Thursday, December 1, 2011

Just When You Thought Bipartisanship Was Dead...

Yesterday on this blog, I wondered out loud if the fight over redistricting would kill a spirit of bipartisanship that Democrats said they were wishing to usher in with this next City-County Council term.

The Indianapolis Star weighed in today and urged the GOP and Mayor Greg Ballard to stop the rush to redistrict and instead do something more bipartisan. It remains to be seen if this will happen or not.

Today, however, there were some encouraging signs of a more palatable bipartisan agreement on the smoking ban. Put forth by Council President Ryan Vaughn, it's not a comprehensive ban, but the Star reports that a workable compromise has been reached. One of the co-sponsors of a potential more comprehensive smoking ban proposal, Angela Mansfield, told the Star she will support the compromise.

The new version of the proposal would, according to the Star, ban smoking in all public places in Marion County grandfathering in hookah and cigar bars (provided they were in operation by January 1 and other places such as private clubs, fraternal organizations or veterans halls if their membership voted to allow smoking by majority vote).

So, perhaps the reports of bipartisanship's death are greatly exaggerated. Then again, this is something that, post election, both parties wanted.

We'll see in the next few days how this progresses from here and ultimately how the Council will vote. Will Republicans follow their President? Will Democrats cross over? I've said it before, and I'll say it again. It's an incredibly interesting time to be a politics watcher in Indianapolis.

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