A pandering promise
I am sure Joe Biden sees his fawning promise to choose a woman for his running mate as a bold and enlightened choice, rather than simple pandering for votes. I would be more impressed if he promised to choose the best person, regardless of their plumbing.
Republicans' tight hold on surplus proves wise
During the past legislative session, there was tremendous pressure to give a large amount of Indiana's surplus to increase teachers' pay.
The Journal Gazette and other major papers published numerous editorials urging that action. Red for Ed shut down our schools as 15,000 teachers showed up on Organization Day to demand more money and doing away with student test scores as part of teacher evaluations. They were successful in two of their demands but not in tapping into the surplus. Here are a couple of reasons why.
This budget cycle, the General Assembly put $763 million in additional money toward schools, along with paying down their pension obligation of $150 million, which will save them about $70 million a year going forward. That $70 million yearly savings can be used for increasing pay. This year, the governor intended to pay off $295 million of university buildings that were financed through bonding and authorized last year; this would have yielded many more millions that could be used for teacher pay. He has since put that payment on hold until he sees what the financial hit is because of the pandemic.
My Democratic colleagues offered many amendments to many different bills to drain the surplus; each time it was rejected by party-line votes. Those votes will be used against Republicans as another attack on education this fall.
We have maintained the surplus is necessary for the next recession or emergency. That emergency is happening now. Indiana's $2 billion surplus in the general fund and $850 million surplus in the unemployment fund will hopefully get us through this crisis. Can you imagine the necessary cuts and tax increases if we did not have it?
I'm proud to have been a part of a General Assembly that made some good decisions.
State representative, District 18
On Easter Sunday, Jesus himself will appear before the “packed pews” with loaves, fishes, and test kits.
A welcome spring sight
I very much enjoy riding my bike throughout Fort Wayne's trails and sidewalks.
Because of prior tire blowouts caused by riding over bad sections of sidewalks, last fall I called 311 to report damaged sidewalks on the north and south sides of Cook Road, east of Coldwater Road. On my first ride this spring, I was pleased to find those sidewalk sections and several others repaired.
A big thank you to the 311 call center staff and city employees for making those repairs.