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Indiana House Speaker Bosma Announces Committee Chairs; Rep. Jack Lutz (R-Anderson) to Chair House Utilities and Energy November 19, 2010

Posted by Laura Arnold in 2011 Indiana General Assembly, Uncategorized.
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Original article: http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?id=44801

November 18, 2010

News Release

STATEHOUSE— House Republican Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) has announced committee chairmen and leadership positions for the Indiana House Republican caucus. Committee chairmen and caucus leaders are selected biennially by the majority party after each election year.

“I am confident in the abilities of each of these leaders and I know that they are each eager to begin their committee work and their leadership roles within our caucus,” said Speaker Bosma. “As I said on Organization Day, we need to reestablish the committee as the workhorse of the institution, and these committee chairs have pledged to do just that. I also look forward to watching each of our caucus leaders take an active role in the leadership of our state.”

Standing committees are an integral part of the legislative process. Committees with specific expertise receive public testimony and work out the details of proposed legislation before it is heard on the House floor.

As promised on Organization Day by Speaker Bosma, a new era of bipartisan cooperation is being ushered in with the appointment of minority party members to committee chairmanships for the first time in state history.

“I am serious about establishing a new era of bipartisan cooperation in state government, and I intend to do more than pay it lip service. I hope this extension of leadership positions to the minority party serves as an example of cooperation to other states and to our leaders in Washington D.C.” said Rep. Bosma. “Hoosiers expect us to work together, and I am going to assure that we will.”

Standing Committee
Chairman

Agriculture & Rural Development
Rep. Don Lehe (R-Brookston)

Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development
Rep. Steve Stemler (D-Jeffersonville)

Courts & Criminal Code
Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Danville)

Education
Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis)

Elections & Apportionment
Rep. Eric Koch (R-Bedford)

Employment, Labor & Pensions
Rep. Doug Gutwein (R-Francesville)

Environmental Affairs
Rep. Dave Wolkins (R-Winona Lake)

Family, Children & Human Affairs
Rep. Cindy Noe (R-Indianapolis)

Financial Institutions
Rep. Woody Burton (R-Whiteland)

Government & Regulatory Reform
Rep. Phil Hinkle (R-Indianapolis)

Insurance
Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne)

Interstate & International Cooperation
Rep. Tom Knollman (R-Liberty)

Judiciary
Rep. Ralph Foley (R-Martinsville)

Local Government
Rep. Tim Neese (R-Elkhart)

Natural Resources
Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville)

Public Health
Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville)

Public Policy
Rep. Bill Davis (R-Portland)

Roads & Transportation
Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso)

Rules & Legislative Procedures
Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel)

Select Committee on Government Reduction
Rep. Chet Dobis (D-Merrillville)

Utilities & Energy
Rep. Jack Lutz (R-Anderson)

Veterans Affairs & Public Safety
Rep. Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville)

Ways & Means
Rep. Jeff Espich (R-Uniondale)

Statutory Committee
Chairman

Ethics Committee
Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville)

Leadership Role
Member

Speaker of the House
Rep. Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis)

Majority Floor Leader
Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy)

Majority Caucus Chair
Rep. Kathy Kreag Richardson (R-Noblesville)

Speaker Pro Tempore
Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero)

Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore
Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville)

Majority Whip
Rep. David Frizzell (R-Indianapolis)

Assistant Majority Floor Leader
Rep. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte)

Assistant Majority Floor Leader
Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel)

Assistant Majority Caucus Chair
Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville)

Assistant Majority Caucus Chair
Rep. Eric Koch (R-Bedford)

Assistant Majority Whip
Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper)

Assistant Majority Whip
Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso)

Source: Indiana House Republican Caucus

Editor’s Note: If you are interested in a little more background, please read the following story from the Indianapolis Star following Organizational Day on Tuesday, November 16th.

