Handing out medals at the Fail-Olympics: Statehouse edition

INDIANAPOLIS – The United States’ best athletes are winning on the biggest stage, demonstrating what years of planning and vision can do. Closer to home, at the Indiana Statehouse, where vision is in short supply, Indiana Republicans are posting a spectacularly forgettable legislative session for working Hoosiers.

Without further ado, your “winners”.

Bronze: Payday loans before paid family leave

Paid family leave is good for business. It’s a tool to “attract top talent” according to Governor Eric Holcomb. Considering Republicans’ hap-hazard attempts to improve Indiana’s workforce, Senator Karen Tallian’s bill to create an optional program seemed like low-hanging fruit. Sadly, that wasn’t enough to get it on the legislative calendar this year.

There’s always enough time to satisfy special interests, though. With a push from Speaker Brian Bosma, House Republicans rammed through a bill that permits loans with interest rates north of 200 percent, or squarely in “loan-sharking” territory.

Silver: Redistricting run-around

It’s pretty simple: Hoosiers should choose their elected officials, not the other way around. Yet, Statehouse Republicans are doing a masterful job at running out the clock on an independent redistricting commission before 2021, when they can lock in their political power for another decade. Points for advancing an empty redistricting bill to muddy the waters.

Gold: Colossal common construction wage fail

Yes, this bill technically passed in 2015, but the enormity of this fail warrants a quick look back (like the 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’).

Indiana Republicans passed a bill that is actively LOWERING (!) Hoosiers’ incomes and isn’t saving taxpayers a dime.

Remember, Indiana continues to lag the national average in income growth, a failure that cost working Hoosiers $5.4 billion last year.

In their conspicuous effort to handcuff labor unions, Statehouse Republicans clamored to say this would save taxpayer dollars. Nope, that statement has not been borne out by the facts.

Some notable individual efforts:

Former Governor Mike Pence: This tweet didn’t age well.

Speaker Brian Bosma: Wrong.

Indiana Public Media Construction Wage Repeal Would Nix 80-Year Old Law

“House Speaker Brian Bosma says studies indicate repeal would cut costs by as much as 20-percent.”

Representative Jerry Torr: Nah, it’s actually costing taxpayers. 

WISHTV Indiana House votes to repeal common construction wage

“We’ve heard testimony in committee and I’ve seen studies that show it could save somewhere between 10 and 20 percent on public works projects,” said Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel.) “This for your local communities, your schools. This is taxpayer protection.”