Difference between revisions of "Indiana House of Representatives"
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==Ethics and transparency==
==Ethics and transparency==
Revision as of 11:09, 9 July 2013
|Indiana House of Representatives|
|2015 session start:||January 15, 2013|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Brian Bosma, (R)|
|Majority Leader:||William Friend, (R)|
|Minority leader:||Linda Lawson, (D)|
| Democratic Party (29) |
Republican Party (71)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art 4, Indiana Constitution|
|Salary:||$22,616.46/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (100 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (100 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Indiana Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Representatives
- 6 Standing committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
As of February 2015, Indiana is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Article 4 of the Indiana Constitution establishes when the Indiana General Assembly, of which the House of Representatives is a part, is to be in session. Section 9 of Article 4 states that the General Assembly will begin its regular session on the Tuesday following the second Monday in January of each year. However, Section 9 allows the starting state for the session to be changed by law. This has happened in Indiana in 2010, as the General Assembly's session convened on January 5th instead of the constitutionally designated date, which was January 12th.
Section 9 also gives the Governor of Indiana the power to call special sessions of the General Assembly.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the General Assembly will be in session from January 7 through April 29.
Major issues during the 2013 legislative session included education funding, utility bills, riverboat gambling, and regulation of how much pseudoephedrine individuals can buy annually.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from January 4 through March 14.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the House was in session from January 5 through April 29.
In the 2011 session, the Indiana legislature reduced the corporate income tax from 8.5 to 6.5 percent, spread over four years. 
At the end of the 2011 fiscal year in July 2011, the Daniels administration revealed a $1.2 billion surplus.
The state's unexpected extra income came from the administration's ability to make deep budget cuts, along with higher than anticipated tax revenues. The budget cuts raked in nearly $460 million more than the $597 million the state had originally aimed for last July. Tax collections also contributed to the surplus, bringing in $204 million more than it had projected, with $195 million coming from income taxes.
Despite the optimism, not everyone in Indiana viewed the surplus positively. House Minority Leader Pat Bauer claimed that the administration's report was "gimmicky," referring to cuts that were made to health care and education. The state school system reportedly bore much of the budget cutting burden since July 2010, returning $325 million from the $6.9 billion that it was allotted in the previous budget.
David Patterson, spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 62, said that "demonized" state employees should receive some of the surplus, in part because they had to work harder to account for the many eliminated positions.
After the surplus was revealed, Daniels stated that the extra money would be put into savings, rather than trying to fix the past and reverse previous cuts.
Hoosiers nearly made off with their own piece of the surplus, but the numbers fell just shy. The amount necessary to trigger automatic tax refunds is 10 percent or more of general spending. The $1.2 billion landed just short of that, at 9.1 percent.
On June 30, the state's largest agency, the Family and Social Services Administration, was accidentally eliminated, due to a major clerical error during the drafting of legislation related to the Family and Social Services Administration. The Administration helps more than a million people access Medicaid and food stamps in Indiana.
According to the AP, "Senate Bill 331 was intended to repeal a provision already in law that would have automatically eliminated (the Family and Social Services Administration) - called a sunset. The sunset language was set for June 30. The bill that repealed the sunset provision went into effect July 1, so technically, FSSA was eliminated minutes before the bill intended to save it went into effect."
The mistake was noticed days after the new law went into effect, and caught many welfare recipients and legislative leaders off guard. On July 7, Governor Mitch Daniels signed an executive order on Thursday, July 7, to correct the mistake.
36 Democratic representatives participated in a legislative walkout on Tuesday, February 22, in opposition to proposed legislation limiting union powers in Indiana. The Democratic departure left the House void of a quorum, leaving only 58 of the 67 Representatives needed to establish a quorum.  Terri Austin, Steven Stemler, and Vanessa Summers stayed behind to provide, if necessary, a motion and a seconding motion, which would enable them to stop any official business from proceeding should the Republicans try to do so. 
On Monday, March 7, House minority leader B. Patrick Bauer revealed the Democratic caucus' hideout to be the Comfort Suites in Urbana, Illinois. According to the Indiana Constitution, Article 4, sections 11 and 14, the House may enforce fines and other methods to compel absent members to return. Beginning on March 7, the Democrats are subject to a fine of $250, to be withheld from future expense or salary payments, for each day they are not present in the statehouse.  Regarding their actual pay, House Speaker Brian Bosma has announced that the 37 lawmakers are required to be physically present in the chambers to receive their per diem payment, which is $152/day.  This move came as a result of the approximated $40,000 in per diem payments automatically made to the legislators during their seven days of absence. According to reports, the representatives have promised to either return the money, or donate it to charity. 
