Democratic leader calls for moratorium on social issue bills
By Matt Mikus email@example.com January 7, 2013 2:34PM
Updated: February 9, 2013 6:17AM
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath of Michigan City set the platform Monday for the minority party, calling for a two-year moratorium on social issue law; correcting errors made by former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett; and supporting the middle class.
At the first day of the four-month session, Pelath outlined the goals Democrats had for 2013, and asked Republicans for a moderate approach.
“We must make sure that the power of government does not shift far from the center,” Pelath, “The majority has duties not to misinterpret the reasons they were elected, and I call upon you to show enlightened restraint in your goals.”
Calling for two-years without debating social issues, Pelath explained that lawmakers could solve a number of problems if they don’t waste time arguing over “the deeply sensitive matters of who loves who, of human reproduction, and of women’s health.”
He explained that Democrats in the House would be willing to support efforts that helped restore traditional public education, and provide support to the working middle class.
“When we believe you are doing what is best for Indiana,” he said “we will help you. When we believe you are misguided or misinformed, we will critique you. When we believe you are leading the state in the wrong direction, we will offer the people alternatives.”
He also called for more resources for the Department of Child Services.
Republican Floor leader Bill Friend, of Macy, said leaders of his party hope that a bipartisan spirit would lead the way forward.
“We want everyone to reach across the aisle,” he said.
Speaker of the house Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said he hopes the session progresses in a civil manner and was encouraged by the day’s responses. Regarding Pelath’s call for a two-year ban on social issues, Bosma said it’s hard to define what consists as a social issue, and not issue any kind of moratorium.