Senator drops bill to create Statehouse souvenir shop

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Sen. Thomas Wyss, R-Fort Wayne, has withdrawn a bill that would have allowed the construction of a souvenir shop in the Indiana Statehouse over concerns about the cost.

Senate Bill 239 would have required the Indiana Department of Administration to establish, maintain, and operate the shop.

The bill’s fiscal analysis did not put a total cost on the project. But it said initial costs would include purchasing inventory, hiring staff, and possible architectural or electrical issues depending on the location. Salary costs, including fringe benefits, would range between $88,000 and $135,000 for two full-time managers and two part-time employees.

The fiscal analysis used a gift shop at the Ohio Statehouse as a model. That shop had total revenue of $263,000 in 2013. The analysis said revenue generated by a shop could support operational costs.

Wyss called the cost estimates “ridiculous.”

“I have no idea why they put such a number up there,” Wyss said.

He said officials a the Department of Administration – an agency under Gov. Mike Pence that oversees state buildings and construction – told him there are “still major problems” with the legislation.

So, he told Senate Economic Development & Technology Chairman Jim Buck, R-Kokomo, to not “even hear the bill.”

Wyss said another legislator might push for a Statehouse souvenier shop in the future – but it won’t happen this year with his bill.


  • There's hope
    See? This legislature is capable of recognizing a stupid idea after all. Not every ridiculous piece of law has to be put to a popular vote and added to the Constitution. Baby steps...
  • Wow
    Wow..... just..... "wow"
  • Are you kidding me?
    This has to be a joke. I can't believe this is one of the stupid bills put forth this year. They must all sit around getting high and then drop stupid ideas into a bowl and then take turns drawing them out and writing them up as a bill.

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.