Reflecting and looking ahead

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Commentary by Rep. Kathy Richardson

I hope everyone has had fulfilling and eventful holidays – I always enjoy this time of year the most. It is my favorite for many reasons. It isn’t because of the gifts, food or shopping – it’s because of the valuable time spent together as a family, enjoying one another’s company, and the luxury afforded to spend some of that time reflecting on the previous year and the blessings bestowed on us. We have a lot to be thankful for in Hamilton County, just as a lot is expected of our community. And time and time again, our community answers the call whether it is giving to charity, philanthropy or simply coming together as a city, town or neighborhood for those in need. There’s nowhere else I would rather live.

With the New Year come new opportunities for all us, including the General Assembly. Speaker of the House Brian Bosma has provided an ambitious vision for the House of Representatives in taking on economic development, road and bridge construction and maintenance, government and regulatory reform, early education, workforce skills training initiatives and business taxation. These are just some of the major topics that we will discuss during this year’s session.

In looking back at this year, Indiana has continued to shine on the national stage in attracting private sector jobs. It was a year of records and firsts. In November alone, the Hoosier state gained 25,300 private sector jobs, the largest one-month increase in Indiana on record. We led the nation in percentage of private sector job growth at 9 percent and we were 2nd in the total number of jobs added.

The summer was great for the economy as more and more job opportunities became available and more Hoosiers returned to work. Indiana’s unemployment rate declined in November, dropping 0.2 percent to 7.3 percent, lower than all neighboring states. While I’m still not content with the number of Hoosiers who are unemployed, it is worth noting that fewer Hoosiers are now unemployed (232,400), than in November 2008 (240,600) when the recession hit.

This session, I’m eager to keep the momentum going and ensure Indiana stays on the right track of economic prosperity. Hoosiers have the drive and determination to succeed in today’s marketplace; I’m focused on establishing the best platform for all Hoosiers to achieve their success.

The most critical component of our democratic system of governance is civic engagement. I implore everyone to take an interest and have their voice be heard on the topics that matter most to them and their families. We all share in the decisions made at each level of government, and we have a role to play in its outcome.

Have a great New Year, and I hope 2014 brings all of us more peace, love and happiness.


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