HJR-3 Up For Indiana Senate Review Monday
February 10, 2014 — Sarah Holst –The most controversial piece of legislation this session has been HJR-3, a proposed amendment to the Indiana Constitution defining marriage as being between one man and one woman. As the proposal moves from the House to the Senate, it is becoming less likely that voters will see the amendment on the November ballot. Sarah Holst reports.
HJR-3 passed out of the House of Representatives after being amended to remove a second sentence which would have denied legal status to civil unions. But dropping that sentence does more than change the effect of the legislation… it also changes the timetable for the amendment’s passage. Unlike a bill, a constitutional amendment must be approved by two separately elected General Assemblies and then a majority of Hoosier voters. So while this is the amendment’s second trip through the statehouse, changing it’s language means the issue won’t appear on the ballot until at least 2016. In the meantime, the amended bill is moving through the Senate, where it has been assigned to the Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee. Valparaiso Senator Ed Charbonneau is a member of that Committee, which plans to address the proposal today. During a Legislative Forum at Wheeler High School on Saturday, Charbonneau declined to speak either for or against the measure.
“At the end of the hearing on Monday after all the testimony is in, we will all be asked to take a vote, and at that point I will make my decision and vote. So I guess the one who’s next in line has the least to say about it right now.”
Sarah Holst, Lakeshore Public Radio.