Thursday morning, a few hours after lawmakers performed their latest belly flop on the state of Indiana, I sat in front of my computer screen and surprisingly couldn't muster the anger needed to write a column full of outrage and indignation.
It should have been easy.
The case against the Indiana General Assembly is damning. Beyond a reasonable doubt, our pathetic legislature is guilty of incompetence, arrogance and backward-thinking.
After four months of silly games and petty politics, lawmakers ended their 2009 session without fulfilling their only constitutional duty: passage of a new state budget. Despite a winter and spring spent cashing paychecks from taxpayers and enjoying free meals from lobbyists, the General Assembly failed Indiana . . .
Some things are clear now that lawmakers have spent a session dodging their constitutional duty, picking fights with the inspiring charter schools movement and rejecting efforts to restructure the state's antiquated and inefficient local government system.
First, the General Assembly is in dire need of new leaders. The annual brawls between House Speaker Pat Bauer and Republican leader Brian Bosma have turned the House into a gridlocked embarrassment. Second, there is a stunning lack of effective rebels in either chamber willing to challenge their legislative bosses and the old way of doing things. Third, if things don't change and if the legislature doesn't start thinking less about politics and more about policy, Indiana is going to sink even further behind other states.
Friday, May 01, 2009
Tully On The Worst Legislature
Star political columnist Matt Tully makes some very salient points on the Indiana General Assembly's adjournment without successfully approving a state budget--its constitutional duty: