Wednesday, April 15, 2015

House, Senate Keep Plugging Away at Controversy

Last week, I opined that the RFRA mess might have derailed the Indiana General Assembly from pursuing some of the more controversial measures left to deal with on its docket.

Boy, did I misjudge it.

Everything plugged on.  From the destruction of the common construction wage law today (which went through the Senate, 27-22, on third read)  to the I-69 bill to what was passed out of the Indiana House yesterday.

Yes, Senate Bill 1 passed the House.  Of course, the key provision of SB1 is the removal of Glenda Ritz, the duly elected Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction and only Democrat in statewide executive office, from serving as the chair of the Indiana State Board of Education.

The bill can either go to Mike Pence's desk for his signature or to a conference committee to work out a few of the bill's alterations, according to the Indianpolis Star.  It's a victory for the beleaguered Governor and for the Republicans who have done everything they could to marginalize Ritz thus marginalizing someone who was swept into office by angst over Tony Bennett's handling of his affairs.

The victory, however, can be hollow.  Instead of heeding my warning to stay away from controversy the rest of this session, the General Assembly continues to show signs of being power drunk.  With every bill like Senate Bill 1, it becomes more and more clear that the sobriety test of government just is likely to fail when it comes to the GOP.

Republicans really have no idea of the blue tide that's about to hit the Statehouse.  They will never see it.  That's what makes it even better.

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