Political Notebook

  • Shepard to receive democracy award
    The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site has announced Randall T. Shepard of Evansville as the recipient of the 2014 Advancing American Democracy Award.
  • Stutzman ready for a real recess
    Congress is off the month of August for a "district work period," but its members and the media still refer to such breaks as "recess."
  • Liz Brown gets 4 endorsements
    Liz Brown, the Republican running for the Senate District 15 seat, announced four endorsements Thursday.
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12% of bills reach Pence

1,259 introduced, 148 pass both houses; 3 vetoed

Now that the 2013 legislative session has wrapped – including gubernatorial action on all the bills – it’s time to review the term by the numbers.

In the House, 619 bills or joint resolutions were filed by its 100 members. There were 175 bills passed on third reading in that chamber. And 148 made it all the way to the governor’s desk.

Coincidentally, the Senate ended with almost the same number of passed bills – 147.

But its 50 members filed 640 bills or joint resolutions, and 216 of those passed on third reading in that chamber.

Gov. Mike Pence signed all but four bills. Of those, he vetoed three involving licensing and tax matters.

And he let one tax bill become law without his signature.

Hoosier ammunition

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, announced Thursday he has renewed his invitation for gun manufacturer Beretta USA to move from Maryland to Indiana.

Stutzman issued the invitation after Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed legislation that bans 45 types of semiautomatic rifles, limits ammunition clips to 10 rounds and requires gun buyers to submit fingerprints to state police.

“Maryland’s new gun law is oppressive, restricts the freedoms of law-abiding citizens and creates a hostile business environment for Beretta,” Stutzman said in a statement. “On the other hand, Hoosiers’ respect for the 2nd Amendment remains steadfast, as does our favorable business environment. We would value Beretta’s business in our state and welcome the company with open arms.”

Stutzman first invited Beretta to consider relocating to Indiana in early March, when Maryland lawmakers were considering the gun-control legislation. He also invited gun manufacturer Magpul to move to Indiana from Colorado.

James Wegmann, Stutzman’s communications director, said in an email Thursday that “Beretta responded that they would consider Indiana if their interests required relocation or expansion. Stutzman was pleased to connect Beretta with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.”

Beretta warned in April, according to media reports, that it would move its factory in Accokeek, Md., out of the state if the Maryland legislature approved gun controls. The factory employs 400.

In addition to Stutzman, officials in Virginia, West Virginia, Missouri and Texas have reportedly put out welcome mats in their states for Beretta.

More addresses

A Huntington online radio station announced last week that all three major political parties in Indiana will offer a three- to five-minute weekly radio address each Saturday on www.indianatalks.com starting this weekend.

The weekly address will air Saturday mornings after President Obama’s weekly address, and there will be multiple replays.

The party addresses will also be available on the Indiana Talks archive page and on iTunes.

“This gives listeners of Indiana Talks an opportunity to hear directly from the Indiana Democratic, Libertarian and Republican parties each week,” said Gary Snyder, general manager of Indiana Talks. “I look forward to hearing from Indiana’s three political parties each week in an unfiltered environment.”

State Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said his party is focused on a common-sense agenda supporting and building the middle class.

“There’s nothing more important right now than creating jobs and strengthening our economy. I look forward to the opportunity to share our message with Hoosiers statewide,” he said.

Republican State Chairman Eric Holcomb called it a “great opportunity to share what Indiana Republicans are doing to bring more jobs to our state, improve educational opportunity and choice, and make our state a better place to live and raise a family for all Hoosiers.”

And new Libertarian State Chairman Dan Drexler welcomed the opportunity to “stand alongside Indiana’s other two balloted parties and express a weekly libertarian vision for the Indiana Talks listening audience. The libertarian philosophy is squarely rooted in the center of American political thought.”

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at bfrancisco@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. An expanded Political Notebook can also be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.

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