Indiana lawmakers return for packed 2013 session
Indiana lawmakers gaveled in for the 2013 General Assembly Monday. Job one is to craft a new two-year budget. Jobs are a close second.
Eyewitness News gets to the heart of the problem through the eyes of a single mother from Indianapolis.
Dress for Success helps over 1,300 women a year put their best foot forward in the job interview process. Detra Fletcher is one of them. She's been looking for work for the last three years.
"It's very tough cause you can no longer walk in and apply. I just wish you could go back to that way," said Fletcher.
She's worked in former Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan's office for Black Expo and she recently went back to school.
"I went to massage school when I was out of work but I am still looking," she said.
So when the legislature gaveled into session Monday, she didn't hear the talk of unemployment.
"We have to create the situation and environment where jobs can be created and retained so we can get all Hoosiers working again," said Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy).
We asked House Speaker Brian Bosma about the problem.
"We have 2.4 high tech jobs for every unemployed person in this state. More than 10,000 jobs available in central Indiana in finance, health care and in technology but Hoosier workers in many cases do not have the required skills," said Bosma.
Detra knows all about that.
"We just want a chance," she said.
The speaker says he will personally be carrying Workforce Development legislation.
They will also consider Pence's proposed personal income tax cut.
Democrats, on the other hand, called on Republicans to join them in a two-year moratorium on social issues like same sex marriage, reproduction and women's health so that both sides can address the economic issues currently confronting the state.
Republicans hold a super-majority in the Indiana legislature this year, and so far, hot-button social issues have already popped up, including proposals to recite the Lord's Prayer in public schools, challenge the teaching of evolution and write the state's gay marriage ban into the state constitution.