For immediate release:
Nov. 13, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS - State Rep. Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis) will serve as the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee for the 118th Indiana General Assembly, according to Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath of Michigan City.
Porter has represented the 96th Indiana House District since 1992. He is a past chairman and ranking Democrat on the House Education Committee.
Porter today issued the following statement:
“I am thankful to Leader Pelath for showing the trust in me to serve as the leader for my fellow Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee. I have large shoes to fill in taking over for my good friend, former State Rep. Bill Crawford, but I look forward to the challenge and hope to continue his legacy of fairness and transparency in budget deliberations.
“As I look at the upcoming session and the discussions on a new state budget, I believe that we have many opportunities to pass legislation that balances the need to return some of our state’s $2 billion surplus to Hoosier families with a desire to restore some of the funding that has been taken from our schools and those agencies within state government that provide critical services to many people across Indiana.
“Since I have spent much of my time in the Legislature on improving the quality of education in our state, I am particularly sensitive to the financial blows that public schools have taken in recent years. I would like to think that we can do something to restore some of the funding that has been cut in recent years.
“I understand that Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) will be the new Ways and Means chairman. I have worked with Chairman Brown in the past. Our relations always have been agreeable, and I would hope we can continue that work in the future.
“I realize that Republicans run the Indiana House, but I also know that their leaders have said they intend to work with Democrats to make sure that both sides get a chance to play an active role in reaching agreement on the major issues we will face. In areas where we disagree, I will join my House Democratic colleagues in offering alternatives that we feel can achieve the most good for the people of Indiana.
“I feel we can disagree without being disagreeable, and effectively work together to pass a budget that helps Hoosiers.”