INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — House Transportation Chairman Ed Soliday delayed action
on his proposal to limit the number of specialty license plates on the road
after receiving an amendment Wednesday that he said would unfairly bar
numerous groups from the program.
Soliday’s proposal would create an eight-member bipartisan panel to review
requests from nonprofit groups and universities for specialty plates. The
Valparaiso Republican says state roads are crowded with so many different
plates that it’s difficult for police to identify vehicles.
But he pushed back a hearing indefinitely after a lawmaker, whom Soliday
would not identify, sought to bar groups that engage in political activities
or were previously rejected by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles from qualifying
for specialty plates.
“It said once you were rejected you could never have another plate. And
that’s not the way we work in America,” he said.
Soliday led an effort last year to limit specialty plates, but the effort
was derailed amid a push from social conservatives to revoke plates issued
by the Indiana Youth Group. The group, which counsels gay youths, became a
lightning rod for social conservatives who accused it of promoting underage
sex. The group has vehemently denied those accusations.
The BMV determined the group broke its contract with the state by auctioning
low-numbered plates, following a request from a number of Senate Republicans
Soliday did not believe the latest amendment was targeted at the youth
group, and said the measure was not available publicly because it had not
been formally submitted. He said he did not remember who authored the
Soliday plans to bring up his proposal for consideration by the committee
once the full panel is in agreement on how it should look. He did not say
how soon he expected that to happen.