STATEHOUSE - House Democrats are still ignoring SJR 1, said state Rep. Dick Dodge (R-Pleasant Lake.)
As time was running down Tuesday evening for the House of Representatives to vote on permanent property tax caps, Rep. Bill Davis (R-Portland) offered a motion that would have brought Senate Joint Resolution 1 to the House floor.
Rather than allowing a vote on SJR 1, House Democrats immediately adjourned for the night.
The House Republicans' Caps Clock showed about 1 day, 5 hours and 45 minutes left until the third-reading deadline when Rep. Davis presented House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer with a motion to suspend House rules for the purpose of voting on SJR 1.
Speaker Bauer allowed House Republican Leader Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) to speak on the motion.
"Rep. Davis has filed a motion pursuant to Rule 8 to suspend House Rule 85 immediately for a single purpose and that's for voting on SJR 1," Rep. Bosma said.
House Rule 8 allows the House to suspend the rules, and such a motion takes precedence over all other business.
As Rep. Bosma went on to explain the rule and the motion, Rep. Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) moved that the House adjourn. Several Democrats seconded the motion, and the Democrat caucus voted to adjourn.
"We owe it to Hoosier taxpayers to vote on SJR 1," said Rep. Dodge. "We had a sound purpose, and it was a good procedural move on our part.
"Unfortunately, the House Democrats shut us down and disregarded House rules."
SJR 1 contains the constitutional amendment permanently capping homeowners' property taxes at 1 percent of assessed value, 2 percent for residential rental property and farmland and 3 percent for business property.
To become part of the Indiana Constitution, an amendment must be passed by two consecutive, separately elected sessions of the General Assembly and by Hoosier voters in the next general election. If the House passes SJR 1, Hoosier voters would have the opportunity to vote on it in 2010.
Both houses of the General Assembly passed SJR 1 last session, the House passing it 64-35. The Senate has already passed SJR 1 this session.
The deadline for the final reading of bills is Wednesday, and the House Republicans' Caps Clock has been ticking down the time remaining for SJR 1 to be heard. The Caps Clock is visible outside the House chambers and is posted on the House Republican Caucus Web page, www.in.gov/house_republicans.
To watch the video of the House Republican motion, please go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nT6O_5-a4k.
"We should have been allowed to vote on permanent property tax caps," said Rep. Dodge. "Hoosiers should not be denied the right to vote on SJR 1."
The House is scheduled to reconvene at 10 a.m. Wednesday.