House Speaker Brian Bosma used the ceremonial opening of Indiana’s legislative session Tuesday to call for bipartisanship, even though Republicans now enjoy a supermajority that largely allows them to circumvent Democrats to push through their agenda.
The GOP speaker cited his father, Charles Bosma, working across the aisle with Democratic U.S. Rep. Andre Carson’s grandmother, Julia Carson, and delivering services for the disabled when they served together in the state Senate in the late 1970s and 1980s. Those two were known as the “odd couple,” and Bosma said he’d like to see that concept revived in the current session.
He then ticked off a list of priorities, including funding early childhood education, approving performance-based pay for teachers and schools, and training more science and math teachers.
“Where is the odd couple in this room that will set political differences aside, and concentrate on giving Hoosier families that want early childhood education but can’t afford it, the opportunity that most of us in this room enjoy?” he asked the group.
Lawmakers took care of some official business during the informal opening known as “organization day,” although the major work won’t begin until they return on Jan. 7. The Legislature must draw up a new biennial budget, ponder options with the federal health care law, adjust to a new governor for the first time in eight years and balance all other issues ranging from education to gay marriage.
The notion that Indiana Republicans aren't completely bonkers is ignoring the state's history and that of lunatic Mike Pence, particularly his War on Women. Pence is responsible for starting the national GOP push to destroy Planned Parenthood. With Pence now Governor and the GOP in total control, you can kiss women's rights goodbye in the state. He's already declined health insurance exchanges as well as Medicaid expansion, assuring Indiana's working poor will get zero help from the party of You're On Your Own, and both Bosma and Pence are cooking up dramatic tax cuts for the rich, planning to slash corporate, inheritance, and property tax rates in the state, as well as wanting to cut income taxes leaving the state even more dependent on a regressive 7% sales tax, one of highest state rates in the country.
Bosma may talk a cute game about bipartisan cooperation, but I assure you Gov. Pence will make sure nothing of the sort will happen.