The amendment to that bill apparently has a veneer or neutrality but comes in the wake of the freak out over the Indiana Youth Group license plates and, not coincidentally, would have the effect of preventing those gay-friendly plates from coming into existence.
In an effort to cloak the new rule with a veneer of impartiality, the measure requires–as a condition of approval–a burdensome amount of financial information from the petitioning nonprofits, 500 signatures of Indiana residents, and evidence of a “statewide public benefit from the use of the money the group would receive from the sale of license plates.” And each plate would have to be sponsored by a lawmaker and individually approved.
. . .
In order to prevent the predictable calamity that would occur if license plates bearing the legend “Indiana Youth Group” were allowed to roam freely over Indiana highways, the committee eliminated plates for the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police, IU Health, Indiana Soccer, the Zoo, the Marine Foundation and Ducks Unlimited. (Just as well. You can’t ever tell what those ducks might be up to…)
I’m no fan of specialty plates. I wasn’t when I was drafting specialty plate legislation 15 years ago. Their proliferation was out of control then and hasn’t gotten any better since. The General Assembly should return to exactly one message neutral plate that serves its bureaucratic function and no more. But, if we’re going to have “In God We Trust,” “Choose Life,” and the rest of it, then the General Assembly shouldn’t get in the business of setting up a system that endorses only conservative-neutral-to-friendly messages for the plates.
Indiana: One Class Basketball, One Standard Time, One License Plate. Hmm, I wonder if a legislator would be willing to endorse that slogan for a specialty plate.