thanks in part to the retirements of a dozen House Democrats.

Brian Howey, a veteran political observer and publisher of Howey Politics Indiana, has said it’s a “distinct probability” that House Republicans could gain enough seats to give them a quorum-proof “super majority.” That means they wouldn’t need a single Democrat vote — or even a Democrat body — to pass legislation out of the House.

House Democrat Minority Leader Linda Lawson issued a somewhat wary response after Thursday’s press conference. She welcomed the emphasis on jobs and education, saying they’ve been the “primary concerns for Indiana House Democrats for years.”

And, unlike her combative predecessor whom she helped to topple, former Minority Leader Pat Bauer, she offered a kind of olive branch.

“In these tough, uncertain times, Indiana House Democrats stand ready to start working together to make sure our children get the education they deserve, all families can afford quality health care, and all Hoosiers can get jobs and keep them,” Lawson said. “We understand that by working together, we will make things better for everyone.”

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Evansville councilwoman won't be prosecuted over recording EVANSVILLE (AP) — The head of Indiana's State Board of Accounts says he will limit the participation of local officials in reviewing audits reports after a prosecutor's decision that an Evansville city councilwoman didn't break the law by secretly re

    July 31, 2014

  • Man sentenced for 2003 Indiana bank shootout INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge has ordered a 35-year prison sentence for a man convicted of shooting at a central Indiana police officer during a 2003 bank robbery. The sentence against 46-year-old Pascal Sylla comes after a jury convicted him i

    July 31, 2014

  • Teen charged in slaying of mom found dead in trunk GARY (AP) — A 17-year-old girl has been charged with murder in the death of her mother whose body was found in her car's trunk in a wooded area of Gary a few weeks ago. The charges filed by Lake County prosecutors on Wednesday follow the July 11 arre

    July 31, 2014

  • BMV offering driver tests in 11 languages INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is now offering drivers tests in 11 languages other than English that are spoken across Indiana. BMV Commissioner Don Snemis said Wednesday the decision was made at the urging of businesses, un

    July 31, 2014

  • Supreme Court observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking of next chief INDIANAPOLIS — State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure in the leadership post.Another surprise may be in store when his replacement is named.A seven-member panel of

    July 31, 2014

  • Feds cite Indiana Medicaid fraud unit over notices INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal agency found that the Indiana attorney general's office didn't give proper notice in nearly a quarter of the Medicaid fraud cases it helped prosecute in recent years. A report from the Department of Health and Human Serv

    July 30, 2014

  • Indianapolis man buys 2 $1M tickets in 3 months INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis man is celebrating his second $1 million Hoosier Lottery prize in the past three months. Lottery officials say Robert Hamilton won a $1 million prize from a scratch-off ticket he bought last week at a convenience s

    July 30, 2014

  • Settlement erases debt for 261 Indiana military members INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Attorney General Greg Zoeller says a new settlement will erase $1.5 million of bad debt for 261 military members from Indiana. Zoeller and attorneys general from 12 other states filed suit against the lender Rome Finance. They acc

    July 30, 2014

  • Frankfort teen dies after rescue from Indiana city pool FRANKFORT (AP) — Authorities say a 15-year-old boy pulled from a central Indiana city pool has died. Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes says Adrian Alanis died in an Indianapolis hospital on Tuesday, the day after he was rescued from the deep end of the

    July 30, 2014

  • Clark County sheriff charged in prostitution probe NEW ALBANY (AP) — A southern Indiana sheriff who authorities say gave a prostitute a deputy's badge and uniform so she could get hotel discounts, then paid her for a sex act, has been charged with lying to FBI agents investigating the case. A federal

    July 29, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should the U.S. impose a travel ban on three West African nations in response to a growing Ebola virus outbreak?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.