Sneaky vote at Statehouse

February 17, 2009
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We think the election of Indiana’s Supreme Court justices is a pretty big deal, so we’ve been closely watching House Joint Resolution 9, which proposes that we do away with the merit selection and retention system.

So imagine our surprise today to learn that the resolution, which was reassigned to another committee on Feb. 12, was going to be debated today before the House started work at 1 p.m.

We’ve been watching this resolution daily, noting where it is in the legislature. Just this morning, around 9 a.m., reporter Mike Hoskins checked the Committee on Government and Regulatory Reform’s agenda to see if the resolution was on it.

Nothing was listed.

Because of a series of events late this morning, we learned that the committee was indeed going to vote on it. Mike rushed over to the Statehouse in time to witness the 5-5 vote, with two members not present. With the tie vote, it failed to move on to the full House at this time.

Why the urgency and lack of announcement on the vote with this resolution? Was the committee trying to get a vote because those two members weren’t present, or they didn’t want people to know about it and speak out against it?

Then again, we shouldn’t be surprised because politics can be pretty sneaky.
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