Lawmakers worked on a controversial school financial management bill this year, but it died in the last minutes of the regular session. The mayor of Gary says lawmakers should avoid more community specific mandates during the special session.
Talk around House Bill 1315 was dominated by parts of the bill focusing on Muncie and Gary schools; some people have expressed concern about the possibility of the bill’s revival during a special session later this year.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says provisions limiting the power of school officials in her community are bad for government.
“Fiscal difficulty shouldn’t mean that you’re throwing those checks and balances out of the window,” she says.
Freeman-Wilson also says she hopes lawmakers avoid more changes specific to her community during the special session.
“There is nothing that the Indiana General Assembly needs to do as it relates to the Gary schools. I believe that the process is working the way that it should,” she says.
Other aspects of the bill are likely to be considered during the special session. The governor has asked lawmakers to further consider a multi-million dollar loan for Muncie schools, and the original bill also included ways for the state to keep watch for, and help, any more schools at risk of falling into financial distress.
Lawmakers are expected to meet for a special session sometime in May.