Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Will Pence Veto SB 621?

Governor Mike Pence told the Indianapolis Star that he has his concerns about Senate Bill 621, the bill that alters Marion County government.  He wouldn't specify his concerns to Star writer Chris Sikich, but it seems that he's at least taking a second look at the bill.  That's good for Marion County residents.

As is well-documented, Senate Bill 621 is a disaster for Democrats, but that's likely only temporary.  Someday, it will be a disaster for Republicans.  That said, an even more powerful Greg Ballard and a less powerful City-County Council sends the idea of checks and balances out of balance.

Pence has three options.  He can veto the bill.  He can allow it to pass into law without his signature, or he can sign the bill.  I think it's likely that he will do one of the first two.

If he vetoes the bill, it would just take a simple majority of both houses to overturn Pence's veto.  I think he would likely get that in the Indiana Senate.  The House, however, voted 54-45 to pass the amended conference committee bill showing that at least 14 Republicans (Brian Bosma did not vote) had significant concerns about the new bill containing the elimination of the four At-Large City-County Council seats.  I think it's unlikely that the Indiana House would overturn the Governor's veto.

While the removal of the At-Large seats and the budget provisions got a lot of attention, also significant is this idea of central absentee vote counts in ONLY Marion County.  Marion County Clerk Beth White says that it will cost the county more money and force both parties to find more campaign workers to help count the centralized absentee votes.

I would think also a concern might be the general lack of knowledge that the bill's defenders seemed to possess when being questioned at various levels of the governmental process.  I thought David Frizzell's performance in the Conference Committee hearing was particularly embarrassing to the Republicans.  He answered questions with words like "I would think" or "I suspect" instead of sounding more factual in his defense of the provisions of the bill.

If it is time to look at Unigov, then let's look at it together and work on a bi-partisan plan that has input of all constituents.  The GOP through its actions admitted that it would not want to do that.

It's on Pence's desk now.  He told the Star that he would keep us informed.  If you're someone that cares about checks and balances in government, now is the time to step up and be heard.

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