Tuesday, March 22 marked the start of the fourth consecutive week of Democratic absenteeism, complete with an increased incentive to return. Governor Daniels and House Republicans upped the ante with daily fines increasing from $250/day to $350/day, effective Monday, March 21. Despite the increased penalties, Democratic resolve remained intact. House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer stated that Democrats "will remain steadfast" in their opposition to bills hurting wages and education in Indiana.  Rep. Winfield Moses, Jr. (D) called the increase "a poke in the eye," and promised that it would do nothing to break the impasse. 
The Democrats ended the standoff after 36 days, returning on March 28. The two sides agreed to compromise on a number of issues, including shelving the controversial "right-to-work" bill. Although the Democrats returned with some of their wishes granted, their actions were not without consequence. Each absent member has accrued a total of $3500 in fines, given by Republicans. 
The absence of the Democrats did not only hold up changes to worker's rights, but also the passage of a new state budget. The legislature has until April 29 to pass the new budget, however, if no budget passes, Gov. Daniels will be forced to call a for a special session. The current budget is set to expire June 30, 2011.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the House of Representatives was in session from January 5th to March 12th.
Ethics and transparency
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Indiana was given a grade of D in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
This chamber was mentioned in a November 2012 Pew Center on the States article that addressed supermajorities at stake in the 2012 election. Supermajority generally means a party controls two-thirds of all seats. While it varies from state to state, being in this position gives a party much greater power. Going into the election, Republicans in the Indiana House held a solid majority and looked to gain a supermajority.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Indiana House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|Indiana House of Representatives, District 87, General Election||Christina Hale||0.2%||32,509||Cindy Noe|
|Indiana House of Representatives, District 45, General Election||Kreg Battles||0.3%||25,005||Bruce Borders|
|Indiana House of Representatives, District 42, General Election||Alan Morrison||0.4%||25,470||Mark Spelbring|
|Indiana House of Representatives, District 35, General Election||L. Jack Lutz||1.5%||28,905||Melanie Wright|
|Indiana House of Representatives, District 15, General Election||Harold Slager||2%||27,314||Thomas O'Donnell|
|Indiana House of Representatives, District 4, General Election||Ed Soliday||3.3%||28,981||Greg Simms|
|Indiana House of Representatives, District 66, General Election||Terry Goodin||4.6%||25,189||Justin Stevens|
|Indiana House of Representatives, District 56, General Election||Richard Hamm||4.7%||23,463||Phillip Pflum|
|Indiana House of Representatives, District 74, General Election||Lloyd Arnold||5.3%||26,785||Michael Schriefer|
|Indiana House of Representatives, District 62, General Election||Matthew A. Ubelhor||5.7%||26,470||Jeff Sparks|
Elections for the office of Indiana House of Representatives were held on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was February 19, 2010 for Republicans and Democrats, and was June 30 for Independents and other candidates. The primary election day was on May 4, 2010.
Out of the 100 districts, the incumbent ran for re-election in 93 of them.
The partisan breakdown of the House before and after the election was as follows:
|Indiana House of Representatives|
|Party||As of November 1, 2010||After the 2010 Election|
An April 2010 analysis in the Wall Street Journal said that what's at stake in the Indiana House elections of November 2010 is the U.S. Congressional redistricting that will take place after the 2010 census:
- "In Indiana, for example, Democrats controlled redistricting after the 2000 elections and picked up three additional congressional seats over the past decade. Now, Republicans are trying to reverse those gains. If the GOP picks up just three seats in the state House, the party will control both chambers of the legislature and strengthen its hand in the redistricting process."
In 2010, the total amount of contributions raised in state house elections was $19,009,965. The top 10 donors were: 
|2010 Donors, Indiana House of Representatives|
|Indiana House Democratic Caucus||$2,186,252|
|Aiming Higher PAC||$1,354,920|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte of Indiana||$1,254,335|
|Indiana Democratic Party||$1,053,030|
|Hoosiers for Economic Growth||$861,491|
|Indiana State Teachers Association||$700,500|
|Indiana Republican Party||$606,611|
|Indiana Chamber of Commerce||$596,880|
|White, Dean V||$300,000|
|Indiana Trial Lawyers Association||$203,050|
To be eligible to serve in the Indiana House of Representatives, a candidate must be:
- A United States citizen at the time of the election
- Have resided in the state for at least two years and in the house district for at least one year before the election
- Be at least twenty-one years old upon taking office
- Registered to vote in the election district the person seeks to represent not later than the deadline for filing the declaration or petition of candidacy or certificate of nomination.
