Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ballard's Mass Transit Plan Killed In The House

The surest sign that Mayor Greg Ballard's mass transit plan was dead on arrival was the fact that not a single member of the Marion County legislative delegation signed on as a sponsor. Instead, the legislation's sponsors were legislators from rural areas, Rep. Jeff Espich (R-Uniondale), the chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee and Rep. Peggy Welch (D-Bloomington). Espich had told reporters a week ago he doubted there was sufficient support for the bill because it would lead to higher income taxes in Marion and Hamilton Counties. The debate in committee today, however, focused on the bill's provisions concerning the use of union labor. The IBJ discussed the debate over the bill's labor provisions that helped lead to its 11-10 defeat in committee today:

Espich acted to delete the common-wage provision but left the right-to-work language in place.
“I am here to try to act as much as I can in the spirit of compromise,” Espich said. “I will support the bill with the provision out or with the provision in. My preference is to have this provision in.”
Rep. Bill Crawford, D-Indianapolis, said the labor provisions in the bill that focused indirectly on employees’ right-to-work were “purely political.”
“I would vote against the bill if in fact that language remains in the bill,” Crawford said.
Rep. Winfield Moses, D-Fort Wayne, said the labor provisions led him to vote no as well.
Rep. Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis, was also concerned about the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s opposition to the labor language. “To shove the labor language down their throats is insulting,” Pryor said.


Paul K. Ogden said...

It's amazing how little influence Ballard has with Republican officeholders in Marion County. They don't take him seriously.

guy77money said...

We could use the money for Indy Go to be upgraded. A half hour or more between buses on a route is ridiculous. I know in Chicago,Philly and San Francisco it is real easy to get around town on a bus. If Ballard has any creditability with the Democratic council he would make it a priority as a Marion county issue. Screw Hamilton County if they want a light rail system let them pay for it.