In response to Governor Pence’s State of the State address, I would like to hit on a few key things. Gov. Pence made the statement that Indiana ranks higher than average in infrastructure compared to the rest of the Nation. The Nation’s average grade for its roadways is a D according to the 2013 ASCE’s (American Society of Civil Engineers) report card (Infrastructure Report Card, 2015). The same report lists Indiana roadways a C+ (Infrastructure Report Card, 2015). However, this report was done over 5 years ago. We have seen roadways crumble in front of us, bridges that have started to deteriorate under us. We have all seen the news report on the alleged faulty asphalt that was used to redo over 200 different roads. The Indiana Veterans’ Party of America asks that the ASCE reassess Indiana’s infrastructure and make their findings public. We do support the Governor’s plan on investing over $1 Billion to revamp our infrastructure.
Senator Bosma’s scholarship for teachers a step forward to encouraging our youth to pursue a degree in teaching. But it is not just encouraging the youth to become teachers, it is about fully funding our schools. Each year we see more and more schools who struggle to find enough funding to cover their yearly needs. With the property tax caps, smaller communities are finding it harder and harder to find the income needed to keep their schools running. Indiana needs to find a better way to keep our schools running and fully funded.
Indiana’s ISTEP needs to be thrown out. It is not doing our students any good. Let the teachers focus on more important things to better prepare our students for college and life in general. I recently heard about a school that was letting their students try manufacturing as a class. In this class, the students make cabinets, chairs and desks. The students are taught the importance of designing, maintenance, assembly, and safety. The products they make are sold and the funds are used to purchase more materials. Local businesses help provide the materials as well. Students are also taken to a local manufacturing facility to tour the plant where they can see what they do on a larger scale. Classes like this one would be ideal in communities that have a strong industrial background.
The biggest question is where will all the money come from to support these proposed measures? Hoosiers cannot afford another tax increase. The only way these measures can be accomplished is if we cut funding to other programs. The Indiana Veterans’ Party will work hard over the next few months to review many State funded programs to see what programs can be cut or have funding reduced.
Governor Pence’s remarks on LGBT rights and the protection of religion are in standing with Indiana’s and the Nation’s Constitution and Bill of Rights. Everyone has the right to exercise their religion with the threat of persecution and live their life the way the want without fear. In Governor Pence’s own words “Our State Constitution declares that “all people are created equal,” and I believe that no one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, who they love, or what they believe. We cherish the dignity and worth of all our citizens. We are an open and welcoming state that respects everyone. And anybody who does not know that does not know Indiana (Pence, 2016).”
Let us continue to grow and strengthen Indiana as we step into the new year. We are continuing to promote our Party and gain full ballot recognition within the State. We are looking for individuals who are tired of the two party hold and want to make a difference. We are also working on National ballot access as we continue to support the Veterans’ Party of America’s Presidential Candidate Chris Keniston (www.chriskeniston2016.com). If you would like to sign our petition to get Chris on Indiana’s Presidential ballot, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message our Facebook page.
State Chairman Veterans’ Party of America
Infrastructure Report Card. (2015). Retrieved from American Society of Civil Engineers: http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/grades/
Pence, G. M. (2016, 01 12). State of the State Address. Retrieved from IN.Gov: http://in.gov/gov/2016stateofstate.htm