03/09/11 The week past was lost to the lack of a quorum in the House. No bills were presented, discussed, amended or voted on, because the House Democrats were not present to allow business to occur. They were in a hotel in Urbana, Illinois.
Minority Leader Pat Bauer (R-South Bend) did return for a one hour meeting with Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and the Republican leadership. It was a cordial meeting, but little progress was made. Speaker Bosma reinforced his statements that issues must be addressed and discussed on the floor of the House and only the House floor—not through backroom deals.
The Speaker is adamant that bills and discussions must be open on the House floor through amendments and debate. After Leader Bauer left the Statehouse to return to Urbana, IL, word was received that the minority party had no immediate plans to return and do the peoples’ work. Their absence continues and the issues important to Hoosiers are not addressed.
If actions have consequences, then what should happen to the Democrats when they abdicate their individual constitutional responsibilities? House Republicans have taken two steps of financial punishment. The per diem (money paid to a legislator per session day) has been revoked for absent members, and a fine of $250 per member per day has been enlisted beginning Monday, March 7. Punitive actions are now being placed on the absent members.
The intent is to provide an incentive to return to Indianapolis and complete the peoples’ business. Perhaps they will be inspired to return for all the right reasons. If not, much important work will continue to be lost. I truly hope they will return.
This week, the City of Peru received a very high honor. Peru was selected to receive a national “micropolitan” designation by Site Selection magazine. What the award really means is that Peru is a very attractive place to do business, to work and to live. It has everything to do with community involvement (Circus), highway system (US 31 and 24), and proximity to Grissom Air Force Base, making it an attractive and livable city with many attributes and a receptive workforce with aggressive leadership. This designation can be the catalyst needed to attract and maintain employment for Peru and Miami County. My hope is that every opportunity is pursued to engage the business community to the fullest extent possible.
Sometimes the realities of life overshadow the duties and responsibilities of this job. On Saturday morning, our next door neighbor passed away after a long, courageous battle with cancer. Liz Appleton was a beautiful person with a great spirit and appreciation for life. She will be missed for a wide variety of reasons, not the least being her love of family and friends. Dave, her husband, was her caregiver and devoted partner. Our family offers our sincerest condolences and best wishes.
Issues of life and death can certainly bring all our other problems into perspective. So many times we are pulled back to reality by death and other difficult circumstances. It certainly does it for me. As I reason through the very complicated issues of this General Assembly, my goal is to not lose my vision of what is truly important. My family, friends and life can always bring me back to what is real.
Last week, I shared a verse from a man named Paul, who wrote two letters to a group of people in the city of Corinth. He said, “When I was a child, I thought as a child, I acted as a child and reasoned as a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish ways.” That verse can be applied to all of us in so many ways.
It’s time to put aside childish ways and focus on the people of Indiana as mature adults.
Thanks for your comments and support or criticism. I listen to all of it. Stay involved.