Eleven years ago, in February 2004, AM1310 The Light’s Afternoons with Amos did something no Indiana radio station or program had ever done. Originate live broadcasts from outside the Indiana Legislature Chambers in the Indiana State House. The goal of the broadcast was to use modern radio technology to bring the sounds, issues and people that make the laws of the state come alive to listeners and the community. Afternoons with Amos’ broadcasts each legislative session have brought lawmakers – Republican and democrats – and the issues they represent to listeners.
And it’s given Indianapolis and Central Indiana listeners an insight into the workings of their legislature and helped to make listeners understand that their State Capitol and Legislature is open and accessible to them. Beginning its 11th year of broadcasts, Afternoons with Amos got reaction from legislators to Gov. Pence’s State of the State speech, including his push for providing quality pore-kindergarten options to low income parents. Democratic lawmakers countered that Gov. Pence and Republican legislators were ignoring the plight of Indiana’s working and middle class families which have seen their incomes actually drop over since before the Great Recession. Interviews with former Democratic leader Rep. Pat Bauer and Representatives Vernon Smith, John Bartlett, Greg Porter, Vanessa Summers, Robin Shackleford and Cherrish Pryor accentuated Democratic concerns that not enough was being done to encourage real job creation and increasing Hoosiers’ incomes.
Amos asked legislator’s reactions to the release of A-F grade data for school districts which showed IPS as one of just four “F” districts. But, during the broadcast a listener who attended the only rural district receiving an “F”, Medora School Corporation in Jackson County near Seymour, talked about the uniqueness of a district with all 12 grades in one school building. Another issue brought up in the program was attempts to limit the building of new modern facilities for senior citizens, one of the fastest growing age groups in Indiana. Then Republican Sen. Mike Delph talked with Amos about his proposal for a Constitutional Amendment to eradicate the outdated slavery provisions in Indiana’s Constitution while redefining the definition of incarceration. Click the Arrow to Hear Part 1 of AWA at the Legislature with Reps. Pat Bauer and Vernon Smith, and reaction from a former student at one of the state’s “F” school districts, rural Madora. Runs 46 Minutes.