Lanane: Public wants cease fire at Indiana Statehouse

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, IN -  What Hoosiers want their lawmakers to do is not what Republican legislative leaders intend as the Indiana Senate minority leader called for a cease fire from ongoing political conflict.

 "People want a cease fire from contentious issues," said Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, who represents Muncie.

 Reps. Kevin Mahan, R-Hartford City and  Bill Davis, R-Portland, agreed that both parties had work together for the betterment of Hoosiers as Mahan referred to the Senate was the "House of Lords" while the House was more "Animal House."

 About 70 people gathered for breakfast at Meridian Health Services to get a preview of the upcoming Legislature that will consider a new 2-year state budget besides hundreds of other ideas.

 Lawmakers, including new state Rep. Sue Errington, D-Muncie, touched on a Hoosier survey released Thursday by the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University along with WISH TV Channel 8.

 None of the contentious issues like same sex marriage and abortion bans were discussed, although Republican leaders intend to push both besides expand voucher and charter schools besides do what the Indiana Chamber of Commerce wants and ban labor dues deductions from paychecks for teachers, laborer and others.

 Lanane called the same sex ban amounted to putting discrimination in the Indiana Constitution. Besides that, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to address the issue in 2013 since more states are accepting same sex marriage like in other countries.

 What was discussed at length was health care and the rising cost from the Affordable Care Act.

Hank Millus, president of CEO of Meridian talked like some health care providers would go bankrupt over affordable care that also was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Davis indicated there was a concern about the increased cost of Medicaid that could take on as many as 400,000 uninsured Hoosiers as a result of the federal law.

But Errington, a former family planning executive and teacher, pointed out how the federal government already paid 67 percent of Medicaid and that could go to 90 percent under affordable care. She also pointed out health care should be provided to all and that provisions excluding coverage because of pre-existing conditions would be banned by the new law.

 Davis, who represents Jay, Randolph and the eastern side of Delaware County, wanted to ensure a balanced budget besides make sure adequate money was available for roads. Errington thinks more incentives are needed to get the old Borg Warner plant occupied, and Mahan wanted to work to clean up abandoned property in his hometown and also ensure public education means are met.

 Lawmakers that represent Yorktown and western Delaware County, Rep. Jack Lutz, R-Anderson, and Sen. Doug Eckerty, R-Yorktown, did not show up, and were part of the Republican majority that passed Right to Work and also cut funding for public education.