Goodin on GOP’s special session: smells like same old, same old to me

April 20, 2018 Terry Goodin

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Democratic Leader Terry Goodin (D-Austin) today issued the following statement after hearing details on the special legislative session that Gov. Eric Holcomb and House and Senate Republicans have planned for May 14:

“We are having a special session for one reason: the Republicans couldn’t get their work done on time back in March. They control both chambers and the governor’s office, and they could not get their work done on time because they were too busy bickering with each other.

“So people should be concerned when they are told it will only take a day to complete what the Republicans couldn’t accomplish over two and a half months. As Democrats, our role will be to make sure that things are done correctly and the people of Indiana are protected.

“There is much to be concerned about here. Transparency doesn’t mean simply letting people read bills on the Internet. It also means giving the public ample time to digest what’s being proposed and consider the implications. It also means giving lawmakers the ability to improve what is being proposed…or fix mistakes in the bills.

“Why does this matter? Because now we are finding out that one of the bills to be considered in a special session brings a return of the heinous state takeover of Gary and Muncie Schools. This is not a thing that can be idly approved without full consideration, because you are talking about the latest step to take the education of our children out of the hands of local school boards and parents and placing it under the control of Big Brother.

“Then there are the bills that are supposed to deal with ‘tax issues.’ These same bills include tax breaks for a number of large corporations in our state. Some of these bills were changed greatly during the final hours of the regular session, and we were being asked to pass them with little or no time to debate the contents. Will there be a chance in a special session to debate these bills which will have an enormous fiscal impact on our state?

“And you will notice there is one issue that is NOT going to be considered in a special session.

“We are not going to do a thing about changing what ails the troubled Department of Child Services (DCS) because the matter is still being studied by a private consultant. We’ve also been told that anything they find won’t be handled until 2019.

“Quite frankly, none of the bills discussed by Republican leaders today lends urgency for a costly special session. The Governor can disperse school safety funds without legislative approval and the tax bills can be handled retroactively in the next regular session.

“So tax breaks for corporations and the takeover of schools are good reasons to have a special session? Saving the lives of abused and neglected children is not?

“Nothing to worry about here? Nothing to see here? Nope, nothing but the same old, same old!”