I have to give it to Indiana lawmakers. Just when I think they are about to do something that is not only silly, but politically short-sighted, they pull themselves back from the brink, in this case it was the marriage amendment.
You know what I mean.
The amendment originally stated “Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”
The House voted to remove the second sentence and the Senate decided not to change it back. By making the change and sticking with it, HJR-3 won’t appear on the ballot at the earliest until 2016, if it does at all. There’s talk some supporters will try to defeat it in the Senate Monday since the they feel it has been too watered down. I should only be so lucky.
By punting this issue, which by the way is not the first time, they did it about a little over a year ago, we can now truly focus on things that matter.
State revenues are coming up short again, so that will have a serious impact on Indiana’s financial health. Officials are trying to figure out what to do about the possible reduction/elimination of the business personal property tax and minimize the impact on local governments. Early childhood education and the skills gap are always major concerns. Mass transit is an issue. We need to continue to reform the criminal code. We have to figure out a long-term solution on how to pay for roads with less revenue coming from gas taxes as we drive more fuel efficient cars. And Sunday alcohol sales would be nice too.
Okay, I had to throw that one in.
This is not to say these issues aren’t being addressed, but let’s face, HJR-3 was the 362-kilogram gorilla in the room that was sucking up all the oxygen; which is really annoying for an issue that wasn’t supposed to a priority.
And now that lawmakers have clearly demonstrated it isn’t, no matter which side of HJR-3 you were on, we can address these issues and all work together to make Indiana a better place.
And that’s a Valentine’s Day gift that is almost as good as a box of Davidoff cigars, almost.