The Indiana General Assembly is back at the statehouse to begin the four-month push to craft a new budget.
House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says what is not a priority is just as important as what is. He wants a two-year moratorium on same-sex marriage and abortion, issues he says are deeply divisive.
“For some, such issues are easy. For many people, they are not,” Pelath says. “I implore that we allow the people the time to form new prevailing consensuses on social matters before trying to divide our constituents on moral, spiritual and cultural grounds.”
House Speaker Brian Bosma says the session‘s top priorities will be the budget and job creation, and he‘s not automatically ruling out any controversial issues.
“What I hope we have a moratorium on is ill will generated here on the floor and we’re do our very best to make that happen, ” Bosma says. “And I thought today’s discussion with Representative Pealth were very positive in that regard.”
A two-year moratorium would not just delay but kill a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. That amendment must pass the legislature this year or next, or go back to the beginning of a four-year process.
Senate President Pro Tem David Long has already assigned this year‘s version of the amendment to the Senate Rules Committee, which is often a burial ground for unwanted legislation.
Two years would also give Democrats a chance to crack Republicans’ walkout-proof majorities in the House and Senate.