A short recap of some of the lameness in the General Assembly this week:
Rep. Foley’s Court Packing plan. Representative Foley jammed an amendment on the judiciary into a vehicle bill, leading to a party line vote in the House Rules Committee. Essentially, it sought to pack the judicial nominating committee with Republicans and stack the deck against retention of 5 Democratically appointed judges up for election in November.
Anti-anti-gay bias kerfluffle Representative Thompson was trying to insert his language into a place where it didn’t belong. (A bit ironic if one considers the metaphor.) He wanted to prohibit localities from attempting to ensure equal employment and housing opportunities for gays. He tried was trying to slide it into a non-traditional location: an eminent domain bill. Both of them had to do with laws, so I guess that clears the germaneness hurdle.
Playing God. The Committee on Veterans Affairs tells physicians how to practice medicine and legislates the beginning of life. The House Committee on Public Policy and Veterans Affairs, of all committees, passed legislations that commands a physician to treat his or her patient by telling her, regardless of the truth of the matter, that human life begins at conception. It requires the physician to provide certain additional information to the patient that stacks the deck against having an abortion, regardless of what’s in the best interests of the patient.
Doin’ the time zone shuffle. The good folks in Pulaski County petitioned for Central Time, were denied in the preliminary phase, didn’t submit any new evidence but were shuffled into Central anyway in the final rule. Meanwhile, St. Joseph County was forced out, and so Pulaski County was considering asking the USDOT to reconsider. They were supposed to have a special hearing last Monday, but I never heard what happened.
More Power for Emperor Daniels Under a transportation privatization bill, the ever power hungry Governor Daniels stood to gain the authority to sell off most of Indiana’s transportation infrastructure. Not just the Toll Road, but airports, ports, roads, and anything else that wasn’t nailed down.
Circle Jerk in the House. The House of Representatives engaged in a bit of mutual masturbation, agreeing that they didn’t like property taxes and vowing to get rid of them by 2009 without doing a thing in the way of figuring out how the revenue would be replaced. (Surprisingly, they did not vote for the “bad people suck” amendment.)