INDIANAPOLIS – In an unprecedented move, the governor’s office and Republican leaders tried to extend the legislative session deadline from midnight to 1 a.m. without any statutory authority to do so. The motion was announced seconds before the deadline to vote on bills and was hastily given to State Senator Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) for a split second review. Sen. Lanane spoke on the floor objecting to the motion stating the time extension did not comply with Indiana law.
“In my 20 years of being in this body, I have never even heard of something like this being used,” Sen. Lanane said.
After legal review from the caucus attorney, it became clear that this was totally out of order and crafted in an effort to mitigate any bad optics on the Republican controlled legislature and its ability, or lack thereof, to accomplish anything of substance this session.
“Republicans control every elected body in the Statehouse and they still could not get their bills passed in time,” Sen. Lanane said.
Senate President Pro Tempore David Long retracted the motion after Sen. Lanane’s comments and stated a lack of confidence in the motion’s legality.
Because of the squabbling within the Republican supermajorities which resulted in the legislative breakdown, there have been talks that a special legislative session could be needed to wrap up the unfinished business. That means tax payer dollars will be spent for Republicans to finish what they already had three months to accomplish but couldn’t get done.
“What happened at midnight on March 14, 2018, was the making of the supermajority in both the Senate and the House,” Sen. Lanane said. “The blame placed on the Democratic caucuses who have been dismissed by the supermajority all session is rooted in a twisted sense of reality.”