My name is John Stoffel and I see a brighter future for northeast Indiana. That’s why I’m asking for your vote in the Indiana House of Representatives District 50 Primary Election.
I have been a teacher in Allen and Huntington Counties for 27 years. In the past decade, it has become obvious that our children’s chances for outstanding education have been hurt, not helped, by statehouse overreach and unfunded mandates.
As I have advocated for change in education, I have met others who share similar frustrations in their own fields, saying their progress is hindered by legislation that disregards advice from community experts and increases the burden on local taxpayers.
Consider that education makes up more than half of the state budget in Indiana. Now consider that legislators made more than 2,000 code changes to education law from 2007 to 2017. Not only is this legislation ineffective and inefficient, it’s costly.
Recently, Indiana Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick said, “Make no mistake. Most of the education bills heard are simply bills needed to address concerns caused by previously passed bad bills.” If legislators at the statehouse will not listen to educators, we must elect educators.
As I speak with officials and neighbors throughout northeast Indiana, I see this same issue in other areas. For instance, the statehouse recently reclassified Class D felons as Level 6 offenders so they remain in local jails rather than housed in state prisons. In Huntington County, this increased jail population by 60 percent.
“The statehouse has created a problem and the local people are the ones paying for it,” explained Huntington County Sheriff Chris Newton. The state will not fund bigger facilities, personnel, programs, or ongoing per diem for housing inmates. Instead, Huntington County taxpayers will foot the estimated $16 million bill.
When the state passes a new bill and demands local taxpayers pick up the check, that is not fiscal conservancy no matter how others try to spin it.
As your state representative, I will work to eliminate statehouse overreach into local affairs and ensure tax dollars return to the community. I will also implement an open-door policy for citizens and officials of District 50 because I want input about legislation that affects the people I represent.
Together, we can create a government that is truly healthy and stable. Elect me as your next representative and I will bring your statehouse back home to you.