INDIANAPOLIS – Republican Statehouse leaders proclaimed no “shiny object” or major policy objective to pursue entering the 2018 legislative session. A puzzling position considering the litany of issues working Hoosier families face, including:
- Household incomes that unfailingly lag the national average;
- A widening gender pay gap;
- A $250 million opioid problem;
- Uncertainty over health care and skyrocketing premiums; and
- Troubling allegations at the Department of Child Services.
From The South Bend Tribune: Indiana GOP lacks overarching goal in upcoming session
“There’s usually one overarching, bright shiny object that keeps attention focused. And it’s a little bit different this year,” House Speaker Brian Bosma recently told reporters.
“With such large majorities — 70 of 100 House seats and 41 of 50 Senate seats — the ability of Bosma and GOP Senate leader David Long to keep a handle on legislators will likely be tested.
“It’s unclear if the party’s restive base, let alone several outspoken lawmakers, will go along.”
With so many obvious, critical pocketbook issues on the table, it’s fair for working Hoosiers to question why Statehouse Republicans have failed to prioritize even one. Senate Republicans even assigned Senate Bill 1, the symbolic highest priority piece of legislation for the session, to a bill about alcohol policy.
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody questioned Statehouse Republicans’ complacency.
“What Indiana are they living in?” said Zody. “Working families face real issues that can’t wait to fit Governor Holcomb and Statehouse Republicans’ preferred schedule. Hoosiers are dying from opioids but that can wait while Statehouse Republicans debate beer temperature? If Statehouse Republicans aren’t willing or able to confront these critical issues, what are Hoosier taxpayers paying them for?”