The senate has approved a local government reform measure, likely putting the bill one step away from Governor Daniels’ desk. The bill would ban local government employees from serving as their own boss by winning election to the council or mayor’s office that oversees them. And it sharply limits elected officials’ ability to hire relatives to serve under them.
The 34-16 vote returns the bill to the house, which can either vote on the senate‘s changes or call for further negotiations. Senator Travis Holdman (R-Markle) applauded the bill, but expressed disappointment it does not go further, saying senators “bent over backwards” with a string of exceptions, including coroners, township trustees who run their office out of their homes, and the longstanding practice of sheriff’s wives serving as jail matron.
Indianapolis Senator Greg Taylor (D) questions why an officeholder can‘t give a relative a summer job.
“We don’t get paid a lot of money,” he said, “and most of these jobs don’t. Let’s just remember, some people want to serve the public, and I think this bill would be restrictive in that manner.”