(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana's lawmakers met at the Statehouse on Tuesday to prepare for what will likely be a busy 2013 legislative session
Members of the Indiana House and state Senate were sworn in by Chief Justice Brent Dickson on "Organization Day,” the first official meeting of all state lawmakers.
Among those sworn in was longtime State Sen. Johnny Nugent (R-Lawrenceburg). He considers the biennial state budget to be the most important issue to be decided by lawmakers before the deadline of April 29.
“Passing the state’s fifth-consecutive balanced budget will be a central part of the upcoming session, but there will be many other important topics to discuss that will have a significant impact on Hoosiers,” Nugent said. “One of the most pressing issues the legislature will face this session is responding to the federal government’s new healthcare law in a way that’s financially responsible and works best for Hoosiers.”
Other topics include improving Indiana’s Department of Child Services; building on Indiana’s low-tax, job-friendly environment; and improving education.
State Rep.Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) was reelected to represent House District 67, which now includes Ripley, Ohio and Switzerland counties, as well as portions of Decatur, Jennings, Jefferson and Dearborn counties.
“We are focused on jobs and education. It’s vital that we continue to expand on our pro-business, taxpayer-friendly environment to maximize job creation, as well as making sure that every Hoosier child has access to a first rate education,” said Frye. “A great education opens countless doors to a more prosperous future and is vital to preserving the American Dream.”
Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville) was reelected to represent House District 68, which now includes all of Union County and portions of Dearborn and Franklin counties.
“For the past two years, representing my community in the General Assembly has been a great honor,” said McMillin. “Over the next two years, I will continue to work with my colleagues and support legislation that will safeguard our state’s future and strengthen its economy specifically Southeastern Indiana. Indiana has received national recognition as a top state to do business, and it is imperative that we continue to incentivize and promote job creation through small business owners as they employ thousands of Hoosiers in our district and across the state.”
In October, the House Republican Caucus released their legislative agenda, making it clear that their focus will be on financial integrity, jobs and education. That focus was echoed today as the 69 House Republicans prepared for the upcoming session with a resolve to accomplish those priorities and continue to propel Indiana to be a state where Hoosiers have the ability to own their American Dream.
McMillin said Indiana’s most important investment is its education system.
“We must equip students with the necessary skills required to succeed once they enter the workforce. With a strong foundation in areas such as reading, writing, arithmetic and speech, we will better enable our future leaders and job creators to prosper,” he said.
Republicans should have their way for the most part with supermajorities in both the House and Senate, and incoming GOP governor Mike Pence.
The 2013 legislative session with the 118th General Assembly begins January 7.