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Bill Banning Nepotism Passes Committee

Statehouse

A long-sought piece of Governor Daniels‘ push for local government reform has cleared a senate committee for a fourth straight year.

Senators unanimously recommended passage of a nepotism ban in local government, and a conflict of interest rule banning government employees from being elected to supervise themselves - for instance, city police officers being elected to the city council.

Morgan County Precinct Committeeman Greg Terhune charges several townships there have paid a price for electing firefighters as trustees - he singles out one in particular.

“He took office," he says "and in ‘04 was the first year that he affected the budget. And notice that it was a 40-percent increase in the tax levy”

The local government committee did create exceptions to the nepotism ban, as long as relatives aren‘t directly supervising one another.

The House Government Reform committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on its version of the bill, which makes no exemptions for those offices. A majority of the full house has already signed on as co-authors.

Disagreements over what if any exceptions are appropriate have helped stall the bill the last three years, but supporters say they‘re optimistic it will pass this time.

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