House Bill 1650 – Elimination of Township Advisory Boards
Authored by Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville)

Eliminates three-member township boards that oversee the township trustee in all townships except in Marion County. Full details.

Chamber Position: Support

The Latest: The bill was defeated by the full House 18-75 on Tuesday.

Chamber Action/Commentary: Last year, the House majority let die legislation that would have required the merger of over 300 of the smallest townships in the state (those with less than 1,200 residents). This week, the House voted down a bill that would have eliminated township boards – some nearly 3,000 elected officials whose role can be easily replaced by the county council. Both measures represented modest, practical and reasonable steps to reform the structure of township government in Indiana. But both proposals ran into opposition from those with a direct interest in propagating a system that defies common logic.

The sheer number of townships in Indiana, 1,005, evidences the need for some streamlining of functions. Additionally, there is a need for county involvement in order to compare township operations with an eye toward best practices and broader accountability. The Indiana Chamber has steadfastly advocated for reforms to this structure and the reallocation of services performed by this unneeded layer of government. Township government, however, has been resilient in resisting reform and protecting its turf.

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