For immediate release:
Aug. 25, 2016
Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath from Michigan City today issued the following statement in the wake of the recent travails following Indiana’s vaping law, which has been blocked in federal court because of concerns that it was unconstitutional:
“Outside forces again have had to correct the arrogant sloppiness of our two supermajorities in the Indiana legislature. The courts now say ‘fixes’ to Indiana’s vaping laws have only proven to put money and power in the hands of the chosen.
“Should this decision surprise anyone? On far too many issues, the Indiana General Assembly’s Republican supermajority has become bloated, blundering, and mindlessly indifferent to real problems. Like all stray elephants wandering through town, they routinely leave a big mess behind them.
“Vaping’s just the latest train wreck. Here’s a brief recap:
“RFRA, which sparked a statewide discrimination crisis that made Indiana the laughing stock of the nation. Even now, true civil rights protections for all Hoosiers still give too many lawmakers the vapors.
“HEA 1337, which purported to protect women, but in fact forced them into health care decisions that would have created even more heartache. With the Zika virus on the loose, lawmakers got the idea to play personal physician just hours before the Legislature adjourned. The outrageous legislation was blocked in the courts before it even took effect.
“While the Legislature agreed to finally get rid of the dreaded ISTEP testing system, it ruined the change with a ridiculously narrow time frame to replace it and a typically partisan group to decide what to replace it with.
“And now we have this vaping mess, which began as a reasonable effort to regulate nicotine and ended as a special interest boondoggle that no one can explain, let alone defend.
“As one recalls these events, there is a depressing familiarity with the scene, right down to the practiced piety of lawmakers and other officials who are shocked—shocked!—to see what they have wrought.
“No one ever seems to know how these bills ended up in the forms that wrought such havoc. But they do.
“This is what happens when people get brazenly lazy with power and lose interest in common sense criticisms. Things like public hearings become too much trouble, as it’s far easier to slip deadline goodies in legislation before the public notices.
“As a result, the people of Indiana and those who might possess a legitimate contrary thought are deprived of the opportunity to weigh-in, and it’s left to the courts and others to wade into the mess.
“Hoosiers expect more from their lawmakers.”