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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - "Calumet Twp. suit claims Griffith secession law is unconstitutional"

Bill Dolan reports today in the NWI Times:

GARY | Lawyers for Calumet Township officials are challenging the constitutionality of a 2013 state law that could force them to cut millions of dollars in assistance to Gary's neediest residents.

Trustee Mary Elgin and Dwight Gardner, a Gary resident, have filed suit in U.S. District Court in Hammond contending the law, known as House Bill 1585, is improper special legislation to provide tax relief to the predominantly white town of Griffith at the expense of black Gary residents.

The law would reduce the millions of dollars paid annually to tens of thousands of township blacks to provide emergency shelter, rent, mortgage payments, transportation, utilities, health care, food and burial services to tens of thousands of residents requesting township assistance.

It also would permit Griffith, which provides much of Calumet Township assistance revenues, to hold a referendum to leave Calumet for another neighboring township and escape Calumet's high poor-relief tax rate -- more than 22 times the state average last year.

"HB 1585 fuels the flames and passions of prejudice to encourage and pit one community against another," the suit states.

It names Gov. Mike Pence and Micah G. Vincent, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, which would enforce the law, as defendants.

There is much more information in the story.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 28, 2014 09:39 AM
Posted to Indiana Government