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[r23] Friend Report: Session and random thoughts
Start Date: 1/27/2014 All Day
End Date: 1/27/2014
Entry Description
Session and random thoughts

This winter weather keeps testing all of us to stay happy and positive.  Snow, wind, and low temperatures all complicate our transportation, schools, work and businesses.  It is not good, but it is January!  We might as well be happy and pleasant because it “all pays the same.”  Try to be happy knowing that, “this too will pass.”  Applause goes to the highway and utility workers who take care of us all.

At the Statehouse, one of my bills, HB 1132, was heard in the Utilities Committee and passed out unanimously.  The bill expands on existing language to allow wastewater collection systems, which are the same as potable water distribution systems, to petition the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for a formula to recover their expansion or report costs.  This legislation completes the cycle; water can be distributed, but it must also be collected.  Humans only “rent” water for a time, so it must be collected after distribution.  All communities have aging infrastructure, and the cost to replace is high.  The bill makes sense, and it completes the cycle.

My wife, Ann, told me about an experience she had while I was in Indianapolis for session.  She opened the front door of our house and in the wreath on the door was a bird.  Soon, the bird was in the house.  After many heroics, she called the neighbors to help evacuate the bird.  Our friends, the Mongosas, came down and fought bravely to get the bird out of our house.  All three doors were open to the outside and finally Mr. Sparrow went outside.  It is great to have good neighbors who are willing to help with these kinds of situations while I am gone.  A big thank you to Joey and Deb for helping to evict the bird!

Last Friday, I spoke to the Indiana Leadership Forum class at the Statehouse.  This is a group of young professionals that is learning about government and business practices.  Their goal is to increase their knowledge of practices within the system.  I gave them a random talk about life, education and politics.  I enjoyed the experience, and I hope they gained something from my talk.

HJR 3 is receiving most of the media attention this session.  Currently, state law defines marriage as between one man and one woman.  HJR 3, if passed by the Legislature this session and Hoosier voters this November, would add that definition to the Indiana constitution with additional language stating that a legal status substantially similar to marriage would not be recognized.  That would include domestic partnerships and civil unions.  The legislature will be voting on whether or not to send this amendment to Hoosier voters as a ballot question.  

The U.S. 31 Coalition met this week and discussed their progress.  All the projects, Westfield, Kokomo, and South Bend, are under construction.  My message to the coalition is this:  Please don’t let the improvements already named be to the detriment to the rural areas between Indianapolis and South Bend.  The rural areas need to have full access to traffic and interchanges that do not impede school bus traffic, emergency traffic, law enforcement and farm traffic.  Economic development should not be diminished for a community in order to expedite traffic flow.

Finally, my Aunt Mildred Sarver turned 99 years old earlier this month.  She is doing pretty well, but complains that her memory is not what it used to be.  I think we can give her a pass on her memory.  Hopefully, she has many more birthdays!

Please stay in touch.  It’s your state government.


More later,
Bill Friend

-30-

Contact Information:
Name: Nicholas Goodwin
Phone: (317) 232-9831
Email: nicholas.goodwin@iga.in.gov
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