INDIANAPOLIS -- State Sen. John Waterman (R-Shelburn) gathered with fellow lawmakers recently for Organization Day -- the first official day of the 117th Indiana General Assembly's short legislative session.
Despite being a non-budgetary year, several important issues including job creation, economic development and education reforms will be prominent.
"Soon, lawmakers will be voting on key issues like criminal sentencing reforms, prohibiting smoking in public places and improving student success," Waterman said. "It's important for me to understand how constituents feel about these and other key policies. I encourage Hoosiers to complete the legislative survey that will soon be delivered to households and contact my office with their thoughts and concerns."
Waterman said a variety of issues will receive legislative attention during the upcoming session, including:
* Jobs and the economy. Legislators will continue to pursue pro-growth policies by leveraging some key Hoosier resources: A highly skilled workforce, world-class education system, strategic geographic location and modern infrastructure,
* Continued fiscal responsibility. While many states face daunting budget shortfalls caused by overspending and a difficult national economy, Indiana's commitment to fiscal responsibility has allowed the state's books to remain balanced with reserves in place. Lawmakers will work to preserve the sound fiscal footing,
* Preparing students for success. By supporting a student-focused, results oriented public education system, Indiana is laying the groundwork for the future workforce and providing them with the skills necessary to grow the state's economy and succeed in an increasingly competitive world. Lawmakers and educators will work to maintain Indiana's education status, and
* Clarifying state self-defense laws. Balancing safety for law enforcement officers with Hoosiers' rights to defend their property will be a key concern for legislators during the session. Policymakers will respond to the recent Indiana Supreme Court ruling stating Hoosiers do not have the right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes. According to Waterman, two principles are at stake, including the centuries-old understanding that citizens can defend their property from unlawful intrusion and the responsibility to minimize the dangers faced by police in fast-paced, complex criminal investigations.
Constituents may contact Waterman at Senator.Waterman@iga.in.gov, or by calling 1-800-382-9467.