Pharos-Tribune

State News

October 7, 2012

Maureen Hayden: Republicans embrace Bosma’s ‘Own Your Own Dream’ agenda

INDIANAPOLIS — You may be hearing a lot more about the “American dream” from Republicans in the Indiana Statehouse in coming months.

Last week, Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma — confident that the GOP will continue to control the Statehouse after the November election — called a press conference to announce his caucus’s legislative agenda for 2013.

He gave the plan a theme: “Own Your American Dream.”

It’s about jobs and education and a balanced state budget. It lacks legislative detail but it’s aspirational.

“It is every parent’s hope that their children will be better off than their own generation,” Bosma said, after telling a story about his immigrant ancestors who came to the U.S. in 1908 with little more than a dream.

“But for the first time in history,” he continued, “the majority of Americans believe that the next generation will not enjoy a quality of life better than their parents.”

His lofty words were mostly lost on his immediate audience. Reporters who covered the event, myself included, latched on instead to his comments about social issues that may crowd the GOP agenda, including a pending constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage and civil unions. (No American dream for same-sex couples?)

That, and the declaration of independence he made on behalf of the Indiana Legislature when he questioned whether a big tax cut promised by his own party’s front-running candidate for governor, Mike Pence, would make it through the legislative budget process. (Ditto for Democrat John Gregg’s tax-cut plan.)  

“Our team has a long-term vision, not a campaign-oriented vision, for how we budget,” Bosma said.  

Bosma wanted us to pay more attention to the plan, which pledges action to create better-paying jobs and expand and improve educational opportunities for Hoosiers.  

Those are good goals. Because while Bosma called Indiana the “envy of every state in the nation” for ending up with a state budget surplus after some tough budget-cutting years, he knows that envy has a limit.

In per capita personal income — a measure that reflects the average income of state residents and is used to measure prosperity — Indiana ranks in the bottom 10 of all states. We’ve slid down there in the last decade. Collectively, we Hoosiers have less of the American dream than we once did.

What does it take to reverse the slide? The answer is simple: A better-educated workforce, which leads to better-paying jobs.

Getting to that answer is the hard part, of course. Indiana ranks in bottom 10 states for college attainment. We’re also in the bottom 10 states for the number of children attending early education programs.

The Republicans’ “American dream” plan calls for, among other things, promoting early childhood education and increasing accessibility to higher education.

The devil will be in the details. What does “promote” mean? No definitive word yet on that. It could mean expanding the state’s controversial voucher program that uses tax dollars to pay for tuition in private schools. And how do you increase access to higher education when the high cost of college these days means massive student loan debt? Indiana’s public universities have bitterly resisted efforts to tie more of their state subsidies to getting more of their students through college and out on time.

I like the American dream. I’m here because my starving Irish Catholic ancestors and my oppressed Russian Jewish ancestors were offered access to it. And jobs and education were their tickets to realizing it.

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



 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • 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

  • Arrest made in slaying of woman found in field GREENFIELD (AP) — An Indianapolis woman has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a woman found dead last week along a central Indiana road. Twenty-seven-year-old Amanda Gonzalez was formally charged Monday with murder and assisting a cri

    July 29, 2014

  • Madison County voting records sought in US probe ANDERSON (AP) — A federal grand jury has subpoenaed Madison County voting records after absentee ballots cast in Anderson's 4th Ward determined the winners of several races. The subpoena issued by federal prosecutors seeks several records from the Ma

    July 29, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
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 Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
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.