The 2023 session of the Indiana General Assembly convened this week for the legislature’s biennial budget-writing session. It’s the kind of exercise that can make an ordinary citizen’s eyes glaze over.
Yet it is crucial work being done on behalf of Hoosiers, and issues of grave importance often get wrapped up in the discussions and debates over how tax revenues are spent and how the state meets its constitutional obligations.
But state finances won’t be the only item on the agenda. A range of issues — including those motivated by ideology and the culture wars — will get their share of time in the spotlight.
Among major issues set for deliberation is Gov. Eric Holcomb’s proposal to do away with textbook fees for Hoosier school kids. Indiana’s massive $6.1 billion budget surplus gives legislators plenty of breathing room to give serious consideration to such a plan.
Whatever serious debate occurs will be between Republicans. That’s because the GOP, which enjoys supermajority status in both houses of the legislature as well as control over the executive branch, doesn’t have to pay much attention to anything minority Democrats have to say.
That doesn’t mean the majority party can pay no attention to the people. Legislators are elected to serve voters. Don’t let them forget that.
We urge citizens to interact with their representatives. It’s easy to contact legislators to share views. Here’s how:
- Members of the Indiana House of Representatives can be reached by phone at 1-800-382-9842.
- Members of the Indiana Senate can be reached at 1-800-382-9467.
- The mailing address for representatives and senators is 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.
- If you have online access, there is a wealth of information, including email addresses of legislators, about the General Assembly and related services at iga.in.gov/.
Government is at its best when citizens are informed and engaged.
Lawmakers work for you. Let them know your opinions.
SOURCE: Tribune-Star Editorial