Lawmakers to Reconvene, Battles Begin

Posted: Updated:
INDIANAPOLIS -

The 2018 General Assembly will begin today with Organization Day at the Statehouse and the workforce remains a common talking point among influential members of both parties. Aside from Governor Eric Holcomb, only Senate Democrats have formally released their legislative agenda. Republicans, who again hold a super-majority in the House and Senate, and Democrats, who will soon have a new House Minority Leader with incumbent Scott Pelath (D-9) stepping down from the role, have used the days leading up to the first gavel to sound off on topics like jobs, education, voting rights and health care.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Senate Majority Floor Leader Brandt Hershman (R-7) said Indiana will use its fiscal position to its advantage in the legislative session. "I believe a lot of what we will look at will likely be evolutionary, rather than revolutionary," Hershman said. "We have made such positive progress in our business and tax climate. We have made such progress in our infrastructure, there are a couple of areas in which we obviously want to continue to improve and compete -- workforce being the number one of those issues as the governor has correctly pointed out."

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-16) says efforts to bolster the state's workforce need to go beyond efforts by legislators. "For a number of years now, we've been hearing from prospective employers in the state of Indiana that they need folks who have workforce skills and that just doesn't mean technical skills, too, it means those soft skills in terms of showing up for the job every day, being ready to work when they get there, passing drug screenings. So, I still think a lot of this goes back to education," he said. "I think the state's going to have to participate in that. I also think that the business community has to step forward, too, and be willing to make a commitment."

Holcomb's framework for the session discussed issues including "pillars" that address economic strength and diversity, infrastructure, "21st Century" job skills, attacking the state's drug epidemic and more emphasis on building the workforce pipeline. The Senate Democrats' INvision 20/20 plan focuses on goals the caucus hopes to accomplish by 2020, such as improving voter access and independent redistricting, adjusting to potential health care policy changes, implementing a bias crimes law and increasing the minimum wage.

Another topic expected to attract the public's attention is state alcohol sales regulations. Two of the state's most high-profile industry lobbying groups, the Indiana Retail Council and the Indiana Beverage Retailers Association, are now backing some form of Sunday alcohol sales, a stance echoed by the Alcohol Code Revision Commission, which is providing guidance to the General Assembly. The organizations still oppose expanded cold beer sales, an issue on which the commission did not reach a conclusion.

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-16) says efforts to bolster the state's workforce need to go beyond efforts by legislators.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Senate Majority Floor Leader Brandt Hershman (R-7) said Indiana will use its fiscal position to its advantage in the legislative session.
  • Perspectives

    • We’re Having the Wrong Conversations About Safety

      Every time there’s a shooting at a school or a workplace, the arguments begin. We need more police officers stationed in the buildings. We need to arm teachers or encourage employees to carry handguns. We should invest in smokescreen systems or bulletproof partitions. Everyone should hide from the shooter. Everyone should run from the shooter. Everyone should confront the shooter. It’s healthy that we’re discussing safety, but unfortunately, we’re talking...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • West Lafayette Center Breaks Ground

      West Lafayette city officials this week broke ground on the $31.5 million West Lafayette Wellness and Aquatic Center at Cumberland Park. Plans for the 72,000-square-foot project feature a natatorium, three gymnasiums, exercise machines, free weights and community rooms. 

    • Forbes Ranks Top Colleges; 3 Indiana Schools Make the Cut

      Forbes released its 12th annual ranking of America’s Top Colleges based on direct benefits a university or college provides its students. Several Indiana universities made the list in some “sub-categories”, like Grateful Graduates Index, but the University of Notre Dame was the only school in the state to break the top 20 overall rankings.

    • (photo courtesy of the Marshall County EDC)

      Wire and Cable Startup to Set Up Shop in Argos

      A startup wire and cable company has announced plans to launch operations in Marshall County. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says Sequel Wire and Cable LLC will invest $53 million to purchase and equip the 50,000-square-foot Argos Manufacturing Center and create 120 jobs by the end of 2024. The company plans to expand the facility to more than 162,000 square feet and begin operations in early 2020. The $2.7 million Argos Manufacturing Center was built in part with...

    • (courtesy: Frank Logan/Military Vehicle Preservation Assoc.)

      Historic Military Convoy to Cross Indiana

      A sentinel moment of U.S. history is playing out Sunday in South Bend when the recreation of the U.S. Army Transcontinental Military Convoy rolls into town. Approximately 70 historic military vehicles are retracing the original 1919 cross country trip which traveled along the famed Lincoln Highway.

    • Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Names President and CEO

      Jeremy Kranowitz has been named president and chief executive officer of community nonprofit Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.  Kranowitz previously served as managing director for Sustainability of Hazon, an organization that focuses on environmental change, especially within Jewish communities.