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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ind. Gov't. - "Soon? Holcomb's first tests on culture wars"

A good analysis piece today by Robert King in the Indianapolis Star - the long story begins:

One of the key questions about Gov. Eric Holcomb when he emerged as a candidate for governor – and after he was elected – was which of his two immediate predecessors would he most resemble when it comes to hot-button social issues.

Mitch Daniels is largely remembered for attempting to call a truce in the culture wars, although late in his term he signed a bill blocking Medicaid funding to groups that perform abortions. The legacy of Mike Pence, meanwhile, was colored by controversial eruptions over same-sex marriage and religious freedom and the court challenge to block an abortion bill he signed.

Holcomb worked for both governors. He made it clear during his campaign he is allied with social conservatives on issues such as abortion. But he also signaled a more nuanced approach. In his State of the State address, he made no mention of cultural warfare, focusing instead on meat-and-potatoes issues such as roads and bridges, workforce development and the state’s economy.

Soon, though, he could be confronted with a trio of bills that have been moving steadily through the Indiana General Assembly that deal with the kinds of culture wars issues that wind up on voter score cards.

One of the bills would ensure parents have a seat in the courtroom if their minor daughter approaches a judge seeking permission for an abortion without parental approval. A second requires abortion providers to give women seeking a medically-induced abortion information about an unproven method to stop and reverse the “abortion pill.” Finally, a school prayer bill would essentially write into law the types of religious expression courts have said are allowable in public schools.

All three bills have passed one legislative chamber, raising the prospect that they could soon land on Holcomb's desk, prompting the revival of a question that has been circulating since last summer.

The bills are HB 1128, SB 404, and HB 1024.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 14, 2017 10:18 AM
Posted to Indiana Government