It’s organization day and for SJR 7 supporters, like myself, that means we’re looking forward to what will undoubtedly be a tough battle to let Hoosiers vote on SJR 7-the marriage amendment. Last year Speaker B. Patrick property-tax-decrease Bauer (D-South Bend) failed to uphold his promise to allow a floor vote on SJR 7. Bauer can try to deflect the responsiblity for this failure by pointing out that it was the Rules Committee that ultimately failed to send it to the floor. However, he assigned it to that committee and he could have instructed Rep. Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City), to do everything he could do as committee chair to make sure it got to the floor.
Furthermore, it was the critical swing vote of Rep. Terri Austin (D-Anderson) that let Hoosiers down and partially let Bauer off the hook. In 2005 Rep. Austin had no problem voting for SJR 7. She even pointed out in the 2006 campaign that she was a strong supporter of SJR 7. A few months after her re-election though, Austin, probably under a lot of pressure from her caucus (ie: Bauer and Pelath) buckled and voted against bringing SJR 7 to the floor of the House.
With an election looming next November, the American Family Assocation of IN PAC has put up a banner near a major intersection in Anderson reminding constituents of Rep. Austin’s failure to support SJR 7. While I can’t speak for others, I do know that if Austin does end up having the chance to vote on SJR 7 in committee and ends up being the swing vote that allows us to get a floor vote, marriage amendment supporters will reduce the pressure they have put on her.
Here’s the AFA-IN PAC Banner: