(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana statehouse Democrats are reorganizing following Tuesday's election, which established Republican supermajorities in both the House and Senate.
It’s the first GOP supermajority in both chambers since 1968. Republican Mike Pence will also be manning the governor’s office.
State Senator Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) was named the Senate Minority Leader for Democrats on Thursday.
"The Senate Democrats continue to stand ready to work with our colleagues in the General Assembly and the newly elected governor to reach these goals," said Lanane
The Democrat Senate caucus also selected Sen. Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) as Assistant Democratic Floor Leader and Sen. Jim Arnold (D-LaPorte) was re-elected Caucus Chairman. The leaders assume new responsibilities immediately.
In the House, State Rep. Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) is the new Minority Leader. He takes over for State Rep. Linda Lawson (D-Hammond), who held the position on an interim basis following the Democrat caucus’ vote to remove former House Minority Leader Pat Bauer (D-South Bend).
“I am humbled by my colleagues’ decision to serve as their leader, and I promise to do everything in my power to ensure that Democrats have a voice in the upcoming session of the General Assembly,” Pelath said.
Lawson will serve as House Democratic Floor Leader and State Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis) to continue as House Democratic Caucus Chair.
House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) told The Indianapolis Star on Wednesday that he expects Republican and Democrat lawmakers to be partners.
"I've told a few folks that having the supermajority may actually require more bipartition cooperation rather than less, so that people feel included," Bosma said.
The 2013 legislative session begins in January. A new bi-annual state budget, job creation, and reform at the Indiana Department of Child Services are expected to be the most pressing issues of the session.
"These are common sense issues that truly matter to the citizens of Indiana,” Lanane said. “My hope is that the majority does not veer from these important challenges to devote too much time on divisive social issues, but that we stick to these very worthy goals and work in a bipartisan fashion to put Hoosiers back to work, provide quality educational opportunities, and move the state forward.”