Letter: Representative asks for public input as next session looms

To the editor:

It’s hard to believe that fall is already in full swing. Before we know it, we’ll be ringing in the New Year, and I’ll be back at the statehouse working on legislation on behalf of our community.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be looking into potential bills I can introduce to the General Assembly for consideration. As I begin this process, I want to hear your ideas.

Because we won’t be creating a state biennial budget in 2018, the General Assembly will only meet from January through the middle of March. With less time to consider legislation, I’m only able to introduce up to five bills this year. I always look to Johnson County’s residents for legislation ideas first. If there are issues impacting local Hoosiers that might need legislative action, I want it addressed as quickly as possible.

There are many ways you can share your ideas for potential legislation with me. The quickest way is to call my office at 317-232-9648 or send me an email at h58@iga.in.gov. I am diligent about following up with any communication I receive from constituents. In addition, you can set up a meeting with me to discuss your idea in person by contacting my office.

I also plan to host several town hall meetings leading up to the legislative session, and I encourage you and your family to attend to share your thoughts on any issue that may be facing Johnson County and the state. Be on the lookout for an announcement in the coming weeks with those dates and times. The best way to stay-up-to-date with upcoming town hall meetings and local events is through my e-newsletter. To sign up, visit in.gov/h58.

One of the most impactful laws I’ve authored was the result of constituent feedback. Cheryl Clemens shared the story of her son, Josh, with me at a county fair. Josh has dyslexia, a language-based learning disability that can affect an individual’s ability to read, write, spell and pronounce words. With Cheryl and Josh’s help, along with Indiana’s Decoding Dyslexia organization, we were able to create a law that requires new teachers to learn how to recognize dyslexia and other reading disorders.

The deadline to file legislation is the first week of December, and I’ll be considering potential bills up until that point. Again, do not hesitate to reach out to my office to share any concerns or issues that could be addressed at the statehouse. I look forward to discussing your ideas and hear your feedback on how we can make our community an even better place to work, live and raise a family.

State Rep. Woody Burton

(R-Whiteland)