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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - What will happen to HJR 3 on 2nd reading?

Barb Berggoetz and Tony Cook report today in the Indianapolis Star that:

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Anderson, said Friday he intends to file that measure, but he will decide with his caucus whether that’s the best strategy to kill the amendment.
They also report that:
Some House Republicans also are disturbed by the potential effect of the second sentence and may move to delete it, but it’s not clear who, if anyone, would take that step.

If a change in the wording is made and the amendment is approved, then another, separately elected Indiana General Assembly would have to approve it before it could go to voters. That would take until at least November 2016. If the legislature passes the proposal without change this session, the measure would go to voters in November — clearly the desire of Gov. Mike Pence and the Republican legislative leadership.

More from the story:
Pelath said the Democratic caucus — with 31 members, compared to 69 Republicans — have two options. The first, he said, is to try to get rid of the “stink bomb of the second sentence,” in case the amendment does get approved.

“The other approach is to let HJR3 die under its own lumbering, Brontosaurus weight.”

It’s a tactical question, Pelath said, to try to figure out if the amendment has a better chance of being defeated either legislatively or at the ballot box with the more objectionable second sentence.

He said he knows some Republicans want to offer a proposal to drop the second sentence and want to get credit for it, but he doesn’t know the consequences for those members. * * *

“I think there will probably be some push not to have anybody offer amendments,” he said. “I think that will happen because the proponents of HJR3 are adamant they want it passed this year.”

He said he would vote to get rid of the second sentence, even if Democrats offer the amendment.

If the measure passes the House as expected, Senate Pro Tempore David Long said he will assign it to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where debate could begin the week of Feb. 10.

Erika Brock and Ryanne Wise of The Statehouse File also have a report, that includes:
An amendment to HJR 3 means the constitutional amendment process would likely restart. That could postpone a possible ratification by voters from this fall to 2016.

Republicans will likely be waiting for Pelath’s decision as well. Rep. Casey Cox, R-Fort Wayne, voted for HJR 3 when it came before the House Elections Committee this week. But later, he said that he may vote against the proposal when it reaches the House floor next week.

Cox said he wants to “reconsider” the second sentence. He cited concerns raised by a lawyer with Indiana University, who said the provision threatens the school’s ability to offer benefits to same-sex partners.

“I thought IU’s council made some points that certainly need further discussion,” Cox said. “The caucus really wanted this to come to the floor. I can understand that. If it remains intact, I certainly reserve the right to vote no.”

ILB: The ILB is preparing a quick-glance chart of the House opinions. Check back.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 25, 2014 04:00 PM
Posted to Indiana Government