Brian Bosma

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Brian Bosma
Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives
Assumed office
November 16, 2010
Preceded by Patrick Bauer
In office
November 16, 2004 – November 21, 2006
Preceded by Patrick Bauer
Succeeded by Patrick Bauer
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
from the 88th district
Assumed office
November 1986
Preceded by ???
Personal details
Born (1957-10-31) October 31, 1957 (age 58)
Beech Grove, Indiana, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cheryl
Children 2
Alma mater Purdue University
Indiana University, Indianapolis
Religion Protestantism

Brian C. Bosma (born October 31, 1957) is an American politician and lawyer who is the current Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party, Bosma has served in the Indiana House since 1986; representing the 88th district, which encompasses northeast Marion County and portions of Hancock and Hamilton County.

Upon Republicans regaining a majority in the Indiana House in 2004, he was elected to his first of four nonconsecutive terms to the speakership. He served his first term as speaker until 2006, when Democrats gained control of the House, and has since served as speaker after Republicans obtained a super majority in the House in the 2010 elections.

Outside of state politics, Bosma is in an attorney in private practice, working as a partner with Kroger, Gardis & Regas and is the founding director of Bosma Industries for the Blind, an Indianapolis-based private non-profit which serves as Indiana's largest employer of legally blind individuals and those with severe visual impairments.[1]

Early life[edit]

Education and Family[edit]

Brian Bosma was born in Beech Grove, Indiana to parents Margaret and Charles Bosma. His mother was a kindergarten teacher, while his father, a United States Army officer in World War II and businessman, served in the Indiana State Senate from 1962 to 1980.[2] His grandfather, who immigrated from the Netherlands with his eleven brothers and sisters, was a dairy operator and founded Bosma Dairy Barn, where Brian worked growing up.[3] Bosma graduated from Beech Grove High School, where he played on the school's basketball team, and subsequently attended Purdue University. At Purdue, Bosma received a bachelor of science in engineering in 1981 and was a member of Beta Sigma Psi fraternity.[2] He went on to study at Indiana University's Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where graduated with his Juris Doctor in 1984 and was then admitted to the Indiana State Bar Association and became a member of the American Bar Association later that year.[4]

Bosma resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife Cheryl.[5] Together, they have two children; one daughter, Allison, who is a graduate from Purdue, and one son, Christopher, who is a student at the Indiana University School of Medicine.[6][7] Bosma is a Protestant and attends Grace Community Church in Noblesville, Indiana, where he serves on the church's governing board.[8] He is also a discussion leader with the Bible Study Fellowship.[3]


After passing the Indiana Bar, Bosma began working as an associate attorney with Bingham Summers Welsh and Spilman.[6] He worked at the law firm from 1984 to 1985 upon becoming a legislative adviser in the Indiana Department of Education, a position he held from 1985 to 1986, where he served as the legislative liaison to Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction H. Dean Evans.[3] After leaving the state education department, Bosma reentered private practice and joined as a partner at Indianapolis-based Kroger, Gardis and Regas, LLP in 1986. Bosma has since continued to work as a partner at Kroger, Gardis and Regas outside of his work in the Indiana House's legislative sessions, where he practices Governmental law, Environmental law, Construction law and Real Estate law and is the chairman of the firms' environmental practice group.[9][10]

The facility of Bosma Industries was initially a public institution created by the Indiana Legislature in 1915 and was known as the Board of Industrial Aid for the Blind, having also been operated in part by Indiana's Vocational Rehabilitation Services.[11] During his time as a legislator, Bosma's father, Charles, who strongly advocated for the rights of the blind and disabled,[12] was honored by the state via an executive order by then-Governor Robert D. Orr in renaming the board 'Bosma Industries for the Blind'.[13]

A few years after the renaming to Bosma Industries, members of the Indiana Legislature, becoming increasingly concerned with the cost and effectiveness of the program, had ultimately removed all state funding for the facility.[3] This move by the state led Bosma and others to arrange the process of privatizing Bosma Industries. In 1988, Bosma became its founding director under private leadership, while maintaining over $1 million in contracts with the state; providing powdered food and drink mixes to prisons run by the Indiana Department of Corrections.[14]

