Statehouse Republicans changed the rules in the middle of the game, again

INDIANAPOLIS – On Monday, Senate Democrat Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) issued the following statement after House Bill (HB) 1005 – a measure that would make the Superintendent of Public Instruction an appointed position rather than an elected one – was approved in the Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee. The Senate version of this proposal, Senate Bill (SB) 179, was decisively defeated by a vote of 26-23 in the Senate and, according to Senate rules, should not be considered again this session. Sen. Lanane raised a point of order, and was rejected by the chair of Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee with little debate.

“Today the Republican supermajority in the Senate used their unchecked power to resurrect a measure that would effectively disenfranchise Hoosier voters in choosing their education leader.

“Over half of our state budget is dedicated to K-12 education, and Hoosiers should have their voices heard at the ballot box when it comes to education policy in the state of Indiana.

“The Senate version of this measure was decisively defeated on the floor of the Senate, and should not be considered again this session. Yet, Senate Republicans utilized their unbridled power, effectively changing the rules in the middle of the game, and adopted an amendment that contained language our caucus proposed a few short weeks ago; language that was flatly rejected by the supermajority.

“What this issue comes down to is politics and muting outspoken Hoosiers that bring education policy to the forefront of our elections. Statehouse Republicans want to fulfill an agenda promise, and will go to any lengths to get it done.

“There is no reason Statehouse Republicans have to get this done this legislative session. The only reason they are pushing the rules to the side is to hide the fact they were not able to get the Senate version of the bill through their own caucus.”

HB 1005 was approved by the Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee by a vote of 8-4 and will now move to the full Senate for further consideration.

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