For immediate release:
Jan. 23, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS - Democrats in the Indiana General Assembly today joined their colleagues on the City-County Council in condemning legislative proposals they feel are designed to consolidate power in the hands of the Indianapolis mayor at the expense of representative government.
At a press conference in the Indiana Statehouse, members of the Indiana House and Senate appeared with City-County Council President Maggie A. Lewis to question legislation (Senate Bill 621) offered by State Sen. Michael Young (R-Indianapolis) that would eliminate the four at-large seats on the Council—all currently held by Democrats—and place more budgetary and administrative controls in the hands of the mayor’s office.
“Since January 2012, when divided government came to Indianapolis, Democrats have attempted to work in a bipartisan way,” Lewis said. “While there have been growing pains, our good faith efforts have resulted in passage of a comprehensive smoke-free law, passage of a balanced budget, and continued progress in many aspects of city governance.
“Senate Bill 621 eliminates the independent power and authority of the City-County Council with the stroke of a pen,” she added. “This is power that has served Indianapolis well since its introduction through the vision of retired Senator Richard Lugar.
“If this bill becomes law, we will be left with a government that will be led not of, by, or for the people, but through personal agendas,” Lewis said.
State Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) said, “These proposals are designed by Marion County Republicans to undo the results of the 2011 election. In many ways, they are attempting to get rid of our system of checks and balances, and dilute and eliminate minority participation in Indianapolis government.”
DeLaney noted that voters in Indianapolis expressed their preference for shared power in city-county government by electing a Republican mayor and giving the Democrats a Council majority, including all four at-large seats.