Jan 26, 2006

Update -- Libertarian Supported Bills Move On

SB054 -- Handgun Licensing, passed out of committee.
HB1010 -- Eminent Domain, passed out of House unanimously. Sen. Bray sponsors.
HB1017 -- Appraisers, passed out of House slightly amended.
HB1114 -- Passed out of House. Sen. Steele sponsors.

SB0100 -- Raffles

SUPPORT: Finally makes getting that raffle license for a political candidate or party much easier. Of course, it's capped at five a year, but who needs more than five television prizes? Seriously, SB 100, authored by our friend, Bob Jackman of Milroy, frees up candidates and committees to hold raffles as fund-raisers throughout an election cycle. I'd much rather purchase a raffle ticket than allow special interests to have greater influence. Good for Jackman and here's to a quick reocovery from his health scare last week.

STATUS: Out of committee and on to full senate.

SB0088 -- Seat Belts

STRONGLY OPPOSE: SB 88 is another attempt to put seat belts on all passengers in a vehicle from a car to the space shuttle. OK, it doesn't list a space shuttle -- and probably a good idea to use one in a shuttle. In fact, it's smart to wear one when you're in a vehicle. But, Sen. Wyss, do you really want our police to spend time checking seat belt infractions while our community leaders are worried about real crimes? Please, Mr. Senator, let's get our priorities straight. Say NO to Click It or Ticket!

STATUS: Passed Senate 26 - 21. Picked up in House by Crouch, Welch, Lawson and Brown.

Jan 24, 2006

HB1008 -- Major Moves

STRONGLY OPPOSE: Libertarians opposing user fees and privatization? In this case, we have no choice. Governor Daniels' plan to lease the Indiana Toll Road for 75 years to a private interest is simply too great a cost to justify the list of infrastructure treats his office claims will result from this move. A slight increase in current tolls, expansion into toll roads across the state, and select Express toll lanes or truck toll lanes could accomplish quite a lot. And, we would not have sold out our great-grandchildren to accomplish it. In his zeal to do everything Democrats luckily could not accomplish in sixteen years, we would hope the governor steps back and realizes what is truly necessary, what is equitable across the state and what is the real cost to Indiana in the future. We're confident even he would change his mind on "Major Moves."

STATUS: House Rule 106.1 suspended.

HB1010 -- Eminent Domain

Update: With 90% of our polling respondents supporting our position on HB1010, it's important to note its changes. Rep. Robertson got an amendment passed restricting small utilities rights to exercise eminent domain. Great job. Rep. Hinkle, a leading cheerleader for the governor's land grab against the N.K. Hurst Company, surprisingly watered this one down with payment caps for relocation expenses for displaced families. He uses language such as "not to exceed." Way to look out for the little guy, Hinkle.

STATUS: Still being amended on House floor.

SB0067 -- Animal Cruelty

Sentimentally Support: Sen. Lanane must know that most people like animals more than other people -- especially major party legislators. He suggests the courts be allowed to order counseling for convicted instigators of animal cruelty. We'd prefer a shooting range be allowed, but some tortuous Lassie and Flipper movies could serve as just punishment.

STATUS: In Committee on Judiciary.

SB0037 -- Election Reform?

STRONGLY OPPOSE: From what appears to simply tidy up some election housekeeping comes an alarming wake-up call to third party and independent candidates. Introduced by the census data advisory committee, this bill provides that a vacancy in a legislative office last held by someone other than a Republican or Democrat must be filled through a special election. Why would they not allow Libertarians the same privilege they share of appointing replacements?

Another alarming component of this packed 84-page bill extends the expiration date for "certain" counties to receive reimbursements for voting equipment. Now folks, there's no excuse for this one. The majority of counties were able to make decisions and implement necessary changes. For the counties that missed the deadline, let them stand accountable and not simply look away from their mismanagement.

STATUS: Passed out committee to full Senate vote.

Jan 23, 2006

Polling -- Liberty Beacon

Taking pride in the differences among our own supporters has always been a defining trait of Libertarian Party members. Is a position taken "libertarian enough" or is there such a thing dominates discussion groups? The argument of dogmatic belief in the libertarian philosophy versus pragmatic incremental change has been at the heart of our most entertaining, yet frustrating, debates. Recognizing that libertarians walk in the same direction, but not always lockstep is critical for our party growth.

Bringing legislative issues to our membership has shown we have some differences. Does a landlord's rights to his property trump those property rights of a tenant and his personal possessions? Is there ever a legitimate use of eminent domain? There are many shades of "charcoal" -- not light gray -- we consider on a daily basis.

As a trial last week, a poll was published on our Liberty Beacon Yahoo! group. The results? More than 90% of our respondants agree with our position on eminent domain. But what about the others? From time to time, as we receive feedback, we will put up for polling our party stands on issues. This is your chance to agree or disagree. When necessary, we will offer up majority and minority views on our http://www.lpin.org website.

In the meantime, if you want to be a party to our polling, join our Yahoo! group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lpin. For current polls, simply go to the polling section on the main page of the group.

In liberty,
Dan Drexler
Executive Director
Libertarian Party of Indiana
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