State Rep. Andy Thomas (R-Brazil) announced today that he will seek re-election as State Representative of District 44. His priorities are economic development, education, government responsibility, and tax fairness.
Thomas, the father of children ages 10 and 7, said, "We must do everything we can to prepare for the future of our children."
Thomas says he values the input of every citizen. Last year, he received over 2,000 survey responses and submitted the results to be published in The Brazil Times. Last month, more surveys were mailed out and the responses should be published within the next few weeks. Surveys may still be completed online by any resident at: www.ai.org/h44.
"I take the survey responses seriously," said Thomas. "This is a way for every citizen to have a voice in government. So far, the 2004 survey results show 85 percent of the constituents believe the referendum process should be expanded so the voices of every Clay County resident is heard."
Last year he successfully co-authored or co-sponsored 13 bills which became law, including S.B. 166, which changed the distribution formula of CAGIT and EDIT local option taxes.
Thomas said, "Because of this bill, Clay County recently received $682,083 which it would not have received."
Some counties, such as Hamilton County, lost over $20 million under the new formula which is based on actual revenues instead of projections.
"I am fighting to get our fair share of state money," Thomas said.
House Republican Leader Rep. Brian Bosma added, "Andy has an exceptional understanding of how Indiana local government works. I have seen him go to battle for Clay County."
On education, Thomas said efforts are being made to allow Ivy Tech State College to offer college classes at the Northview High School location. Thomas is concerned that Indiana ranks 44th in the country on retaining our graduates. He said we must find new ways to help our children find jobs here in Clay County.
Endorsements from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Indiana Manufacturers Association, Federal of Independent Business, Indiana State Teachers Association, and Citizens Action Coalition were received by Thomas in the last election. He is one of only 30 representatives named "taxpayer friendly" based on his voting record by Watchdog Indiana.
Thomas also serves on the House Technology, Research and Development Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and interim study committees reviewing juvenile law, corrections, and child support.
Thomas authors bills
In the current General Assembly, Rep. Thomas is author or co-author of several bills:
H.B. 1312 considers replacement of property taxes with a combination of income and sales taxes. Rep. Thomas says preliminary survey results show 65 percent of his constituents believe it is time to consider replacement of the current property tax system.
"Taxpayers now pay over $85 million in administration expenses each time property is assessed," he said.
H.B. 1404 allows local government in Clay County to receive grants and loans from the Indiana Department of Commerce for construction of roads, utilities, and technology infrastructure without letters of commitment from potential industries. "I have personally talked with Lt. Gov. Kathy Davis about the need for this bill. She was very positive about the idea." said Thomas.
H.B. 1266 allows electronic bids on public projects, making the process more cost effective.
H.B. 1403 allows pickup trucks to be considered in the distribution of gasoline tax revenue. This would bring more money back to Clay County for roads.
About one year ago, Thomas held an Economic Development Summit at DePauw University open to the public with many local businesses participating. Thomas has scheduled a second Economic Development Summit on March 26, 2004 at DePauw University, with Patrick Kiely, President of the Indiana Manufacturers Association, agreeing to participate again.
Thomas is a member of the Brazil First United Methodist Church. He is a current member of the Clay County Council on Aging and Aged, the Brazil Rotary Club, and he also coaches several youth basketball and soccer teams at the Brazil YMCA.
How to contact him:
Thomas can be reached by calling the Statehouse toll-free at (800) 382-9841 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Mail can be addressed to: Rep. Andy Thomas, 301 Indiana Statehouse, Indianapolis, IN 46204. You may also visit the Indiana General Assembly Web site: www.ai.org/h44 for more biographical information.