Bosma Industries works to create employment opportunities for individuals with severe visual impairments and its business model has been described as "part 501(c)3 foundation that does the rehab and training, and part business, that packs and ships vast quantities of latex gloves, packages dry food, provides business services, and contracts for other production needs, competing on the open market."[15] Having over 200 employees, including over 85 of which being blind and visually impaired, Bosma Industries operates off of a $42.5 million annual budget.[2] Bosma Industries serves as the largest employer in Indiana of individuals with visual disabilities.[16]

Legislative career[edit]

Representative Brian Bosma was first elected in 1986 to represent House District 88, which today encompasses the northeast portion of Marion County, a portion of southern Hamilton County and the western part of Hancock County. He served as the Republican Minority Floor Leader from 1994 to 1999.[8] Bosma was then selected to serve as the Republican Minority Leader from 2000 to 2004 and again from 2006 to 2010.

Indiana House Speaker[edit]

In 2004, when House Republicans assumed a 52-48 majority, Bosma was elected Speaker of the House by his peers. After serving as Republican Leader following the 2006 and 2008 elections, Bosma was again elected Speaker of the House when Republicans won a 60 seat majority in 2010 and a 69 seat super-majority in 2012.

As Speaker of the 114th General Assembly, Representative Bosma and the House Republicans worked to revitalize Indiana’s economy, passed a balanced budget, adopted sweeping telecommunications reform, and created the position of Inspector General to expose and prevent fraud and corruption in state government.

As Speaker of the 117th General Assembly, Bosma focused on education reform through the House Republicans “Strengthen Indiana Plan.”[17] He also broke 195 years of institutional tradition by appointing two Democrats to Committee Chair positions.[18] In 2012, Speaker Bosma co-authored legislation making Indiana the 23rd Right to Work state.

Additionally, to encourage greater participation in the legislative process, Speaker Bosma opened House floor proceedings and House committee meetings to all Hoosiers via the Internet.[19]

In the 118th General Assembly, Speaker Bosma and House Republicans’ 2013 “Own Your Own American Dream” proposals focused on creating a budget with fiscal integrity, expanding educational opportunities and providing more opportunities for job creation by addressing the skills gap.[20]

The 2014 House Republican “Indiana Working on Progress” agenda focuses on career preparation, increasing funding for key road projects, and cutting taxes and burdensome red tape.[21]

Political positions[edit]

Education reform[edit]

During the 2011 session, Brian Bosma co-authored education reform legislation, House Bills 1002 and 1003. House Bill 1002 expanded opportunities for the creation of charter schools. The main provisions of House Bill 1003 include providing families, who do not have the financial means, a scholarship to pay the cost of tuition and fees at a public or private school that charges tuition. In addition, the bill establishes a tax deduction for individual taxpayers who make expenditures for enrollment of a dependent child in a private school or to home school a dependent child.[22] House Bill 1003 created the nation’s first statewide voucher program for low income students.[23] As of September 1, 2013, over 20,000 had signed up to use the voucher program.[24]

Right to work[edit]

On November 21, 2011, Brian Bosma announced that his number one priority during the 2012 legislative session would focus on making Indiana the 23rd Right to Work state. HB 1001 (2012), legislation co-authored by Bosma to make Indiana a Right to Work state, passed from the Indiana House the last week of January in 2012. The start of the 2012 session was delayed because the Democrat Caucus boycotted the first few weeks of session by failing to show up to work. Members of the House Republicans attempted to address Right to Work during the 2011 session; however the Democrats denied the House a quorum by walking out to Illinois for five weeks.

