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Local Government Reform On Governor’s Agenda

Local government reform will once again be one of Governor Mitch Daniels’ top priorities in the upcoming legislative session.

Daniels highlighted four elements of local government reform: eliminating conflicts of interest, reducing nepotism, consolidating township government and providing the option of having a single county commissioner. Though those reforms have all failed in past sessions, Daniels says he’s more hopeful in 2012.

And while local government reform has been a focus of his for several sessions, he says that jobs and economic opportunity are always his top priority…and Right to Work is the key this next session. And he says the issue can’t be passed up because it might be contentious.

“We can’t skip a day let alone a legislative session. We got too much work to do in this state,” he says.

And he says the legislature shouldn’t lose sight of other issues because of Right to Work. Daniels cited passage of a statewide smoking ban, addressing online sales tax and finding additional means of compensation for victims of the State Fair stage collapse as measures that could have bipartisan support.

But House Minority Leader Pat Bauer says if Republicans push Right to Work, it will dominate the session.

“I think it’s just out of place to go…to try to do this contentious Right to Work for less without health care bill,” he says.

Bauer says Right to Work will not bring the jobs and economic opportunity the governor says is his number one goal.

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