A group of self-interested people determined to maintain the status quo and protect a flawed township structure succeeded in bringing down the township reform legislation this week.

The House Republican caucus elected to not bring House Bill 1005 before the full House, despite it previously being passed by two separate committees. The measure would have required townships with a population of less than 1,200 to merge with other townships by January 1, 2023.

Rather than working through the issues and keeping the initiative moving forward, leadership listened to caucus members who were swayed by opponents who choose to raise as many questions as they could – some legit, many not, intending only to cast doubt about how the bill’s provisions would be implemented. When it comes down to it, some lawmakers are not fond of the issue at its core, so it didn’t take much for them to step back – despite House Speaker Brian Bosma announcing it as a caucus priority to start the session.

We want to thank the bill’s author, Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville), for all her hard work. What comes next is a good question, though Bosma has pledged to take the matter to an interim study committee.

The Chamber has no intention of ignoring the ongoing need to make changes and take steps forward. How, and by what means, must be re-evaluated at this point. But reforms are needed, more oversight is needed, more efficiency is needed. We will continue our dedication to addressing these needs by continuing to focus on the shortcoming of an antiquated layer of local government.

Resource: Bill Waltz at (317) 264-6887 or e-mail: [email protected]