Abdul's legislative half-time report

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Racial Sensitivity 101

 

Right

to Work

  • Yes,

    it passed both chambers, but the fight isn't over yet. I am hearing

    opponents are planning to file a lawsuit to stop it from going into

    effect. The argument, if I have this right, is that RTW violates

    Article 4, Section 22 of the state constitution, which prohibits lawmakers

    from passing any local or special law É "Relating to fees or

    salaries, except that the laws may be so made as to grade the compensation

    of officers in proportion to the population and the necessary services

    required;" The logic being applied here is that by passing RTW,

    which says an employer cannot compel an employee to pay union fees as a

    condition of employment, the legislature is violating that section of the

    Constitution because it is a special law relating to fees.

Mass

Transit

  • Although

    it's "dead" nothing is dead in the Indiana

    General Assembly

    until you see a body. And proponents tell me

    they are working behind the scenes to move something forward. The

    problem won't be convincing outstate lawmakers, but the problem is the

    Marion County delegation, particularly those township Republicans who don't

    think their constituents are getting a fair share of the mass transit,

    even though they might pay increased taxes for it. There are other

    lawmakers who are so vehemently opposed to tax increases that they refuse

    to let voters have the decision to do it for fear they might actually vote

    for a tax increase."

Smoking

Ban

  • Full

    disclosure on this one, I am a cigar smoker who finds many of the

    anti-smoking advocates as annoying as a Swisher Sweet, so the possibility

    that this will go up in flames makes me feel warm inside. Okay, snarkiness aside, while this passed the House by a 2-1

    margin. Now it's up to the Senate, where no clear consensus exists, even

    within parties: some senators want a total ban, some want no ban, some

    want exemptions ... Watch the amendment process on this one; it will

    be a wild ride.

Miscellaneous Bills

  • Then

    there was all the other stuff, cursive writing, creationism

    in schools, credit creep and drug testing of lawmakers. I predict cursive

    writing and creationism will stall. The credit creep bill

    (addressing the rising number of credits mandatory to graduate at Indiana

    colleges and universities) will likely pass, it will just need some tinkering around the edges. And I don't see

    drug testing of lawmakers getting out of the Senate, welfare recipients,

    yes, lawmakers, not so much.

Those are just the more notable items. There is still ample

time for something silly to happen. And it doesn't have to take place

within the chambers. There is ample time for the Indiana

Supreme Court

to rule the fines levied against absentee House Democrats

were constitutional and could be upheld. And don't even get me started on

the Charlie

White

saga. [Editor's Note: The Indiana Supreme Court announced Tuesday it

will hear the case. Last week White was convicted of voter fraud and perjury. Public interview for retiring Chief Justice Randall Shepard will also be this week at the Supreme Court.]

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