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Working to bring integrity and common sense to the Statehouse

I have never before run for public office, and quite honestly, I've never really thought about running for office before.  But as a Hoosier business owner and married father of three children, I have watched for too long a state legislature in Indiana that is out of touch with the needs of working people and families.  While Hoosiers struggle with stagnant wages, crumbling infrastructure and embattled public schools, those we have elected to serve us seem more concerned with pleasing lobbyists and helping their friends and donors than solving problems for the rest of us.  I think we need a fresh approach. Rather than continue to shake my head and complain from the sidelines, I decided become a candidate myself and, hopefully, bring a fresh perspective to District 41.  Here are a few of the issues I plan to address:    

 

 Renew Our Commitment to Public Education

Nothing is more important to our state than public education.  We must give our public school teachers and administrators the resources they need to offer our kids a positive learning experience, with less focus on standardized testing and more focus on learning- to give our kids the skills they need to be successful. We must end the failed policy that gives tax dollars to private charter and voucher schools, which push profits to investors while failing to deliver on the promise of a high quality education- all the while weakening our public schools and lowering education standards. I also believe strongly that we should expand Pre-K education as an option in all Indiana school districts.

Better Jobs, Higher Wages

All politicians talk about jobs, but not enough talk about wages.  Indiana has made improvements in job numbers but has failed to keep up with our neighbors when it comes to wage growth.  We must invest in career training, infrastructure and education in order to attract and retain good paying jobs.  We must reject divisive social issues that create a negative image for our state and can deter new businesses from locating in Indiana and hinder our existing businesses from recruiting the best employees.  Things like "Right to Work" and the repeal of the Common Construction Wage are just two examples of a state government that promotes policies that keep wages low.  We need to reverse those policies and stop our race to the bottom when it comes to wages. 

I'll Pay My Own Way

Most states have laws that prohibit members of the state legislature from accepting gifts from lobbyists. Many are surprised to learn that Indiana places few restrictions on the practice. While other Indiana state employees must adhere to strict rules against accepting gifts, our elected representatives choose not to follow those rules themselves.   As a result, lobbyists descend upon the Statehouse to quite literally "wine and dine" the men and women who will be voting on legislation being pushed by those very lobbyists- fancy dinners, tickets to sporting events and other gifts are just a normal part of business as usual at the State Capitol.  We need to change our laws to end this activity.  But, whether it is legally permitted or not, I will pledge not to accept gifts of any kind from lobbyists.  I'll be happy to meet with any interested parties to hear their perspectives on our laws and policies, but I can pay for my own dinner.  Thanks anyway.

 

Friends of Ross G. Thomas
1880 Northwood Plaza Drive, #235
Franklin, IN  46131

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