Whenever there is a vacancy in the House, the state committee of the party that last held the seat must appoint a replacement. This is contingent upon the approval of the respective state chairperson of the party. Any vacant seat held by an independent must be filled by a special election.
- See also: Redistricting in Arkansas
Redistricting is handled primarily by the General Assembly. Should it fail to enact a redistricting plan, the five-person Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission is then tasked with redrawing legislative boundaries.
Census figures for Indiana were released on December 21, 2010. The state's population grew 6.6 percent to almost 6.5 million. The redistricting process began the week of April 11, 2011. Although the deadline of April 29 only applied to congressional districts, Republicans insisted on a speedy process, to the dissatisfaction of Democrats who argued that the plan reduced competition and posed a disadvantage to minorities. With the signature of Gov. Mitch Daniels on May 10, 2011, Indiana became the third state -- after Iowa and Louisiana -- to complete its entire redistricting process.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Indiana legislature are paid $22,616.46/year. Additionally, legislators receive $152/day per diem tied to the federal rate.
Indiana legislators created a 401(k) plan for themselves in 1989, becoming the first in the nation to do so. Lawmakers who took office after April 1989 were ineligible for the traditional pension plan, receiving the individual retirement account instead.
Legislators pay 5% of their annual salary into the 401(k). In 2007, they voted to include per diem allowances, expense payments and leadership stipends into the calculation, thus raising their retirement accounts.
When sworn in
Indiana legislators assume office on the second Tuesday after the general election.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of February 2015|
Indiana house has 24 standing committees:
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development
- Courts and Criminal Code
- Elections and Apportionment
- Employment, Labor and Pensions
- Environmental Affairs
- Family, Children and Human Affairs
- Financial Institutions
- Government and Regulatory Reform
- Local Government
- Natural Resources
- Public Health
- Public Policy
- Roads and Transportation
- Rules and Legislative Procedures
- Select Committee on Government Reduction
- Statutory Committee on Ethics
- Statutory Committee on Interstate and International Cooperation
- Utilities and Energy
- Veterans Affairs and Public Safety
- Ways and Means
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Indiana State House of Representatives for seven years while the Democrats were the majority for 13 years. During the final three years of the study, Indiana was under Republican trifectas.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
- Official website of the Indiana House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the Indiana House of Representatives
- Project Vote Smart on the Indiana House of Representatives
- Population in 2010 of the American states
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- "Indiana General Assembly" About The Indiana General Assembly, March 12, 2009
- indianaeconomicdigest.net, "Legislators sort key issues of the General Assembly's 2013 session," April 28, 2013
- Stateline.org, States balance budgets with cuts, not taxes, June 15, 2011
- Nwi.com, Indiana ends budget year with $1.2B surplus, July 14, 2011
- Stateline, Clerical error eliminates Indiana's largest state agency, July 11, 2011
- IndyStar.com, Indiana Democrats trigger Statehouse showdown over anti-union legislation, 22 Feb. 2011
- Fox 59, Fines begin for absent House Democrats, 7 March 2011
- The Wall Street Journal, Pressure Mounts on Absent Democrats in Wisconsin, Indiana, 3 March 2011
- IndyStar.com, Dems' walkout drags on, among nation's longest, 23 March 2011
- WFIE.com, Indiana Republicans say they're done negotiating, 17 March 2011
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Stateline, "In Legislative Elections, Majorities and Supermajorities at Stake," November 2, 2012
- "How state legislative campaigns can change the country", April 7, 2010
- Follow the Money: "Indiana House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- 2010 Candidate Guide - Qualifications for House of Representatives
- FindLaw "Indiana Code"(Referenced Statute Indiana Code §3-13-5-0.1)
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- USA Today, "How state lawmakers pump up pensions in ways you can't," April 16, 2012
- Indiana House Democratic Leadership
- Indiana House Republican Leadership
State of Indiana
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | Auditor of State | State Examiner | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Director of Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor | Chairman of Utility Regulatory Commission |