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February 26, 2013

Legislators, citizens sound off at legislative breakfast

DANVILLE — Mass transit and reforms for both criminal code and education took center stage at a legislative breakfast, held Monday morning at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds and Conference Complex.

Sen. Pete Miller and Republican Representatives Bob Behning, Jeff Thompson, and Greg Steuerwald attended to give insight into what’s on the table at the statehouse, as well as to field questions from the audience.

About 200 citizens attended the breakfast hosted by Hendricks Power Cooperative, Hendricks County Farm Bureau, and North Salem State Bank. This was the second in a series of four Legislative Breakfasts being held here.

“I think we have a great county that’s interested in the people,” Steuerwald said.

Miller also applauded the turnout, saying he tells other senators about the large attendance for the events.

“I like to get a sense for what constituents’ opinions are,” Miller said.

Shortly after the breakfast, the House officially passed a mass transit bill by a 56-39 vote that would provide a $1.3 billion expansion to increase bus service to downtown Indianapolis to be placed on the ballot for voters in Marion and Hamilton counties to consider. That bill was one of the hot topics at the breakfast. Miller said he doesn’t think a similar mass transit referendum will be hitting Hendricks County anytime soon.

“I don’t think Hendricks County will be involved anytime soon, maybe a decade before we’re involved in that sense,” he said. “There was an amendment to the bill to allow townships themselves as contiguous to the area as to not involve the whole county. There’s no need for residents of North Salem to be subsidizing transit to Plainfield.”

Aside from mass transit, education reform and costs took center stage. Behning said the onus is on providing good early childhood education options.

“Our goal is to create high quality education for children in poverty,” he said.

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