House leader makes offer of bipartisanship; Bosma names 2 Democrats as panel chairs

1:07 AM, Nov 17, 2010  Written by Mary Beth Schneider

Even as they celebrated their new dominance of the Indiana General Assembly, Republicans gave away a small piece of their power Tuesday, as the new House Speaker Brian Bosma said he’s naming two Democrats to head committees.

Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said it was a first in Indiana, where the election victors usually get to claim all the spoils.

It’s not, though, unprecedented nationwide. Karl Kurtz, a spokesman for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said at least two other states — Texas and Louisiana — have minority party members heading committees. It used to be more common, he said, “but as legislatures have become more partisan, it’s not in as much practice as it used to be.”

On a mostly ceremonial day, where the chambers were jammed with beaming family members snapping pictures as newly elected members took the oath of office, Bosma’s announcement gave some of the spotlight to the outnumbered Democrats.

Bosma credited the Nov. 2 election — a GOP landslide that gave them control of the Indiana House and padded their majority in the Indiana Senate. That, he said, was a message from the public to lawmakers: “You’ve got to do it better. You have to end the partisan bickering. You have to end the overreaching and work together.”

That, he told the House, is why he’s asked Rep. Chet Dobis, D-Merrillville, to head a new committee that will look for ways to cut government regulations, boards and commissions, and asked Rep. Steve Stemler, D-Jeffersonville, to head the commerce, small business and economic development committee. As committee chairmen, they will have the power to decide which bills to consider and which to kill — though Bosma, as speaker, can always move a bill to a more friendly committee chairman if he wants to ensure its survival.

“Kumbaya, right?” Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said of the move. He called it “inspired,” but with 33 Senate Republicans all wanting their own spheres of power, he wasn’t going to give any chairmanships to the 17 Democrats.

House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer, the South Bend Democrat who lost the speaker’s job to Bosma, wasn’t joining in the love fest.

If this was an olive branch, Bauer said, it came with thorns. Bosma’s announcement, he said, broke his commitment that he’d allow Bauer to make Democratic committee appointments.

It ought to bug Republicans, too, Bauer said, that Bosma apparently didn’t think any of them were up to the job of handling economic development.

He figured Bosma was rewarding Dobis, who lost his leadership post last session when he broke ranks to give Republicans the vote they needed to pass a public-private partnership transportation bill.

And he speculated that one reason for the move is to give a bipartisan polish on what could be tough government-cutting decisions in that committee.

Dobis, not surprisingly, said Bosma had made a smart move.

“We’ve got to have an attitude change in this chamber. Everybody’s called for bipartisanship over the years. Nobody’s really been sincere about it,” he said.

Lawmakers will return to the Statehouse on Jan. 5 to begin what will be a grueling session of trying to make ends meet in a new state budget without raising taxes; fixing a bankrupt unemployment benefits fund; and drawing new legislative maps for the House, Senate and Congress.

Gov. Mitch Daniels — who today completes a trade mission to Asia — has his own agenda, including education reforms and local government reforms.

And citizens already were pushing for their own wish-lists. Tuesday, dozens of high school students filled the third-floor hallways outside and cornered any legislator they could find to push for legislation to ban motorists from texting while driving.

They didn’t even have to talk to deliver their message, as each wore blue T-shirts that read “Txtng klls” and “X the TXT.”

It’s already against the law for teenagers to do so, and ought to be barred for all motorists, said Bethany Alkire, a 17-year-old Eastern Hancock High School senior.

Also standing out in Tuesday’s crowded hallways: Roger Madden, a 54-year-old Evansville man who came dressed as Paul Revere. He’s a tea party activist who had worked to elect Republican Jim Tomes of Blairsville to the state Senate, and had come to witness him taking office.

While Madden and others were celebrating a new GOP ascendancy Tuesday, Democrats found the day’s dismal weather more suited to their mood.

Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington, told a reporter that any news article about the day’s events should begin: “It was a cold, gray, dreary day.”

Call Star reporter Mary Beth Schneider at (317) 444-2772

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