Introduced Version



Introduced by: Denbo


        A RESOLUTION urging the Indiana department of transportation to rename State Road 37 from Mitchell to Paoli, State Road 56 from Paoli to French Lick, and State Road 145 from French Lick to Interstate 64 the Frank O'Bannon Highway.

    Whereas, Frank O'Bannon grew up in Harrison County, Indiana. He graduated from Corydon High School in 1948 and received a bachelor's degree in government from Indiana University in 1952. After two years in the U.S. Air Force, he returned to Bloomington to earn a law degree from Indiana University in 1957. Also that year, he and his wife, Judy, were married;

    Whereas, Frank O'Bannon served eight years as lieutenant governor. That followed 18 years as a part-time legislator in the Indiana Senate, where he represented eight counties in southern Indiana. For the last 11 of those years his colleagues chose him as the Democratic floor leader. Before his election to statewide office, he also practiced law at the Corydon firm of O'Bannon, Funk and Simpson. He was chairman of the O'Bannon Publishing Company in Corydon, publishing weekly newspapers in Harrison and Crawford counties;

    Whereas, Frank O'Bannon was first elected Governor on November 5, 1996, and reelected to a second term on November 7, 2000. For his first inauguration ceremony, Governor O'Bannon invited all Indiana 4th graders, something no governor had ever done. Fourth graders, who study Indiana history as part of their curriculum, were invited back for the second inauguration. More than 25,000 students and visitors attended the second inauguration on January 8, 2001, making it the largest gubernatorial inauguration in Indiana history;

    Whereas, Governor O'Bannon's top priority was education. On the national level, Governor O'Bannon served as chair of the National Education Goals Panel, a bi-partisan organization committed to improving education. He also served as co-chair of the National Governor's Association Extra Learning Opportunities Task Force;

    Whereas, Governor O'Bannon launched the Building Bright Beginnings initiative to emphasize the importance of emotional and brain development of children from birth to four years of age. The parents of every newborn now receive a colorful, easy-to-read growth calendar to take home. So far, more than 400,000 of these calendars have been distributed. The information helps parents give the attention, affection, and stimulation that young children need to reach their full potential. The program also promotes quality child care and helps parents recognize and remove lead and mercury hazards from their homes;

    Whereas, Under Governor O'Bannon's direction, Indiana is a national leader in the effort to extend health care coverage to its citizens. More than 373,000 Hoosier children, whose parents work but do not have access to health insurance through their jobs or cannot afford the premiums, have signed up for the health insurance program Hoosier Healthwise. In addition to increasing coverage, Indiana made it simpler and more convenient for parents to sign up their children;

    Whereas, O'Bannon also committed funds to triple the number of families served by Healthy Families Indiana, which teaches parenting and coping skills one-on-one in Hoosier homes. The program has achieved a remarkable success rate in preventing child abuse and neglect in the high-risk families taking part. It is funded with savings achieved by moving Hoosiers from welfare rolls to payrolls;

    Whereas, When the legislature was not in session, Governor O'Bannon rolled up his sleeves at least one day each month in his "A Day Makes a Difference" campaign, encouraging leaders and everyday citizens to volunteer in community service projects. He tutored children on computers, served food to the homeless, helped build or rehabilitate low-income housing, and spruced up other public and nonprofit facilities;

    Whereas, Governor O'Bannon is survived by former First Lady Judy O'Bannon, his best friend for almost half a century. A leader in her own right, Judy O'Bannon promotes the arts, community development, and historic preservation throughout Indiana. She chairs the Governor's Indiana 2016 program, helping communities statewide take stock of their roots as they work toward a better future; and

    Whereas, Governor O'Bannon was stricken on September 8, 2003, by a stroke, from which he never recovered. He passed away September 13, 2003. On that day, in the words of Governor Joe Kernan, "every Hoosier lost their governor and their friend": Therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the

General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

    SECTION 1. That the Indiana House of Representatives wishes to remember Frank O'Bannon and provide an appropriate monument to reflect the life of a great man. The Indiana House of Representatives urges the Indiana Department of Transportation to rename State Road 37 from Mitchell to Paoli, State Road 56 from Paoli to French Lick, and State Road 145 from French Lick to Interstate 64 the Frank O'Bannon Highway.
    SECTION 2. That the Principal Clerk of the House of Representatives shall transmit a copy of this resolution to Judy O'Bannon and her family, and to the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation.


HR 1548/DI 84



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