The political mood across the nation is fraught with tension and irritability, a situation you would expect to be magnified in states that are closely divided along ideological fault lines.
But here in Indiana, where one political party has maneuvered itself into a position of outright dominance, the atmosphere isn’t much different than in swing states.
That’s because the Republican Party, which enjoys supermajority status in both houses of the legislature as well as controlling the executive branch, faces pitched internal battles over specific issues in realms of education, public health and taxation.
That’s the backdrop as Hoosier legislators convene this week for another session of the Indiana General Assembly. This session is technically the continuation of the session that began last January, an eventful four months that produced a new biennial budget as well as triggering a lawsuit by the governor against the legislature itself.
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to rage across the state and culture battles over vaccine mandates, masking, voting rights and racial education, there is no reason to believe this session will be any less dramatic.
This is destined to be an important session that will hold a number of items relevant to Hoosiers.
Because the Republican Party holds supermajorities in both chambers, there isn’t much Democrats can do — at least not directly — to exert influence. Democrat votes, however, will become crucial in instances where Republicans need support to resolve their own internal disputes.
Rep. Todd Huston of Carmel is serving as speaker of the House. Sen. Rodric Bray of Martinsville is the Senate president.
We urge citizens to interact with their representatives. It’s easy to contact legislators to share views. Here’s how:
• Members of the Indiana House of Representatives can be reached by phone at 1-800-382-9842.
• Members of the Indiana Senate can be reached at 1-800-382-9467.
• The mailing address for representatives and senators is 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.
• If you have online access, there is a wealth of information, including email addresses of legislators, about the General Assembly and related services at www.IN.gov/legislative.
Government is at its best when the people are informed and engaged.
Lawmakers work for you. Let them know your opinions.
Tribune-Star, Terre Haute