IBJOpinion

EDITORIAL: Legislators should stick to the basics and go home

 IBJ Staff
January 23, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
IBJ Editorial

We like the Indiana General Assembly’s no-nonsense approach to this year’s short legislative session—at least it looks good on the surface.

Bills that would write property tax caps into the state constitution flew through both the House and Senate, clearing the way for a voter referendum on the matter this November. This is a no-brainer for legislators and Gov. Mitch Daniels, who can all crow about watching out for taxpayers’ interests while relying on taxpayers themselves to settle the matter.

If the caps become permanent and lead to chronically underfunded local governments, the voters will have only themselves to blame.

To legislators’ credit, they’ve also made headway on a few of the local government reform measures that could help those governmental bodies run more efficiently.

For example, a bill that would allow voters to decide whether to eliminate township trustees and township boards passed the House and is being considered by the Senate.

More far-reaching reform efforts—such as eliminating township government altogether—aren’t likely to go anywhere in this session. It’s an election year, after all. Lawmakers want to end the session on time—or early—and without delving into controversial issues. They have no stomach for a topic that would upset their political allies back home.

But that desire to wrap up business early and head for the hills doesn’t mean there aren’t bills being heard that are unnecessarily taking up legislators’ time.

Once again, there’s a bill designed to amend the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. The Legislature approved such a measure in 2005, but it had to pass again in 2007 or 2008 to go before voters as a ballot measure. That didn’t happen, but this year, Sen. Carlin Yoder is starting the debate anew. His bill was approved on the committee level Jan. 20 and is expected to win support from the Republican-controlled Senate.

We hope this unnecessary, divisive measure fails in the House, and we’re disappointed some legislators are consumed by an issue that some of the state’s largest employers have spoken out against in the past.

Other, more obscure bills are equally unnecessary. Senate Bill 177, for example, would politicize the process now used to govern development in Indianapolis historic districts. It would allow the City-County Council to control the makeup of the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission, which approves or denies projects in the districts, and would give the council authority to overrule the commission’s decisions. The process has worked relatively well for more than 20 years, doesn’t need fixing, and isn’t worth legislators’ time.

Daniels stuck to the basics in his Jan. 19 State of the State speech. Legislators should do the same, finish necessary business, and return to their districts.•

__________

To comment on this editorial, write to ibjedit@ibj.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

ADVERTISEMENT