David Long

Redistricting Bill Moves Forward

Feb 11, 2015
Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/

The first step toward changing the way Indiana draws its legislative maps goes to the full House next week.

But legislative leaders have different ideas about what the final step should be.

House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long have said they want a blue-ribbon panel to study whether Indiana should turn redistricting over to an independent commission, and whether that commission should be advisory or have full power to draw the maps.

Brandon Smith / http://www.ipbs.org/

A Senate committee today will hear two versions of legislation that Senate GOP Leader David Long, R-Fort Wayne, says will help protect Hoosiers’ religious liberty.

But the Senate Minority Leader calls it a measure allowing discrimination.

The proposed legislation, dubbed the religious freedom restoration bills, bar the government from burdening a person’s exercise of religion unless there’s a compelling governmental interest to do so.

It closely mirrors a law passed by Congress that applies to the federal government.

Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Ask Republican legislative leaders how they’re feeling after the governor announced that, after months of negotiations, Indiana would expand healthcare coverage for its working poor, you’ll get essentially the same answer:

"It’s a really big day for Indiana,” says House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis).

Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) called it "a remarkable achievement for Indiana.” 

“Oh, very exciting; great day for Indiana,” says House Public Health Committee Chair Ed Clere (R-New Albany).

Education Bill Proposes ISTEP Replacement

Jan 26, 2015
Benjamin Chun / https://www.flickr.com/photos/benchun/

The Senate may take up a bill to scrap Indiana schools’ state-mandated tests.

Sens. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) and Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen) have proposed junking the Core 40 end-of-course assessments entirely, and replacing ISTEP with something shorter, cheaper, and easier to grade.

President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says students and teachers are frustrated with how much time is spent either taking tests or getting ready for them. And he says he‘s still hearing complaints from schools in his district about problems with McGraw-Hill‘s administration of ISTEP.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

Governor Mike Pence Tuesday announced in his State of the State address that he wants to add a balanced budget amendment to the Indiana Constitution. 

Pence notes that Indiana is one of only a few states that doesn’t have a balanced budget amendment in its Constitution.  The Constitution does say the state budget cannot spend more than it’s projected to take in.  But Republican legislative leaders say that language can be reinforced, though Senate President Pro Tem David Long says it must be done cautiously.

Adam Tinworth / https://www.flickr.com/photos/adders/

Legislative leaders haven't decided how to deal with proposals to loosen restrictions on how Indiana casinos operate.

A summer study committee endorsed allowing the two racetrack casinos to add live dealers, and letting riverboats move their gaming operations onto land. Governor Pence, Senate President Pro Tem David Long and House Speaker Brian Bosma have all said they oppose expanding gambling, but Bosma and Long agree there's no consensus on just what constitutes expansion.

Gretchen Frazee / http://www.ipbs.org/

Indiana's May primary comes so late that the state almost never plays a role in choosing the presidential nominees. The Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton contest of 2008 was the first in 24 years to reach Indiana. Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says Obama's primary campaign not only brought attention to the state, but helped Obama win the state that November.

Sean Lamb / https://www.flickr.com/photos/slambo_42/

Senate President Pro Tem David Long is warning of far-reaching consequences if the government rejects Indiana's request to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan.

Long and House Speaker Brian Bosma both accuse the Obama Administration of politicizing the debate over Indiana's proposal to use the state's insurance plan as a vehicle for the Medicaid expansion envisioned by the Affordable Care Act. The expansion would make 600-thousand uninsured Hoosiers eligible for the plan, 10 times HIP's current enrollment.

NYC Department of Education / http://schools.nyc.gov/default.htm

When House Republicans unveiled their legislative agenda last month, increasing public education funding was near the top of the list.

During his address at the swearing in ceremony for House members, Speaker Brian Bosma told lawmakers the GOP will support initiatives to ensure dollars are spent in the classroom.

“And the first is an effort to compensate teachers without the administrative middleman and the second is an effort to cut administrative costs,” he says.

Bosma notes that for every dollar the state spends on education, 43 cents is spent on administration.

Indiana Senate Republicans / https://www.flickr.com/photos/insenategop/9664126997

House Republicans have a new member in their leadership for the first time in 12 years.

Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero) is set to vacate the House seat he won in Tuesday’s election.  Turner had been Speaker Pro Tem since Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) became Speaker of the House. 

House Republicans have elected to move Majority Floor Leader Bill Friend (R-Macy) to Turner’s spot as Speaker Pro Tem, while elevating  Jud McMillin (R-Brookville) to Friend’s old post.