Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

October 31, 2013

Locally grown ideas

By Rep. Randy Frye Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — 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.

After local fire departments from across state began to reach out, I decided to author legislation which provides that certain individuals serving as members of a mobile support unit are considered to be temporary employees of the state for purposes of worker’s compensation law and worker’s occupational diseases law. Local units of government are also able to be reimbursed by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security for the overtime incurred. By doing this, local units of government won’t be stressed during times of deployment.

Hoosiers are always looking out for each other whether to honor our men and women in uniform or to try and help those in need. As we approach the start of the 2014 legislative session, please send me your “locally grown ideas.” I can be reached anytime via email at h67@iga.in.gov or by phone at 317-234-9380. Ideas can also be mailed to State Representative Randy Frye at 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46217.

Rep. Frye (R-Greensburg) represents Ohio and Switzerland counties, as well as portions of Ripley, Decatur, Jennings, Jefferson and Dearborn counties.