Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Committee Gets Bosma His Vote on HJR-3 in Less than 24 Hours

Yesterday House Speaker Brian Bosma moved HJR-3, the same sex marriage amendment, from the consideration of the House Judiciary Committee, with its three wavering Republicans, to the Elections and Apportionment Committee. The amendment certainly seems outside the committee's scope, but it did exactly what Speaker Bosma wanted: after a quick four-hour hearing, it approved the amendment for consideration by the full House on a partisan 9 to 3 vote. No waverers there! You can read more about Bosma's maneuvers here.

In an impassioned op-ed, Indianapolis Star columnist Erika Smith, voiced her anger at Speaker Bosma's action:
"Betrayal and disgust. There’s really no other way to feel about his decision to rig the results of the vote by moving HJR-3 from the Judiciary Committee to the Elections Committee. His decision was a stomach-churning display of misplaced power, pride and pigheadedness."
Smith argues that after the passions that were expressed by voters at last week's hearing and after it became clear that he would not get vote he wanted from his own party members, moving the bill to another committee cynically circumvented the legislative process:
"Instead of allowing the legislative process to run its course and accepting that opponents of the amendment had prevailed, Bosma changed the rules. Instead of allowing the Judiciary Committee to make the decision, he ordered a committee with members more likely to vote the way he wanted them to vote to handle the amendment instead. Bosma’s decision not only covered up his gross miscalculation of how lawmakers in his own party would vote, it also tarnished the entire legislative process."
You can read Smith entire column here.