The Herald Bulletin

April 4, 2014

Viewpoint: Third House offers informative discussion

By Don Swegman Alexandria resident
The Herald Bulletin

---- — First of all, I would like to thank the League of Women Voters for hosting what is known as the Third House meetings. These meetings are held at the Anderson Public Library at 8 a.m. on the first Monday of each month that the state Legislature is in session and on a short session the month after. The wrap-up meeting is Monday.

These meetings are an informative discussion by our elected state officials on what is going on at the Indiana Capitol regarding pending legislation. It is very important to all of us what bills are being sent through and how they are being modified and how they vote on each one.

Next I would like to thank and commend Rep. Terri Austin and Sen. Tim Lanane for taking time out of their busy schedules to attend each and every one of these sessions and keeping us informed of what is going on during the legislative session at the Statehouse.

It seems a shame that Rep. Jack Lutz and Sen. Doug Eckerty, who actually represent me, don’t feel it necessary to attend these meetings and keep me informed. While their voting records are available, records doesn’t explain the “why” they voted the way they did.

I recently spoke to Melanie Wright who is running for the office of state representative from my area and was pleased to hear she is informed on what is going on and has a wealth of knowledge and vital information on upcoming bills. She even told me she intends to take a day off of work so she can attend the next meeting. I feel it is the duty of all elected officials to make every effort to keep their constituents informed on how they are voting on all issues. If they don’t , how can they expect us to trust and vote for them?

I have been attending these meetings for more than two years and believe we get better, more accurate and up-to-date information on impending legislation. I only wish the people who represent me would attend and let me know their positions and how they are voting on all issues.

This short legislative session may be over but we still deserve to know what went on and how our representatives voted. There is an easy solution to fixing this problem and I intend to do just that — vote and express my displeasure.