Organizational Day at the General Assembly
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
ORGANIZATIONAL DAY AT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The House and Senate convened this afternoon for the annual Organizational Day. Today, all of the legislators were sworn in including numerous new members. Also, new leadership for each caucus in each house were welcomed. Senator Rodric Bray will be the new President Pro Tem of the Senate and Senator Mark Messmer will be the new Majority Leader for the Senate. Senator Tim Lanane will continue to be the Senate Minority Leader. In the House, Representative Brian Bosma will continue to be the Speaker of the House. Representative Phil GiaQuinta will be the new House Minority Leader.
Today’s session was primarily ceremonial, but the caucus leaders did provide their goals for the session that will begin in January. Speaker of the House Brian Bosma made the following points regarding public education:
• There will be between $325 and $350 million new dollars for the first year of the biennium
• $275 million will be for the Department of Child Services to continue their supplemental funding levels
• He said that there will be state budget increases for Medicaid and teacher pensions, which will leave little for other increases
• Regarding the secured safety grants, there will be bills to open these grants to all school corporations and add mental health costs as grant purposes.
• The Speaker said that monies going to teacher salaries for the past few years have been stagnant and additional dollars have been “sucked up” by administration. He further said that only 38% of tuition support goes to teacher salaries. Lastly, he reported that Representatives Behning and Huston have been working with the ISTA over the summer to provide recommendations regarding teacher compensation and to improve the teaching profession.
Indiana ASBO was aware that there were discussions being held, and we will report what will be recommended as soon as they become available. As you can see from the comments of the Speaker, administrators are being targeted and the associations will be working together to provide accurate data regarding teacher and administrator salaries.
In a most pleasant surprise, Representative Tim Brown attended today’s session. Representative Brown had a very serious motorcycle accident in September. It was very positive to see him today.
As always, IASBO will keep you updated on the activities of the Indiana General Assembly.
In these trying times, it is important to take some time for family and friends, and remember all of our blessings during the holiday season. We have challenges at home and at work, but always keep your head up and know that there are always IASBO members to help you move forward. I am blessed to have a job that I love, a terrific staff, a wonderful family and Carol, my wife for the past 47 years. From Ella, Cynthia and me, have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday.