A passing grade for legislature
During the 2017 legislative session just ended, members of the Indiana General Assembly considered 1,426 bills.
That's far too many, even for the every-other-year long session.
Of those bills, 271 bills, or about 19 percent, reached the desk of Gov. Eric Holcomb.
That's far too many.
Of those 271 bills, Holcomb vetoed exactly one of them.
That's far too few.
The legislature had but one job it had to get done — passage of a new two-year budget. It accomplished that and produced what seems to be a good fiscal plan, honestly balanced and for the most part wisely spent. If it had done that and nothing else, the session would have rated an A grade.
A lesson in hating Trump
Some Hoosiers were shocked that a prestigious private university in a state that voted heavily for President Trump would offer a course called “Trumpism & U.S. Democracy.” The course characterizes the president as “perpetuating sexism, white supremacy, xenophobia, nationalism, nativism, and imperialism.” The course explores, reads a description on Butler's website, “why and how this happened, how Trump's rhetoric is contrary to the foundation of the U.S. democracy, and what his win means for the future.” The course will also discusses potential “strategies for resistance.”
After the predictable backlash, Butler changed the course description to something much more innocuous.
Illinois envious of our growth
One way we know the state is on the right track in setting economic policies is hearing words of envy from neighboring states, such as the recent complimentary remarks from Michael Lucci of the Illinois Policy Center.
Illinois, he recently wrote, has several advantages over Indiana, “including a global city — an important asset at a time when large cities are increasingly important as economic engines. Illinois should at least be on par with Indiana's growth rate.”
Yet personal income is growing faster here than in Illinois: “And one of the biggest differences between the two states is that Indiana's government has spent the past decade focused on economic growth and job creation, while Illinois' has not.”
Dark side of creative class
About14 years ago, government planners and enthusiastic citizens listened eagerly to a presentation by Carnegie Mellon University professor Richard Florida, whose ideas on the “creative class” they were sure would help transform this city.
In the ongoing efforts to transform downtown into the vital heart of the city, you can see those ideas still in play: Nurture creativity in our citizens and attract other creative people, make the community attractive to creative people, give creative people what they like — authenticity of setting and experience, diversity and a tolerance that values all individuals.
That is good, but Florida says there is a dark side to his vision, and we should pay close attention to that, too.
Yes, we can, too fight city hall
Some say the warning “You can't fight city hall” got its start in the days of the corrupt Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall in New York City in the late 1800s. Some suggest it might date to an early 17th century English proverb.
Though the phrase's origin might be murky, it's meaning is clear: The government has all the power and will do whatever it wants to, and we can can't stop it.
But it's ain't necessarily so. Fort Wayne residents have had a couple of experiences to the contrary in recent days. One was the attempt by Indiana Tech to build athletic facilities at Memorial park. The other was the plan for a three-building commercial center anchored by Peter Franklin Jewelers on Jefferson Boulevard.