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Charlie White Bailout Bill Changed

Committee changes House bill to let governor appoint state officeholder replacements only in the future.

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Photo: in.gov

Under a House compromise, embattled Secretary of State might not be replaced by an appointment from the governor.

Lawmakers have changed a provision that would have allowed the governor to appoint Charlie White’s replacement as Secretary of State.

The original language gave the governor authority to appoint replacements for statewide officers who are ruled ineligible. Under current law, the second highest vote-getter would fill the position. After complaints that the provision was a way to allow the governor to name a replacement for embattled Secretary of State Charlie White, a conference committee changed the bill to apply it only to future cases, excluding White.

Vincennes Democrat Kreg Battles, one of the House advisors in the conference committee, says it’s a fair compromise: “Clearly that’s a step in the right direction,” said Battles.  We shouldn’t get into deciding what’s already in the court.”

But Indianapolis Senator Mike Young, the amendment’s author, says leaving Charlie White out of the bill creates a problem. “Well it means that right now,” Young said, “the loser goes to hold office, somebody the citizens of the state rejected. That’s the problem.”

Democrat Vop Osili would become Secretary of State if Charlie White is ruled ineligible. The bill now awaits House approval before going to the governor.

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