Saturday, December 1, 2012

Legislature Determined to Get Around to Substantial Issues...

And then they promise they'll get to those job creating bills, they just have to take a quick vote to define marriage and THEN the supermajorities in the state legislature promise to get around to economic issues and all the other major issues facing our state...oh and MAYBE they'll take up one of THREE creationism-as-science bills, but then they'll get right around to some actual, legitimate work.

While it is no secret that I'm not a fan of Governor-elect Mike Pence, I like to give public officials the benefit of the doubt when coming into a new political office. The campaign is over, the votes are counted, now it is time to get to work. And honestly, some of what he said on the campaign trail wasn't all that bad. There was some sort of agreement among the three major gubernatorial candidates that there needs to be a new focus on skilled labor, certification,and two year degrees for those who are not bound for a traditional four year college education. During the first gubernatorial debate, Pence spoke about rehabilitating criminals into productive members of society after they've served their time.

But as the state legislature now being organized, I have little hope of that happening.

Just a few days ago, the Indiana State Police Superintendent said he'd be in favor of legalizing (not decriminalizing) and taxing marijuana, saying that it isn't "going away" and that there is a lot of "victimization" that goes along with it. An ISP spokesperson quickly walked back that statement, and a spokesperson for Pence quickly noted that he is against the decriminalization of marijuana. That doesn't exactly fill me with a whole lot of hope that Governor-elect Pence would be supportive of criminal justice reform. Reform desparately needed because there are ex-cons who can be turned into productive members of society. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, there are criminal pieces of trash who don't ever deserve to be outside of a prison cell. Unfortunately, we're on the track of just locking everyone up and throwing away the key without regards to how we're going to pay for it.

Indiana Equality Action released a report detailing over 600 laws that would be affected if Indiana added the proposed marriage definition amendment to our state constitution. And the response from state legislative leaders has been deafening silence. That being said, Indiana Equality seems to have some decent leadership at the helm this time around, and I can only hope they're preparing their ground game for 2014. I sure would like some actual debate on the marriage amendment though, maybe the proponents can actually answer the questions that statehouse Democrats and same-sex marriage advocates have been asking for years, such as how will it affect current laws for unwed couples, and municipal and private sector domestic partnership programs?

1 comment:

  1. People who bought into the Mike Pence is a moderate meme and that the Republicans in the state legislature are more interested in jobs than they are in enacting conservative social legislation may be on something stronger than marijuana.


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