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.

We Better Keep Engaged in D.C. Doings

Here’s how expert journalists from CongressDaily (that means they’re in Washington every day reporting on what’s happening — or not happening) assess the return of Congress from its extended August recess:

The Senate is set to pass legislation as soon as this week to spur small-business hiring. Other measures might also move, but the final pre-election work session is expected to be mostly political theater, its goal more electoral than legislative. Republicans will look to hold a lead and avoid missteps while Democrats try to use control of the agenda to alter the game.

There is little chance both chambers before the election will pass a
package addressing the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, which expire this year,
leadership aides in both parties said. That leaves the debate, for now, as important for both parties as the result.

Not very encouraging, is it? But that does not alter one bit our (that’s all of us) role — maybe better defined as responsibility — to try and make a difference.

A contingent of state business leaders will do so in Washington for two days this week during our annual D.C. Fly-in; and we’ll tackle the policies (and probably a little bit of the politics) during our monthly conference call for Chamber members on Friday.

The bottom line: One can find plenty to complain about in the laws and regulations emanating from our nation’s capital. But are you entitled to keep up the criticism if you don’t at least try to do something about it? Trying could mean different things for different people. Attend events like the Fly-in (we go every year), spend an hour learning more about the issues on Friday, write or make a phone call to your representatives, get involved politically if you don’t like the current leaders, etc.

The point: Get involved.