IBJNews

Indiana BMV ends specialty plate talks with 3 groups

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has ended talks with three organizations whose specialty license plates were suspended last year, surprising the groups that believed a resolution was near.

The BMV stopped negotiations with the Indiana Greenways Foundation, the Indiana 4-H Foundation and the Indiana Youth Group, a support group for gay teenagers. The agency cited the passage of a new state law that creates a legislative commission to recommend specialty plates, The Indianapolis Star reported Tuesday.

The BMV issued a statement saying it had "been in various levels of conversations with the groups about ending the suspensions. With the passage of the new law ... the legislature has stated its intent regarding the specialty group plates."

The groups can go back through the appeals process or take the matter to a fledgling legislative panel that will make recommendations for specialty plates to the BMV, the agency said.

The groups lost their plates a year ago when conservative lawmakers first tried to pass a bill eliminating the Youth Group's plate and then convinced the BMV to withdraw its plates because the group violated terms by offering low-digit plates to donors and volunteers. The 4-H and Greenways foundations also rewarded supporters with low-digit plates.

Leaders of the three organizations said they had hoped to reach an agreement with the BMV limiting the length of the suspensions.

"We'd been working with them since December, so it was like a complete surprise," said Mary Byrne, executive director of the Indianapolis-based Youth Group. "We were pretty sure we were going to get (the plate) back; it was just a matter of agreeing on the suspension period, how many months that would be."

Karen Bohn, head of the Greenways Foundation, said a BMV attorney had contacted her in February and told her "we're working on getting a contract ready. You should be able to be selling plates in May."

She said she believed the real target was the gay youth group.

"I think we were just collateral damage," she said. "Unfortunately it doesn't seem very fair."

Liz Ellis, executive director of the 4-H Foundation, said "we were hopeful and we did believe we were going to be able to negotiate a settlement." She said 4-H is the largest youth organization in the state, with 200,000 members.

"We have people in all 92 counties asking us when they are going to be able to purchase license plates," she said. "We sell thousands of license plates — or we did sell thousands of license plates each year. It certainly hurts our income and it hurts our programming."

Groups with specialty plates generally receive $25 from each plate sold.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Ridiculous!!
    So 20 Indiana State Senators have nothing better to do than to spend time on this issue? The last I knew, if you request a low-digit plate from the BMV you have to pay an additional fee. What’s the difference between the BMV charging a fee and these organizations asking for donations? The whole point of specialty plates is to raise awareness of the non-profit and to raise money. If the State gets their fees for the plate who cares if they ask for additional monies for a low-digit plate? Rather than support a group whose mission is to help gay youth, our so-called leaders would rather they fend for themselves. They don’t seem to have any issue throwing money at support groups for “straight” youth programs. Of course, the other two groups that got caught in the cross-hairs of this issue will also suffer but if they allow them to continue with the program then the Senators would have to openly admit that they really only wanted to target the Indiana Youth Group. Day by day it’s becoming more and more embarrassing to call myself a Hoosier. Somebody in this State with the power to actually do something needs to step up and correct this situation. Governor Pence, ACLU, Anyone??? A slap on the wrist and pointing out the rules of specialty license plates would have sufficed. They did not have to revoke the plate. I’m sure the rules and regulations for an organization to have a specialty license plate reads like a credit cards terms and conditions. Page after page of all the rules that nobody understands and can remember. Ridiculous!!
  • Well, at least
    At least our state's bigoted anti-gay legislature will have to shaft the 4-H club (kid farmers) and Indiana Greenway foundation (clean-air/water fans) to swipe at their targeted enemy, "teh gayz."

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. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

  2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

  3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

  4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

  5. Oh wait. Never mind.

ADVERTISEMENT