Skip to comments.Smoking ban, government reform on Daniels' 2012 agenda
Posted on 12/17/2011 8:16:34 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says he will push for a statewide smoking ban and mild local government reforms in the 2012 legislative session.
Those are among the priorities Daniels, a Republican who will begin his last year in office in January, plans to outline in a noon speech Friday at the downtown Skyline Club for the Kiwanis Club of Indianapolis.
In an interview Thursday, he also hinted that he would support a proposal seeking legislative approval to let voters decide whether to increase local income taxes to expand mass transit in Marion County and surrounding counties.
My attitude is the same one weve had generallythere ought to be local flexibility, Daniels said.
When asked whether he would endorse Indianapolis-area leaders mass-transit plan, which includes raising taxes in Marion and Hamilton counties, the governor replied, See me tomorrow.
Daniels was more definitive Thursday in his support for the smoking ban, saying he hopes one with minimal exceptions can pass this year. Even if Indianapolis leaders pass a local ban in coming months, Daniels said, a statewide ban also is needed.
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma has said lawmakers may seek passage of such a ban before the Super Bowl in February. Last year, a statewide smoking ban that included several exemptions such as casinos and bars failed after clean-air advocates assailed it as too weak.
Passing sweeping changes to local governmentparticularly eliminating township governmentalso has been tough in the past. But, this time, Daniels said hes optimistic that a few reforms, including clamping down on government nepotism and conflicts of interest, and eliminating township boardsbut not the whole system of governmentwill get traction.
This is going to have to be continual progress, he said. I just hope we can make some this time.
On Thursday, Daniels also endorsed right-to-work legislation that Republican lawmakers have made the centerpiece of their 2012 priority list.
He said after a year of considering the issue, hes concluded that becoming a state where unions cannot negotiate contracts requiring non-members to pay dues will make Indiana more economically competitive. He cited feedback from site selectors that at least a quarter of companies wont eye Indiana for relocation opportunities because of its non-right-to-work status.
Right-to-work opponents say theres been no proven correlation between a states economic success and its right-to-work status. They point out some studies that find lower average wages in right-to-work states.
Nobody says this is a cure-all. If it was, wed have tried it at the front end, Daniels said. Every year, we try to take steps to make it more affordable [for companies] to hire Hoosiers.
Last year, Daniels top priority was passing sweeping education reforms that included expanding charter-school authorizers; providing vouchers for low-income students to attend private schools and restricting teachers unions' collective bargaining agreements to wages and benefits.
His goal next year is to ensure those reforms get put to use by publicizing options such as charter schools and a program that allows students who complete high school a year early to receive college scholarships.
Daniels other past initiatives include putting the state on daylight-saving time, leasing the Indiana Toll Road and privatizing welfare services delivery.
Leave the people alone, Daniels.
Daniels is not the morality king no matter what he thinks.
But republicans told us that Daniels was a conservative
Not just a conservative but a libertarian conservative!
Seems a little bit of a nanny state type.
Beyond non smoking areas that actually work in places that are family oriented or where children have to go, I see no reason not to take a laissez faire approach to smoking in public. That doesn’t mean I can’t criticize it for the lousy, disgusting, health robbing habit it is, and urge all smokers to quit, but if you must, well here’s an ashtray, now keep the smoke away from the kids.
Was Mitch Daniels ever an actual Republican, or has he always been Democrat-Lite?
Nanny State PING!
How can he support right-to-work laws and support a statewide smoking ban at the same time?
I dunno, but it sound like he’s going to get our (Illinois) jobs, and we’re going to get his smokers.
He’s also gonna lose a lot of jobs. Contrary to what the LSM claims, smoking bans do cause job losses, as well as loss of tax revenue because of businesses closing.
Great VP choice... this hurts him though
So much for Daniels being the conservative that many here on FreeRepublic were pushing for POTUS.
Sounds downright fascistic.
When all else fails...attack the smokers.
It’s popular...and it’s fun!!
He’s too chicken to address real problems and reform in the State?
Swell. Another Bloomberg style Nanny State creep. I guess his wife told him to do this since she makes all the decisions for him.
I hate Tobacco Nazis.
Like it or not, there are very few private companies that permit smoking on the premises any more. Some may have some smoking rooms, but typically you have to go outside if you wish to smoke.
Don't compare the two.