This letter from State Representative Bill Davis appeared in the Muncie Star Press 1-26-12. We often refer to Bill Davis as our surrogate State Representative. Thanks, Bill.
Recently a letter was released from David Fagan, chairman of the Lunch Pail Republicans PAC. In this letter Mr. Fagan made appalling accusations that Speaker Brian Bosma has made threats against members of the House Republican Caucus if they do not vote in favor of House Bill (HB) 1001, right to work.
I find these claims disingenuous and deceitful. I have been present in every caucus meeting this legislative session and have not once heard a threat or any type of bullying remark made toward any members. Speaker Bosma has been the most open speaker we have had in the Indiana General Assembly in at least the past eight years. He has always been open with the public about the process, as well as with the caucus about all major issues; far more so than any other speaker in my recollection.
On numerous occasions last year, concerning a bill that I authored, the speaker and I had open conversations with Mr. Fagan about the intent and purpose of the bill. I’d like to ask Mr. Fagan how he could not have the courtesy to approach Speaker Bosma or members of the House Republican Leadership again this year so that similar open conversations about right to work could take place. Since last year, I, as well as all of my colleagues, have had many similar discussions with both proponents and opponents of right to work from my own district and in the Statehouse.
Instead, it seems that Mr. Fagan has resorted to spreading rumors and I find that deplorable. How is it that he is not complaining about how 35 members of the House Democrats have refused to show up to work and to fulfill the duties they were elected to do? That 6.5 million Hoosiers continue to go unrepresented at the Statehouse because of 35 individuals’ blatant disrespect for the democratic process that America was founded on?
In my time as representative for House District 33, I have always made the best decisions I could for the Hoosiers living there. I will continue to work to strengthen Indiana for Hoosier families, workers, veterans and children alike. I can assure Mr. Fagan, and all Hoosiers, that every issue, including right to work, has been and will be carefully considered, discussed and debated, before a vote is cast.
Bill Davis is state representative for District 33, which includes portions of Jay, Randolph and Delaware counties.
Bill Davis and 2009 Indiana General Assembly-Fantastic letter and worth the read.
The Citizens of Delaware County for Property Tax Repeal, Inc. have endorsed the following candidates in the November 2, 2010 General Election…..
Indiana Senate District 26: Doug Eckerty
Indiana Representative District 33: Bill Davis
Indiana Representative District 35: Jack Lutz
Delaware County Sheriff: Mike Scroggins
Delaware County Prosecutor: J.A. Cummins
Delaware County Clerk : Steve Fields
Delaware County Commissioner District 3: Larry Bledsoe
Please visit http://www.propertytaxrepeal.com for further information on these candidate endorsements
The CDCPTR endorsements are a result of extensive research and direct interaction with the candidates by the CDCPTR Membership, Officers and Board. It is the CDCPTR’s position that these candidates are “taxpayer friendly” and will conduct their official duties of the office for which they are running in an ethical manner and for the best interests for the community as a whole. These candidates appear to be responsible and responsive in line with the values of the Citizens of Delaware County for Property Tax Repeal Inc. as of the date of this Endorsement.
Please forward this alert to all you voting friends and contacts!
For those of you that were unable to attended the October 7th Candidate Forum, it is now available on line at CDCPTR.
If you are like me, with a connection speed that is less than stellar, there is another alternative.
The Forum will be televised on Comcast Public Access Channel 60 throughout the month of October and on Monday, November 1st on the following schedule:
Mondays: 7:00 pm
Wednesdays: 9:00 am
Fridays: 6:00 pm
Sundays: 1:00 pm
3rd House – Legislative Update
When: January 30, 2010
Where: Muncie City Hall Auditorium
Time: 9:30 AM
Attending: Bill Davis, Sue Errington, Jack Lutz, Dennis Tyler
Special Guests: Concerned Cityzens
(See the earlier post for the Legislative Survey results)
The Indiana General Assembly faced tough challenges and great opportunities going into this legislative session. However, the session left us with disappointment and missed opportunities.
Passing an unemployment insurance bill that will cause $700 million in tax increases for Hoosier businesses over the next two years, to me, is unacceptable. The unemployment insurance bill raised the wage base from $7,000 to $9,500, which will cause a $650 million increase in state taxes on employers. Add to that $50 million in federal tax increases on Indiana employers in 2010 — from reduced federal unemployment tax credits to employers — to total $700 million in tax increases for Hoosier businesses.
At a time when Indiana’s unemployment rate has reached double digits, we should be putting Hoosiers back to work, not taxing Hoosier employers to the point where they cannot create jobs.
Forget creating new jobs; by raising employer taxes as much as 150 percent for more than 100,000 Hoosier businesses, we will force employers to lay off employees — and that is unacceptable.
I voted against this legislation because I believe it will do more harm than good to an already suffering Indiana economy and will prevent Hoosier business from putting Hoosier employees back to work.
Indiana needed an unemployment insurance fund that would serve both parties facing the issue — those who pay into the unemployment trust fund and those who receive the unemployment benefits.
Not to forget, House Republicans were not included in important negotiations during conference committee in the final days of session. We had ideas to make the bill better, but our opinions simply were not heard by the majority.
The House speaker went so far as to remove our House Republican conferee for the bill, who had been closely following this issue all session, and replace him with a House Democrat conferee. The unemployment insurance bill passed with a party line vote.
