Gov. Eric Holcomb on Tuesday, Jan. 9, delivered his second State of the State address. While escorting him down the aisle of the Indiana House Chamber – an honor I will always cherish – I was reflecting on the 2018 legislative session and the work ahead for state lawmakers.
In his speech, Holcomb declared “. . . 2018 is all about taking the tools that we’ve been provided and putting them to work with a single purpose in mind — to make life better for all Hoosiers.” This is a worthy goal, and House Republicans are ready to meet the challenge laid before us. To do this, we are focused on four main priorities that include addressing K-12 funding, strengthening Indiana’s workforce, attacking the opioid epidemic and increasing government efficiency. We look forward to working with our House and Senate colleagues and the governor to accomplish our agenda.
In addition to the State of the State address, the State of the Judiciary also occurs annually. Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush led this year’s address providing an update on the courts’ strategic efforts to adjust their administrative structure, boost their training opportunities, and expand and improve their technology. Rush also outlined efforts of the courts to combat the opioid crisis across the state. Fighting Indiana’s drug epidemic is going to take all branches of government, and I fully support all that Rush and the courts have done to address this issue.
At this point, 455 House bills and 438 Senate bills have been filed. These proposals for new laws are being assigned to committees. For information on all proposals and to view committee hearings online, visit iga.in.gov. Hearings are also open to the public, so if there is a topic you are passionate about or interested in, consider attending.
Another opportunity to visit the Statehouse is Adult Page Day on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Each year during this event, I spend time with members of our community discussing the important issues affecting our area and the state. Participants tour the Statehouse, observe the legislative session and join me for lunch. With this being my last session, this day will be especially meaningful for me. I hope a lot of people from Hamilton County are able to join me at the Statehouse that day. For more information, call 317-232-9677 or email h29@iga.in.gov.
The governor was right when he said that our goals present an ambitious to-do list, and we certainly have plenty of work to do. However, I am eager to meet the challenges laid before us and to continue to take the state of Indiana to the next level.
Kathy Kreag Richardson is a Republican State Representative from District 29, which includes Noblesville, and has served in the legislature since 1992. She also is the elections administrator for Hamilton County. You may contact her at h29@in.gov.