House Speaker Brian Bosma is reassigning House Joint Resolution 3, the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, to a new committee–a move designed to ensure the amendment reaches the House floor.
HJR-3 was initially assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
But after a more than three-hour long hearing last Monday, the committee chairman Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, postponed a vote on the amendment. He said he wanted committee members to have time to digest the information they heard during the hearing.
The resolution and its companion bill now heads to the Elections and Apportionment Committee.
House Speaker Brian Bosma says he doubts the amendment would have passed the Judiciary Committee.
“I had clearly heard from an overwhelming number of the members of my caucus – an overwhelming majority actually – that they wanted to have the bill on the floor,” he says. “They wanted to have the opportunity to vote and say their piece on it. That came from members who were for it and some who were against it.”
Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, a Judiciary Committee member, says it’s inappropriate of Bosma to move the amendment because he didn’t like the way the vote was shaping up and called the move the “biggest political trick” he’s seen in years.
“We’re supposed to act in committees and give our advice and recommend things,” he says. “Apparently he couldn’t get the advice he wanted out of this committee. He appointed every Republican member of the Judiciary Committee. He personally did that, so he’s just insulted all of them.”
Bosma has reassigned legislation before, both this session and in the past. He says the amendment just happens to be more high-profile than most other measures.
The resolution has been scheduled for a hearing in the Elections Committee tomorrow.
The full House could vote on the amendment by next week at the earliest.