Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

March 4, 2014

Honoring new horizons

By State Rep. Cindy Ziemke Guest Columnist
Greensburg Daily News

---- — Throughout session, I have described the process of how a bill becomes a law by going through first, second and third reading in the House and Senate, and passing with a majority vote.

These bills go through the legislative process for the specific purpose of becoming law and making Indiana a better place for Hoosiers to live.

Bills are not the only items legislators vote on though. If you visit the General Assembly website, you will notice that when looking at legislation there is another option in addition to bills - resolutions. Resolutions can be simple (just the House or Senate), joint (a collaboration of the House and Senate) or concurrent (starts in one chamber and is concurred on by the other).

Resolutions are not typical laws and do not require the governor’s signature, but instead are created to organize internal matters or – as in this case –to officially recognize an organization or person for a great achievement. Resolutions are adopted into documented history in the Indiana legislative archives and can be viewed by the public for years to come.

Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 32 honoring New Horizons Rehabilitation, Inc. on 45 years of service to our community originated in the Senate and came over to the House this week where I was honored to sponsor it.

The resolution highlights the history of New Horizons from its inception in 1968. A group of families who wanted positive educational experiences for their family members with disabilities came together and developed a service with immeasurable positive impact. Prior to 1968, individuals with disabilities were commonly shunned from society and were generally institutionalized or hidden at home.

The then newly-formed New Horizons created a revolutionary platform for individuals with disabilities to take part in work training programs, giving them the opportunity to become contributing employees in their business community. The mission of New Horizons is “to creatively work with individuals with disabilities to discover, pursue and achieve their greatest potential in partnership with their family and community.”

New Horizons has been accredited since 1968 by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, recognizing the organization’s dedication to commitment, quality and results. Their services expanded over the years to also support infants, toddlers and preschool children with disabilities.

The final paragraph of the resolution reads:

Whereas, since its founding 45 years ago, New Horizons has consistently created services and opportunities for persons with disabilities to live meaningful lives and now looks forward to providing even greater opportunities in the future.

I am humbled to be a part of this resolution honoring such a noble organization. Every person deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential and have a life of impact. The services offered by New Horizons give many the chance to experience life in a whole new way, and I commend them on their dedication and contributions to our community over the last 45 years.

To read the resolution in its entirety, visit iga.in.gov and click on ‘Legislation,’ ‘Resolutions.’

Rep. Ziemke represents portions of Rush, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Decatur counties.