02/18/13 The Indiana legislative midterm is quickly coming up, and it has been an exciting session for freshman Tim Harman. He commented last week, “I’m pleased to see many great bipartisan legislative efforts being put forth so far. It is refreshing to see how much can be accomplished when the well-being of Indiana is prioritized ahead of partisanship.” Harman said there are two big pieces of legislation he feels are examples of the new spirit of bipartisanship: House Bill (HB) 1001 and HB 1002. These two bills deal with the budget and job creation.
HB 1002 passed out of the House unanimously and will be heard in the Senate next week. The purpose of HB 1002 is to create the Indiana Career Council (ICC), which brings together the key players involved in Indiana’s job training efforts. The ICC will work to unite Indiana’s fragmented system, share data and coordinate all elements of the state’s workforce development efforts. Last week, HB 1002 received a very important amendment that added a much needed consideration for veterans. Representative Harman said, “Currently post 9/11 veteran unemployment rates in Indiana are a staggering 20 percent. This is double the nation’s average.” The amendment requires that the ICC coordinates its efforts with National Guard and Military Agencies in order to ensure that our countries heroes have jobs to return home to.
Harman said, “I am happy to join Representative Mayfield (R-Martinsville) as a co-author on HB 1295.” Passing out of the House with a 97-0 vote, HB 1295 would allow Indiana University’s Life Science division to be eligible for federal grant funding. One of the benefits of this additional funding would be that the products of IU’s Life Sciences research projects could see commercialization far more quickly, thus bringing many new and exciting advancement to Hoosiers across the state.
Hearing from constituents is important to the legislators and Harman said, “I have recently had several groups of constituents come to visit me at the Statehouse, and I would like to thank them for making the trip down to Indianapolis. I have also received a large number of the surveys that were sent out.” During the past week he has spent time reviewing the results, and said he appreciated everyone who took the time to fill them out. The results of the survey in Harman’s district show that 52% of the surveys returned oppose the Sunday sales of alcohol while 41% support it and 7% are undecided. The question on improving career and technical education programs in high school received overwhelming support with 92%. Required drug testing for welfare recipients also had a high percentage of support with 88%. Tim said, “Those survey results, along with constituent visits are of great benefit to me because they directly show me your views on many of the tough issues of this legislative session.”
He closed by saying, “As always, I am open to new ideas that you feel will help Hoosiers and ask that you bring to my attention any concerns you may have. Please contact me by email at email@example.com or by phone at 317-232-9678.”