STATEHOUSE - The Indiana House of Representatives experienced something today they are unlikely to experience again-a failed majority committee report with a vote of 49-49.
Phil Hinkle (R-Indianapolis) first presented the minority committee report, disagreeing with the majority caucus' decision to pass House Bill (HB) 1369 out of the House Government and Regulatory Reform Committee.
HB 1369 would have made numerous changes to the statutes governing public-private agreements by the Indiana Finance Authority and the Indiana Department of Transportation concerning toll roads.
"This bill was the exact opposite of a jobs bill. It would have created a bureaucratic message that would have deterred investment in roads in the state, but it would have also delayed job creation at a time when Hoosiers need jobs the most," said Rep. Randy Borror (R-Fort Wayne).
Terry Austin (D-Anderson), as the author of the bill, then presented the majority committee report to the House explaining the reason why the bill passed out of committee and should continue to second reading.
House Republican committee members did not receive Rep. Austin's language for the bill until four hours before the committee met on Wednesday, leaving members with little to no time to look over the bill.
"For a vehicle bill to be passed in about an hour and with little discussion is troublesome," Rep. Borror said today while speaking against Rep. Austin's majority report. "The majority report contained too many flaws and if any legislator has an interest in seeing the Ohio River Bridges project of Kentucky and Indiana completed or an interest in the Illiana Expressway being built-they could not have supported this report. Too many people had too many concerns-none of which were answered or even addressed in this report."
"Some Democrat members of the committee openly admitted that this bill was not a jobs bill. A bill of this magnitude and of this importance that has to do with jobs in Indiana, along with the Illiana and Ohio River bridges project, deserves to go through the proper channels."
"It deserves to go through the House Roads and Transportation Committee and it deserves to have hours of debate. It should not be short-circuited and trying to do so was wrong."
The majority committee report failed by a 49-49 vote. Since the report didn't have a majority vote, it failed.
Speaker Pat Bauer (D-South Bend) adjourned shortly after the vote was tallied, killing six other committee reports.
If a committee report on a bill is not adopted, the bill doesn't move to second reading on the House floor.
Rep. Borror encourages constituents to contact him with questions or concerns through e-mail at email@example.com, by calling 1-800-382-9841 or by writing him at the Statehouse, 200 W. Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204.