Senator Charbonneau Discusses Important Issues Being Debated during this Legislative Session

State Senator Ed Charbonneau

More than the Governor Mitch Daniels’ agenda was at stake in last November’s election. Republicans are now in the majority of both the House and Senate, and now stand to be in control of creating House, Senate, and congressional maps. Those maps will influence the outcome of elections for the next 10 years.

“The House is going to redraw their Districts and the Senate is going to draw their Districts,” explained Fifth District State Senator, Ed Charbonneau. “They are going to get together and approve them and gently draw the Congressional Districts.”

Charbonneau said it seems only right that districts would be compact and not meander all over the map looking for advantages to one or the other parties.

“At the end of the day, you have to represent the constituents in their District and I put a lot of miles on my car doing just that.”

The redistricting process will probably be another contentious matter faced by members of both parties before this year’s session ends.

Education reform has been listed as the number two most most important issue of this year’s Indiana State legislative session. Senator Charbonneau said that a part of the reform was passed in the Senate last week.

“One issue passed was allowing students to graduate in three years and if they do that, they will get a $3,500 scholarship for the next year at an Indiana college or university of their choice.”

A controversial part of the measure is that the money would be taken from school funding.

Charbonneau was asked if he believes that teachers should be evaluated for competency to determine salary.

“What we’re trying to do is educate students and we need to have some way of measuring how well we’re doing,” replied Charbonneau. “I know it’s a foreign concept right now and it’s a change. Like any change, it’s kind of disconcerting. If we can all agree educating students to be good citizens, to be able to go into adult life and find a job, then there needs to be some way of measuring how well a teacher does.”

School reform should be a frontrunner topic throughout this legislative session.