Scott Tibbs
Printed in the Herald-Times, 6-14-2001

Back to opinion page.

Speaker Gregg has not led

To the Editor:

Looking back at the 2001 session of the Indiana Legislature, I am very disappointed in the lack of progress made on issues of real concern to Hoosiers. I believe much of the blame for this falls squarely on the shoulders of Rep. John Gregg, the Speaker of the Indiana House. As the most powerful legislator in Indianapolis, Gregg wasted his opportunities this year.

Gregg did not push for serious reforms of Indiana's unconstitutional property tax system. In a non-election year, it was imperative that this be done now, especially after his Democratic Party refused to address the issue in 2000 fearing voter backlash. Then Gregg rammed through an increase in pay for legislators while eliminating the $12,500 tax credit for business equipment, which will hurt many small businesses in Indiana. I find it highly arrogant for Gregg to ask Hoosiers to tighten their belts through increased property taxes after reassessment, and eliminating the much needed business equipment credit, while fattening his own paycheck.

But worst of all, Speaker John Gregg presided over a budget with a deficit of over $900 million, the largest deficit in Indiana history. They may have "reduced" this deficit through smoke and mirrors, but Indiana's Constitution does not allow budget deficits.

While Indiana's problems are ignored and Speaker Gregg presides over a budgetary train wreck, John Gregg's main concern is the partisan political game of redrawing legislative districts to benefit his own party and fattening his wallet. This not the leadership that Hoosiers need in Indianapolis!