IBJOpinion

EDITORIAL: Legislators should stick to the basics and go home

 IBJ Staff
January 23, 2010
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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.•

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

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  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

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