State leaders encourage local involvement

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Greene County General Hospital Marketing and Business Development Manager Amy Lore chatted with District 62 State Representative Jeff Ellington.
By Sabrina Stockrahm

The Linton-Stockton Chamber of Commerce participated in the Chamber Day at the Statehouse Tuesday and one of the many topics discussed was staying in contact with legislators.

Several Linton-Stockton Chamber members joined chambers from throughout the state to hear from state leaders at the Hyatt Downtown Indianapolis before touring the Statehouse. The event started with a panel discussion where state leaders discussed a range of topics.

The panel included Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, Chair of the House Weighs and Means Committee Tim Brown and Chair of the Appropriations Committee Senator Luke Kenley.

Members of the Linton-Stockton Chamber of Commerce met with Representative Jeff Ellington during the Chamber Day at the Statehouse event. Chamber members included Cheryl Hamilton, John Cotter, Gregg Sapp, Amy Lore, Valerie Abshire and Brittany LIbbert.
By Sabrina Stockrahm

As part of the panel discussion, one of the questions asked was how to keep chambers in the loop with new legislation and what their representatives are doing in the Statehouse.

“Get to know your local legislators,” Bosma stressed as the best way to stay informed.

Bosma added the goal of being a local legislator is to be an advocate for the people they serve, and noted chambers throughout the state are critical to the productivity in the state.

“We are a citizen organization. You can also show up and testify,” Bosma said.

Long urged the chamber leaders to reach out to their legislators to set up a time for coffee or an informal meeting on the weekends when they are home.

He said it is helpful to put a name and face to those who have issues or concerns.

Brown added it is also important for chambers and community leaders to take the message they hear at events like the Chamber Day at the Statehouse back home to the communities in which they live to better keep individuals informed about issues and changes at the state level.

During a later presentation, Governor Eric Holcomb was asked the same question about staying informed and involved.

The governor said he works to be accessible to his constituents. Holcomb said he makes his way to communities around the state to meet with and discuss issues with chambers of commerce.

He also encouraged those in attendance to call his office directly if they have questions or concerns.

“You will get a call back,” he said.

Holcomb credited the group of Indiana chambers for helping the state reach its current leadership position.

Editor’s note: This is the first part in a series. The next story will focus on a proposed bill for road funding.

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