2016 General Assembly remembered for what didn’t get done

Indiana Statehouse
(WISH Photo/Ron Nakasone)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — State lawmakers concluded the 2016 session of the General Assembly with the passage of a road funding bill that will spend a billion dollars.

Yet much of this session was dominated by the debate surrounding proposed civil rights protections for the LGBT community.

That bill died in the state Senate and never came up in the House.

Communities, including Kokomo, are now acting on their own, passing civil rights ordinances that often differ from one city to another.

Senate GOP leader David Long said that circumstance may someday lead to the call for a state law that makes things uniform but, he said, we’re not there yet.

Long also said that if the LGBT debate returns it should start in the Indiana House. House Democratic leader Scott Pelath agrees.

“I’m appealing and will continue to appeal to the Republican leadership,” Pelath said. “They need to stop old fashioned and out of touch thinking regarding this issue. They need to bring Indiana into the 21st century.”

“Whether or not it comes up in a future session of the General Assembly,” Gov. MIke Pence said, “I would review legislation in that area in exactly the same way I described in my State of the State.”

In his State of the State Address, the governor made it clear that he believes the protection of religious freedom takes precedence.

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