Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Opinion

January 3, 2014

Setting priorities for the new year

Every year at about this time, Statehouse reporters like me ask lawmakers what their priorities will be for the coming year. The more interesting inquiry is made by the people at Ball State’s Bowen Center for Public Affairs because they ask Hoosiers what those lawmakers’ priorities should be.

The results of the poll, called the Hoosier Survey, are delivered to every member of the General Assembly in early January, just as they’re getting down to business. Whether those lawmakers pay attention to the results is up to them.

Some don’t. A past criticism of the survey is that the Bowen Center asks for the opinions of Indiana residents whether they’re registered to vote or not.

The Hoosier Survey results are both predictable and surprising. When asked what the General Assembly’s top priorities in 2014 should be, almost 83 percent of people said bringing more jobs to the state. Improving local schools came next, followed by providing more affordable healthcare. Not on the list – the amendment to ban same-sex marriage, which is already proving to be bitterly divisive.

The Hoosier Survey also found that Indiana residents aren’t as opposed to gun control measures as their legislators are.

Two years ago, lawmakers outlawed local ordinances that restricted firearms. Last year, a considerable number of legislators were ready to support a failed bill that would have required schools to arm some of their teachers.

Only 38 percent of those polled think arming teachers is a good idea, while 83 percent support background checks at gun shows and private sales. Fifty-four percent are in favor of complete ban on assault-style weapons.

Those numbers are all within a couple of points of the national average, said Joe Losco, a political scientist at the Bowen Center.

“On guns, Hoosiers aren’t as conservative as they’re made out to be,” he said.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Low college attainment puts Indiana at a disadvantage For many of us, the phrase Big 10 brings to mind the spirited competition that comes with college sports. It may make us think of rivalries on basketball courts and football fields that have endured decades, tied to our pride in an alma mater or fami

    July 15, 2014

  • New laws benefit Hoosier families The beginning of July has taken on new meaning since I first began serving as your state representative. Not only does it signify the start of a new month, it also represents when many new laws take effect in Indiana. As a continuous advocate for chi

    July 15, 2014

  • Overlooking state's working poor has economic costs The Pence administration is calling for a review of the Indiana tax code. The top goals are to simplify the code and to promote economic development. But another worthy goal, one that would boost the Indiana economy, is missing.First, if the governme

    July 11, 2014

  • Financial hardships mount for military families Days before the July 4th holiday, Holly Petraeus stood on the steps of the imposing Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis, in front of a bank of cameras, and made a plea to military families: Don’t let pride stand in the way of asking for help. It was

    July 11, 2014

  • I'm thankful for our veterans' sacrifices On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, giving birth to a new nation. To Great Britain and the rest of the world, the U.S. proclaimed itself the proud home of free people. Since that day, on more than one occasion, this freedom h

    July 11, 2014

  • St. Andrews supports food program Dear Editor,St. Andrews Health Campus and its employees are committed to compassionate care that extends well beyond the residents St. Andrews serves. Executive director Gwen Reverman and her staff demonstrate their enduring commitment to this princi

    July 11, 2014

  • Golf classic support appreciated Dear Editor, Oldenburg Academy's 23rd Annual Pro-Am Golf Classic Committee would like to thank the many businesses and individuals who supported our golf outing, especially our event sponsors, food sponsors, advertising buyers and gift donors, along

    July 3, 2014

  • July 4 is a day to cherish liberty My name is John Hosbrook, and I died 216 years ago. My family has asked me to take you on a tour of our Patriot Past. They said you might need a refresher since Twitter, texting and TV dance shows have made you a mite forgetful. Why was I selected fo

    July 3, 2014

  • Homegrown spirits return to state fair INDIANAPOLIS - Mark Webb is counting on patrons of the Indiana State Fair to be better behaved this summer than they were in 1946, when a celebratory post-war crowd almost trashed the place. The bad behavior of beer drinkers 68 years ago is what led

    July 3, 2014

  • A dozen colleges do the conference shuffle The most tenured coach at the University of Louisville might not find joining a new athletic conference so special. But for tennis coach Rex Ecarma, the Cardinals’ move is a moment to celebrate.Ecarma has been at Louisville for 23 seasons, battling t

    July 3, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Facebook