Indiana Legislature

House rejects delaying education board control change while the Senate stalls discussion on repeal of construction wage law.



Republicans have defeated a proposal in the Indiana House to delay when Democratic state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz could be replaced as leader of the state Board of Education.

House members voted 57-36 Monday to reject a Democratic amendment that would push back any change in the board leadership until after Ritz’s current elected term ends in early 2017.

Republicans have pushed to allow the 10 board members appointed by Republican Gov. Mike Pence elect their own chairman, ending a decades-old law that made the state superintendent the board’s leader. Supporters of the change say it’s needed to address dysfunction between Ritz and other board members.

House Republicans on Monday also voted down a Democratic proposal for statewide election of Board of Education members.




Indiana Senate leaders have put off discussing a proposal that would repeal the state’s law that sets wages for public construction projects.

The decision comes just hours after thousands of contractors and construction workers rallied against the measure Monday at the Statehouse. The bill would eliminate the boards which set wages for state or local building projects costing more than $350,000.

Supporters say wages are artificially high and hinder the competitive market from lowering bid prices and saving taxpayer money. Critics say eliminating the law will decrease labor productivity, construction quality and worker salaries.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long says lawmakers need more time to consider 27 proposed amendments. He says the Senate will discuss the measure Tuesday.