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Tax cut dispute overshadowing Legislature’s work to lower state’s unemployment, Bosma tells lawyers

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A public spat between the Legislature and governor’s office over tax cuts has become an overarching issue, but Indiana Speaker of the House Brian Bosma said the state should be focusing on job creation.

The Indianapolis Republican talked about the current legislative session during a meeting of the St. Thomas More Society Monday, March 25, at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. He devoted much of his remarks to a 2005 lawsuit challenging the General Assembly’s practice of saying a prayer each day during the session.

Turning his attention to the current session, Bosma noted the Republicans have a supermajority in the Legislature and many were concerned the caucus would not be united and would run amuck. The key to preventing that from happening is leadership, he said.

He has worked at developing respect between the rank-and-file members of the House of Representatives and the leadership. He said he has met and developed a level of trust with every member of his caucus.

“Probably one of my largest leadership challenges is to keep folks from majoring in the minors,” Bosma said, explaining he does not want the Legislature to get distracted by sideshows.

However, he noted, disagreements are bound to occur. In previous sessions, the General Assembly had disputes with former Gov. Mitch Daniels, but this time the disagreement with the governor’s office has, unfortunately, Bosma said, become public.

The speaker said the central question in the tax cut disagreement with Pence was what the state should do with the “very wisely accumulated reserved” that has been developed. Pence is pushing for a tax cut for Hoosiers while the proposed budget winding through the Statehouse does not include such a cut but instead puts more funding into roads and education.

Bosma said the tax issue is drawing the attention right now and overshadowing the “big story for this session” of the Legislature’s work in addressing unemployment. In particular, the state, along with local governments and schools, are trying to find ways to fill the skills gap and opportunity gaps.

Pointing to recent research, Bosma said even while Indiana’s unemployment rate hovers above 8 percent, jobs are going unfilled because the skills Hoosiers have do not match the abilities employers need. Compounding that, the brain drain is continuing as many young people leave the state because they cannot find the high-challenge, high-opportunity jobs they want.

 Among the bills Bosma authored this session is House Bill 1002 which would establish the Indiana career council. This body would focus on aligning the state’s education and career training system with the skills Indiana companies need.

It passed the House 99 - 0. In the Senate it has bipartisan sponsorship from Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, and Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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