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How To Navigate Your State Government

indiana statehouse

How’s this for irony?   On the same day a State Senate panel overwhelmingly voted to keep the prohibition against the sale of cold beer in grocery and liquor stores, a House panel unanimously voted to create a summer study committee to look at legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.  And this all happened within a few hours of each other.

This is what makes government so interesting and entertaining at times.   The beautiful thing about what I do for a living is to get a front row seat of the significant issues of the day, which a lot of times seem contradictory.

On the one hand, there is talk of local control, but lawmakers are moving legislation that would allow Ball State University to take over the financial disaster that is Muncie schools.    Lawmakers efforts to deal with the opioid crisis means you will have a little less privacy when it comes to getting prescriptions filled.

But a the end of the day, while it might seem like a political hodgepodge, it’s how governments work.   You have 150 men and women who represent the interests of more than 6.2 million people, and since human beings by their very nature are contradictory creatures, it only fits that the laws we pass and rules we make seem inconsistent at times.

So how does an average person with a job and family follow and navigate this stuff, to be honest, you don’t.   That’s what people like me are for;  you read our work, watch us on TV, listen to our radio broadcasts and podcasts.  And don’t just follow one of us, try to read and follow as many of us as you can.  By doing so, you can get a complete picture of how your state government works.

And while there are some “sexy” issues such as Sunday retail alcohol sales and medical marijuana, there are a lot of what I call “broccoli and brussel sprout” issues.  These are the ones that really impact the lives of day to day Hoosiers, so the more you know, the better equipped you are to make an informed decision.

And if I may engage in a shameless plug here, one easy way to do it is to sign up for my daily email, “The Statewide Summary.”  I compile a list of about a dozen or so of the big political and government stories of the day.  It’s easy to read and tells you everything you need to know in under 10 minutes.  Give a try, because the more you know, the more you can appreciate the irony.