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Lawmakers reject plates for children's choir, hospital

September 16, 2015

A panel of Indiana lawmakers has rejected specialty group license plates for the Indianapolis Children's Choir and for Memorial Hospital of South Bend, saying the groups don't have statewide impact.

The Tuesday vote from the Interim Study Committee on Roads and Transportation is a recommendation to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles and not binding. The department could still approve the plates, The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne reported.

"I don't have an issue with any of those organizations, but they are very regional in nature and our charge is supposed to be statewide," said Sen. Carlin Yoder, a Middlebury Republican. "If we start going down this road, we will have license plates from every faction around the state."

Robert Fechtman, a Indianapolis Children's Choir board member, said the group has singers from 20 counties.

"While it may not be statewide, it certainly covers central Indiana," he said.

Lawmakers on the panel did recommend approving renewal of the plate for the Indiana Native American and Affairs Commission. They also approved new plates for the Indiana Golf Foundation, Indiana Recycling Coalition and the Indiana Emergency Medical Services Association.

Indiana currently has 92 group plates that raise millions of dollars a year. There is a statewide cap of 125 special group plates. Indiana motorists pay $40 for the specialty plates, and $25 of that fee goes to the group.

The BMV had no timeline for when final decisions would be made.

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