Pence Signs Marion Co. Government Reform Bill
The composition of the city-county council will change.
Today, Governor Pence signed the legislation that will eliminate the council's 4 at-large seats and make other changes within Marion County Government. In signing the bill, Pence says he believes the measure serves in the public's interest by giving the Mayor of Indianapolis the authority to manage the city's finances.
“In Indianapolis, the Mayor is responsible for achieving these objectives for the city. But to achieve them the Mayor must have sufficient authority to manage the finances of the city in a way that protects taxpayers, encourages economic development, creates jobs and provides for the public safety of the residents of Indianapolis. The Mayor needs the authority to manage the issues for which we hold him or her individually accountable." says Pence.
Democrats who adamantly opposed the bill call it a "Ballard power grab."
Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) says, "The actions taken by the Republican super-majority dilutes every Marion County citizen’s representation on their city-council in a desperate attempt to cling to power."
Indianapolis State Senator Jean Breaux agrees."I am disappointed to know that the governor approves of this egregious legislation seeking to restrict voter representation. I regret that the governor, as his party’s leader, failed to restrain others from this blatant abuse of power amidst great concern expressed in our county," says Breaux.
City- County Council President Maggie Lewis says the bill is a radical revision of UniGov and allows the Mayor to lead without bipartisan compromise and with no input from the community. All four at-large seats are currently held by Democrats and help the party maintain a majority on the council.