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Legislators Tout Bipartisanship Push As Budget Session Looms

Lawmakers suggested more bipartisanship might be possible in 2011, too, before the session became bogged down in a partisan debate which ended in a walkout.

Brian Bosma

Photo: Dan Goldblatt/WFIU News

House Speaker Brian Bosma addresses other legislators in the Indiana Statehouse.

Legislative leaders say they’re looking forward to a more bipartisan effort in the upcoming session than the General Assembly has experience the last two years, even as Republicans enjoy a walkout-proof supermajority in both houses.

House and Senate leaders Thursday spoke about a change in tone from both parties with the legislative session less than a month away. And both Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and Democratic Rep. Linda Lawson (D-Hammond) say the top priority for both caucuses next session is finding ways to reduce the number of Hoosiers without a job.

“We need to have the Department of Workforce Development, higher education, employers, labor organizations, K-12 education…we need to have everyone at the table to discuss the alignment of curriculum and jobs,” Bosma says.

Lawson says the state needs to focus on the education students and adults need to fill 21st C entury jobs.

“Teaching those skills sets and giving people the ability to be able to find those jobs and go out and get them is probably one of our first priorities as a Democratic caucus,” Lawson says.

Bosma says there are 2.4 high tech jobs available for every unemployed Hoosier…but the bulk of those out of work lack the skills to do those jobs.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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