Top Indiana House budget writer won't seek new term

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The leader of the Indiana House's budget-writing committee announced Friday he won't seek re-election this fall and will end 40-year legislative career.

Rep. Jeff Espich of Uniondale had said for months he intended to run for a new term even though fellow Republicans put his northeastern Indiana home into the same House district with another GOP legislator when they redrew electoral maps last spring.

Espich has been the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee since the 1990s and is currently the committee's chairman.

"I have worked hard and tried to lead well," Espich said in a letter to The Journal Gazette. "I hope I have succeeded in the minds and hearts of my constituents."

During last year's state budget debate, Espich oversaw changes in how education funding is distributed so the state only pays school districts for students actually enrolled, eliminating the extra cash shrinking districts had long received to help ease their financial losses after students leave. The previous system had led to shrinking urban and rural districts often getting higher funding per student and fast-growing suburban districts getting lower amounts.

Espich described the other Republican legislators representing areas near Fort Wayne as his friends — including Rep. Dan Leonard of Huntington, who already has filed for May's GOP primary in the district where he and Espich live.

Espich is one of the General Assembly's longest-serving current members, having won election every two years since 1972.


  • Term Limits
    These guys really need term limits. 40 years is way too long to be a legislator. They get stale and corrupt. TERM LIMITS!!!

  • Term Limits
    40 years, need I say more, no wonder this state is in a state of disaray. You have now new ideas, except to socialize risk and publicize risk. Now you can go lobby and take more of my money.

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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............