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Moseley rips bill gutting home rule

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Legislation passed in the Indiana House earlier this week takes a giant step toward gutting home rule in the state, according to State Rep. Chuck Moseley, D-Portage.

Senate Bill 213, approved by the House majority, prevents cities, towns, counties and townships from requiring employers within those boundaries to provide terms and conditions of employment or worker benefits that exceed minimums established by state or federal law. The measure is now expected to go to Gov. Mike Pence for his approval.

“This impacts everything you can imagine, from salary and benefit issues to working conditions to fair terms of employment and attendance policies,” said Moseley, who spoke against the bill on the House floor.

“Most importantly, it represents the latest attempt by those in charge of state government to dictate the policies by which local units can govern,” the legislator added. “Instead of home rule, the supporters of this bill are saying that the state should make all the decisions, rather than local elected officials.”

SB 213 comes on the heels of legislation passed in 2011 that banned local units from passing ordinances that enabled residents to earn living wages in the workplace.

During debate on the bill on the House floor, the sponsor of SB 213 – State Rep. Mike Speedy, R-Indianapolis -- was unable to provide a single instance where a local government official requested this legislation,” Moseley said.

The implications of the legislation were being hotly debated after the House passed the measure. The office of the mayor of Indianapolis immediately began expressing concern that SB 213 would nullify ordinances that ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. That news caught Speedy and other advocates of the measure by surprise.

“What we have here is a poorly thought out attempt to use the power of a super-majority to pass legislation that benefits a special interest, not the general public,” Moseley said. “During debate on this bill, there were concerns expressed about this bill1s impact on anti-discrimination efforts, but the House Republicans stopped any attempt to address those concerns. Now we find that those worries are legitimate.”

Moseley said the ramifications of the bill will keep our courts in business handling lawsuits, while local units of government are left in a quandary about how they will handle their duties.

“This is what happens when the people in control of state government think they know how to run local government better than local elected officials,” he concluded.

The only logical response here, Moseley said is for the governor to toss this bill aside and leave this issue alone.

“This is what happens when the people in control of state government think they know how to run local government better than local elected officials,” he concluded.

 

 

Posted 3.29.1213