By BRIAN A. HOWEY
INDIANAPOLIS – While House Speaker Brian Bosma is calling for expanded financial disclosure rules in the wake of the conflict of interest surrounding State Rep. Eric Turner, he had a blunt message for all legislators during a Howey Politics Indiana interview on Monday. “Everyone has conflicts,” Bosma said. “That comes with both a parttime and fulltime legislature. We have to have elected officials to have the good judgment about when they should not be involved in a decision. We rely on good judgment with that regard. We apparently need to institutionalize some good judgment as well.”
Bosma continued, “A legislator with a substantial and personal interest in a matter shouldn’t be involved in public or private advocacy at the General Assembly on that matter. Just not voting on it isn’t enough. If you’re not voting behind the scene in a reduction of a license or a change in school standards for teachers that results in a substantial profit to you personally in a business deal, run away.” His remarks on the Turner situation were just part of the conversation centered around the House Republican agenda last week which addressed the biennial budget, education funding, ethics and public safety.
Bosma called for a reworking of the school funding formula after rural and suburban school corporations found per-student funding either static or dropping. He said he would personally support legal methamphetamine ingredients to be prescribed by doctors. And he expressed surprise at Gov. Mike Pence’s decision to reject $80 million in Pre-K funding, saying at one point, “I’m not certain I would have made the same decision. Our team has advocated preschool funding for a number of sessions.”