Two Work Together for One Big Year

OK, I tried this little history lesson below as a possible lead to my BizVoice magazine story on the 2011 Government Leaders of the Year. I was rightfully told that it didn’t work — at least for that purpose. After a second look, I quickly agreed.

But you get it here, with the primary purpose to get you to the full story about Brian Bosma and David Long — and the accomplishments they helped produce in this year’s Indiana General Assembly session.

There are reasons that 49 states (Nebraska being the exception) and many countries operate with bicameral governing bodies. Bicameral simply refers to two chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate at the state and congressional levels.

While not delving too far into a history lesson, the Founding Fathers of our country established the House to represent the will of the people. This is exemplified by their smaller districts and two-year election cycle. The Senate, on the other hand, is viewed as much more deliberative, with its members representing larger geographic areas and serving six-year terms.

The two-chamber model provides a checks and balances to the governing system. But the House and Senate – and particularly their leadership – must work together. To do so is progress; to fail in that effort often results in gridlock.

The 2011 Indiana General Assembly session is largely regarded as a tremendous success. Leading the way were the two people at the top – House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long.

Check out the full story here and go online to view all the award winner videos.

New Poll Question: Your 2012 GOP Choice?

Our final legislative poll question, at least for a while, asked for your biggest "victory" of the 2011 Indiana General Assembly session.

Education led the way, with school choice scholarships and teacher performance-based pay tying for the top spot at 27%. The  two "business" choices — corporate income tax reduction and unemployment insurance reform — each collected 12% of the vote. "Other," with a variety of answers, was in the middle at 23%.

While not legislative, we can’t help but go political with our new question. With Mitch Daniels not running, who is your favorite for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination? Check out the choices (top right of the page) and share your opinion.

Tallying Your Legislative Votes

We’re celebrating a most successful 2011 Indiana General Assembly session and trying to let you know about it in various ways — short video; final Legislative Report coming next week; May 13 Policy Call, etc.

But even in a really, really good year, there are legislative goals that fall short. Our recent poll question asked which of four initiatives the Chamber should continue to pursue. Your responses were fairly evenly split between three of the choices.

Passing right-to-work legislation and meaningful local government reform each received 33% of the votes. Close behind was a statewide smoking ban at 27%. Lagging at 7% was eliminating the state estate (or death) tax.

Message received. We’ll continue to plug away on those issues and more.

Our new poll question (top right of the page) asks you to select the biggest "victory" of the 2011 session.  Tell us what you think.

Member Benefit: The 2011 Legislature and Your Business

Chamber members, this one is for you. A one-hour Policy Issue Conference Call on Friday (9:30 a.m. EST) will feature a preview of the 2011 Indiana General Assembly session.

There are two dozen new legislators as a result of the November election and previous retirements, etc. Republicans picked up 12 seats in the House to take control of that chamber and extended their already large majority in the Senate. Education and local government reform, fixing the broken unemployment compensation system and drawing new political maps are among the priorities. And there’s that pesky two-year state budget thing during extremely tight financial times.

Chamber President Kevin Brinegar will offer his analysis and answer your questions. It’s going to be a big session with a major impact on companies and their employees. Find out how — and what you might be able to do to assist in the process.

Sign up today and listen in/participate on Friday.