Same-sex marriage[edit]

Brian Bosma became involved in the same-sex marriage debate when a proposed amendment to ban gay marriage in the state of Indiana came before the House Judiciary Committee. The bill, known as HJR-3 would need to pass the House Judiciary Committee in order to be on the floor for the full House.[25] It had already passed the legislature in 2011,[26] but would need to pass again to appear on the ballot for the voters to decide in November 2014. This amendment,[27] "provides that only marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana." Yet further stated, "... that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized." The wording of the second clause was vague enough to warrant a trailer bill clarifying the language, which coincided with a renaming of the bill from HJR-6 to HJR-3.[28]

The House Judiciary Committee[29] met Monday, January 14, 2014, and listened to testimony from both sides of the debate. However, a decision was not reached and the vote was delayed.[30] The House Judiciary Committee did not make the decision in the end, when Bosma planned either to replace committee members or send the bill to a more favorable committee.[31][32] Bosma chose the latter and the House Elections committee will meet to make a decision on the bill on January 22, 2014.

The newly assigned Elections and Appointments Committee [33] is made up of 13 members, 8 of whom voted for the amendment in 2011. The committee was made up 9 Republicans and 4 Democrats, one Democrat did not attend because of a medical emergency. All 9 Republicans voted for the bill which would redefine marriage in Indiana.


  1. ^ Andy Ober (January 29, 2015). "Bosma Celebrates Century of Service". 
  2. ^ a b c Chris Sikich; Indianapolis Star (January 3, 2013). "With new power, House Speaker Brian Bosma's challenge is to channel it". 
  3. ^ a b c d Tim Anderson; Council of State Governments (July 2000). "Rep. Brian Bosma of Indiana: Legislator continues family tradition devoted to community service" (PDF). 
  4. ^ "Vote America 2014 Brian Bosma Information, Comments and Voter Guide". February 15, 2015. 
  5. ^ Indiana Primary Health Care Association. "Indiana State Leadership". 
  6. ^ a b "Biographical Profile for Brian C. Bosma". 
  7. ^ Purdue University (July 15, 2010). "6 Purdue students receive full ride with option to attend graduate school". 
  8. ^ a b "Marion County Republican Party: Brian Bosma". 
  9. ^ "Professionals". 
  10. ^ "Brian C. Bosma Partner Kroger Gardis & Regas, LLP, Indianapolis". February 15, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Bosma Industries for the Blind has announced the running of the inaugural "Bosma 50"". July 2, 2003. 
  12. ^ Associated Press (November 20, 2012). "Bosma: Indiana Legislature needs another 'odd couple'". Indiana Business Journal. 
  13. ^ Emergent Leadership Institute. "Bosma Enterprises". 
  14. ^ Beth Schneider; Indianapolis Star (March 7, 2006). "In bid to privatize, some Hoosiers lose: Taxpayers save millions, but some businesses in Indiana see government trend's downside". 
  15. ^ Matthew Silver; Indiana Jewish Post and Opinion (December 1, 2010). "JAACI presents House Speaker Brian Bosma" (PDF). 
  16. ^ Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (February 11, 2015). "Ivy Tech grants Distinguished Public Official Award to Brian Bosma, David Long". 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Bosma to name Democrats as committee chairs". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  19. ^ "Indianapolis Business News - Latest Indiana Headlines, Top Stories, Breaking News - Indianapolis Business Journal". 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Indiana House of Representatives Republican Caucus: Home". Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  22. ^ Report. "Education Reform Measures Head to Governor's Desk - Newsroom - Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick". Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  23. ^ Josh Cunningham (2013-06-20). "School Choice: Vouchers". Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  24. ^ Elliott, Scott (2013-10-09). "Indiana Education | Indianapolis Star". Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  25. ^ "Indiana General Assembly". March 29, 2011. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  26. ^ "HJR 6 - Indiana 2011 Regular Session". Open States. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  27. ^ "HJR 6 - Indiana 2013 Regular Session". Open States. January 23, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Proposed Marriage Amendment Clarified, Renamed | News". Indiana Public Media. January 9, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Judiciary (House) - Indiana General Assembly". Open States. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Indiana House Judiciary Committee delays vote on same-sex marriage ban - Purdue Exponent: City & State". Purdue Exponent. January 13, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Bosma eyes panel changes to advance marriage amendment : Elections". January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Speaker Bosma Moves Marriage Amendment To New Committee | News". Indiana Public Media. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Elections and Apportionment (House) - Indiana General Assembly". Open States. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 

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