The Journal Gazette
Sunday, March 07, 2021 1:00 am

General Assembly handles fewer bills this year

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

Legislative leaders said the COVID-affected session would mean slowing down and likely filing – and hearing – fewer bills due to logistical issues.

So do the numbers bear that out at the end of the first half?

Two years ago – also a long session – the Senate filed 636 bills and passed 218 – or 34%. And the House filed 715 bills and passed 201 for 28%.

This year, according to Hannah News Service, the Senate filed 410 bills, which was down from 2019 due to a cap on how many each legislator could file. And the lawmakers have passed 167 – or about 41%. That percentage is actually up from two years ago.

In the House, they filed 602 bills and passed 149, or 25%. That percentage is slightly lower than two years ago.

Constituent services never end

Kathie Green is well known from her constituent work at Congressman Jim Banks' office. She's the constituent services and immigration specialist who can get things done.

But Green, who retired Friday after 14 years, is also a big supporter of public education and worked hard to build up a PTA in every school within Fort Wayne Community Schools. She was PTA co-president at FWCS when Northrop PTA was named No. 1 in the country in 2012.

When Green found out that a colleague's wife, Becca Porter, was a first-year teacher at FWCS smack dab in the middle of COVID-19, she decided to do some encouragement on her own.

“I have been sending her secret little gifts to keep her spirit high and for her to know she has support,” Green said. “I just can't imagine anything harder for teachers than what they are trying to handle this year – a first year teacher specifically.”

Green didn't want to reveal her identity until she was persuaded by The Journal Gazette.

So now, the cat is out of the bag.

Governor's Fellow deadline nearing

Gov. Eric Holcomb said last week the deadline to apply to the 2021-22 Governor's Fellowship is approaching.

The Governor's Fellowship is highly selective and provides a unique experience in Indiana state government by placing fellows in various state agencies on a rotating basis throughout the year, a news release said.

“Our Governor's Fellows are such a valuable piece to our team,” Holcomb said. “The wide range of assistance they provide over the course of their fellowship is key to serving Hoosiers in a timely and thorough manner.”

The program is open to college graduates who receive their bachelor's degrees beginning in the fall of 2019 through the spring of 2021. Fellows are paid, full-time employees who participate in the day-to-day activities of state government.

Many Governor's Fellow participants have gone on to successful careers in the public and private sectors – with some serving at the highest levels of local, state and federal government, the release said.

The application and submission guidelines can be found online at

To be eligible, the application and supporting materials must be postmarked or submitted via email by March 15.

New Haven State of the City

New Haven Mayor Steve McMichael will deliver his second State of the City address at noon Tuesday from the City Council chambers at the New Haven City Hall.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions and the facility's limited capacity, the event will be open only to elected officials, senior staff and media.

Those interested in watching the address can view it live on New Haven's Facebook page. 

Jamie Duffy and Dave Gong of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Niki Kelly at Political Notebook can be found at

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