Every day, I receive correspondence from Hoosiers who want to make our state a better place. These ideas can range from locally specific projects to overarching philosophies on how we govern our state and everything in between.
Civic engagement is fundamental to the democratic process and has been a focal point for me in crafting legislation each session. The best ideas always come from the people being directly affected on a daily basis, and having an open dialogue on the issues that matter most to our community is of the highest importance to me.
In just a few short months, we will be back in session, so now is the time to start thinking about what would make a difference in our area. To get you thinking, I would like to share with you a couple of locally grown ideas that were turned into legislation this past session.
Last year, a constituent sent an email requesting that Indiana adopt the Honor and Remember Flag as a symbol to honor all of the fallen brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces and the families of those who mourn them. This idea was turned into a resolution which proposed that the flag be flown over all public buildings throughout the state.
This resolution came through the Committee on Veterans Affairs and Public Safety, to which I serve as a Chairman. As a strong supporter of our men and women in uniform, I was thrilled to support this measure. Not only does it signify our deep appreciation for the incredible sacrifice that our fallen veterans have made but also our much deserved respect for them.
As many of you will remember, southern Indiana was severely impacted by tornadoes during the summer of 2012. As a result, first responders throughout the state were activated by the Governor to help those affected. Their absence from their communities created a void that local units were then forced to temporarily fill with overtime workers. This caused a significant financial burden on these local units.