• An unwise and unjust constitutional same-sex marriage ban won’t be on the ballot this year. A change was made to the language, which delays when the amendment can be put to voters.
• An aggressive push to eliminate the business personal property tax met with some success, despite objections from local government officials. That’s unfortunate because the state already has a good tax climate for business. More tax cuts were simply unnecessary.
But the outcome could have been worse. This year’s action produces a gradual cut in the state’s corporate and banking taxes, and gives counties options for cutting business personal property taxes for economic development purposes. It also creates a commission to study the impact such cuts could have on local government finances.
• One of the final bills approved before the session ends allows parents to keep guns in their cars in school parking lots, as long as cars are locked and guns are hidden from view. The end result means more weapons will be legally allowed near schools, and nothing about that is good.
• Social conservatives in the Republican Party kept up their onslaught against gays and people on the economic fringes of society. Fortunately, their efforts failed to get a same-sex marriage ban amendment on the ballot, and attempts to require some welfare recipients to take drug tests did not advance. Thankfully, moderate forces intervened.
Still, it remains troublesome that advocates for these measures can repeatedly force lawmakers, and citizens, to defend the state from such mischief.
— (Terre Haute) Tribune-Star