Sen. Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis, said she would “love to have mass transit and I think it’s very important,” but would vote against the transit bill if Senate Bill 621 advances. And she would try to persuade her fellow 12 Democrats to follow suit.
She says Mayor Ballard wants both bills to pass, and he likely will need Democrat support to get the transit bill through a Republican-dominated Senate that is growing increasingly skeptical about transit.
“He has to decide which is most important, which is he the most concerned about,” she said. “And I would hope he would be most concerned about mass transit ... and that he would consider it to be more important than controlling government.” . . .
Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said Senate Bill 621 is a blatant power grab and it is possible all or some of the Democrats could follow Breaux’s lead to vote against the transit bill. He and Breaux see it as a bargaining chip.
Torr, an influential Republican, said he’s already taking heat from his caucus for supporting the transit bill and its potential tax increase.
Democrats, he said, need to focus on one issue at a time.
“If they want to hold a gun to their own heads, then that is exactly what they are doing,” Torr said. “If they want to throw their constituents under a bus to try to affect another bill that is no way related, I think their constituents should be pretty disappointed.”
The governor, he said, has not spoken to him about legislation since January. At that time, he said Pence promised to keep an open mind. Torr noted that the transit legislation would allow voters to decide whether to raise their own taxes, not lawmakers.
Torr said the bill does have language that prevents the rest of the state from covering any cost overruns, although he admitted lawmakers could reconsider any law each year. Torr, though, said he’s satisfied that the financial planning behind the transit bill is solid.Meanwhile, Star columnist Erika Smith, a paid media whore for the proponents of mass transit, turns in yet another column touting the mass transit plan. I believe this makes about her eighth such column this year. It begins: "OK, transit supporters. Go ahead. Let out a collective sigh of relief. Maybe even a cheer or two." The woman obviously has no respect for herself as a legitimate journalist and is just another example of why so many Indianapolis readers have ended their subscription to the increasingly irrelevant daily newspaper.