What was even more unacceptable was the failure to craft and pass a frugal, biennial budget in the face of a recession.
The final budget, proposed in the waning moments of the session, was far, far short of what I hoped it would be. Honestly, Hoosiers deserved better.
The budget, which failed in the House by a 27-71 vote, would have wiped out the state’s reserves, created a structural deficit of more than $800 million for the next budget cycle, misused the one-time federal stimulus money and led Indiana to a tax increase within two years.
I understand that a budget was our No. 1 responsibility this session, but I could not support a budget that would raise taxes and lead Indiana into the red, and many of my House colleagues agreed. So now, we are in a special session that begin Thursday.
I can assure you that no one wanted a special session. However, the opportunity of special session gives us a second chance to establish a balanced budget.
My expectations for special session are the same expectations I had at the start of the original session. Legislators have to come to a consensus in a common-sense manner that Hoosier taxpayers expect to pass a budget that will protect Hoosier taxpayers, use stimulus money responsibly, provide adequate funding for education and not send Indiana off a cliff in two years.
Hoosier taxpayers, especially taxpayers in House District 33, have overwhelmingly agreed that we need to work within fiscal constraint in order to make sure we pass a budget that doesn’t cause a tax increase in a time when we are losing jobs.
We have the ability to do exactly that, we just need the will from everyone involved. All four caucuses and the governor have to come ready to work together in order to help Indiana. The governor announced his budget proposal recently, which will give the Indiana General Assembly a roadmap to establish a fiscally sound budget that will keep Indiana moving forward during these tough economic times.
His proposed budget does not impose any tax increases on already struggling Hoosier families and businesses nor does it include any cuts to public education or public safety. The only increases in the budget are for both K-12 education and student financial aid, making Indiana one of only 15 states to avoid cuts in education funding.
His budget also proposed thousands of jobs for hard-working Hoosiers by investing more than $450 million in capital projects for higher education, in addition to $1 billion in road and bridge projects.
Furthermore, the budget spends the state’s reserves and stimulus money wisely, with the understanding that Indiana could face more difficult times down the road.
I applaud the governor for his efforts and hope all four caucuses will come together over the next month and pass a budget we can all support.
I encourage constituents to contact me with questions or concerns by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at (800) 382-9841 or by writing me at the Statehouse, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, Ind. 46204.
If you are interested in receiving my weekly eNewsletter, you can sign up at www.in.gov/h33. State Rep. Bill Davis represents District 33 in the Indiana House.
Posting the column is not an endorsement of the MunciePolitics blog. It is for informational purposes only.
Thanks to Mr. Davis for permission to post his letter.
Attended the Legislative Update today at City Hall.
The hot topic was property tax caps and reform. As you know the caps were pushed through quickly and we should see it on 2009 pay 2010 tax bills. Keep in mind this is not a permanent tax cap, yet. We still will be able to vote on it. Some legislatures were concerned local government would not have time to prepare for the loss of revenue. Senator Sue Errington disagreed, citing the Umbaugh and Associates study. The study was paid for by local governments to help determine their revenues and hopefully lead the elected officials into some good old-fashioned belt tightening.
Another big issue was balancing the budget. All agreed that every budget was balanced. Jack Lutz commented he wanted a balanced budget without gimmicks. Some may recall when the schools were denied money and the state borrowed to pay it back. Certainly falls into the “gimmick” category.
Of course unemployment fund is another big concern. As we know it is broke and broke. How to fix it is another question. Should we burden already struggling business and ask them to ante up? Decrease benefits or just wait for the stimulus money to bail us out? Remember, the stimulus money comes with strings attached. We are the stimulus money, don’t forget.
One of my favorite topics was addressed, which is the Kernan-Shepard report. Senator Errington has been in favor and sees it is as a viable tool to get government on track. She said at least one part has been resurrected. Moving mayoral elections to even years, saving cities millions of dollars, forbidding an elected official to hold a government job. Maybe we can shed the conflict of interest papers, which nobody signs anyway. In addition, putting school board elections on the November ballot instead of the primary. Representative Lutz said it was hard for the house to digest, and Bill Davis thought it should be broken down. He went on to say it is one way for government to become transparent and efficient. Representative Dennis Tyler said he has not heard anything from his constituents on the report. If you like what the Kernan-Shepard report has to say, get on the horn and give Mr. Tyler a shout, send an email or write a letter. All contact information is available on this site along with the K-S report.
I liked what Senator Errington had to say about the Kernan-Shepard report, Delaware County Modernization and Consolidation committee and tightening our belts. She spoke on how the libraries are doing it, so it is possible, folks.
By far, my favorite is Mr. Bill Davis. He seems in tune with what is happening and what needs to be done. I liked it when he said the people are sacrificing everyday and government should too. Right on, dude!
One item up for discussion was funding for 211. 211 is similar to 411, except it gives you information on where to go for assistance. I used it once, and was I happy it was available. Had an elderly friend who really wasn’t able to care for herself any longer. I called every agency in the book, either a no call back or the agency was unable to help. After dialing 211, they put me in touch with the correct agency and we got the ball rolling. I am making the ordeal simplier that it was…very frustrating situation until 211 came into the picture.
Other issues were addressed, and you can read my notes on the forum in the pages section of this blog.