If you’re in downtown Indianapolis, you might see Josh Weber sprinting down New York Street on his way from the Statehouse to his classes on the IUPUI campus. The Robert H. McKinney School of Law student has been serving as HSPA’s legislative assistant this spring.
Since the mid-1990s, HSPA has employed interns to assist with duties during the legislative session.
“They help me monitor and keep on top of scheduling for hundreds of filed legislation each session that I have to read,” said Steve Key, executive director and general counsel for the Hoosier State Press Association.
The students are responsible for a variety of tasks to support HSPA’s mission at the Statehouse. They do legal research. They help determine if there are issues with bills, which legislators to talk to, if the bills are ones HSPA would support, oppose or amend. And, they have a hands-on role in the process.
Weber is originally from Jacksonville, Florida. His mother’s side of the family is from Kentucky. His father’s side is from Evansville and attended Purdue University. Weber’s undergrad degree was in history and political science from Florida State.
For Weber, this spring has been a new kind of education and he’s appreciative of the chance to learn form Key.
“He’s taught me a lot about the Open Door Law, the Access to Public Records Act, the role of the press in our government and why public notice is so important,” Weber said.
Before coming to Indianapolis, Weber worked with two different lobbying firms in Florida. Building on that and serving as another pair of eyes and ears for HSPA in the fast-paced General Assembly has provided invaluable insight on how things work legislatively.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every single day of this job. It’s really been a pleasure working for (Key) and all the opportunities HSPA has afforded me,” Weber said.
HSPA’s office in the Stutz Building is within walking distance of Weber’s downtown Indianapolis apartment. He said he’s enjoying life in a big city and all it offers.
“I definitely want to stay in Indianapolis,” Weber said about his plans for the future. He has two more years to go and the bar exam. After that, he is perhaps interested in working in state government or an administrative law capacity.
Weber said this experience is what helped land him a summer clerkship with the state and put him on the path to where he’ll be working after school.
Weber said he’s impressed by how much Key and HSPA are able to accomplish and the good it does for the state of Indiana. “It’s taught me a really great appreciation for people like him, for journalists and our government’s process,” Weber said.