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Our view: Hoosiers should speak up to lawmakers

THE FIRST AMENDMENT

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Updated: February 22, 2013 6:07AM



Each year, as Hoosier lawmakers converge on Indianapolis to begin their legislative work, we urge the public to engage in the policy debate and share their views on issues of the day.

More than ever in 2013, that message must be reaffirmed. There are Republican super majorities in the House and Senate, and the governor’s office also is held by a Republican. Although voters chose this course in the fall 2012 elections, it’s important for those with this unrestricted political power to understand and act in a way that ensures all voices are being heard, not just the loudest in their party.

The only way to do that is for citizens, no matter what party philosophy they prefer or how they come down on issues, to stay in touch with their legislators and let them know they expect them to be fair to all sides and to serve the interests of the entire state.

Aside from adopting a state budget, other important policy matters will be considered in areas such as economic development, job creation, education and a host of other issues.

We expect all sectors of the political spectrum to be aggressive, but we also expect them to remain cooperative and civil. If that occurs, Indiana can be an example of what’s right in the public sphere, rather than emulating the broken system operating in the U.S. Congress.

Public input remains an important ingredient for the Legislature. It’s easy to contact legislators. 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.

† There is a wealth of information online about the General Assembly and related services at www.IN.gov/legislative.

Lawmakers work for you. Don’t be shy about letting them know your opinions.

(Terre Haute) Tribune-Star



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