Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead! For Now

What a delightful day at the Statehouse! My case went before the Indiana Supreme Court (more on that later), and the mass transit bill died in committee. From the Indy Star:
The House Ways and Means Committee today voted 11-10 against a bill that would beef up mass transit in Central Indiana.
And, that's why I say, for now. That's a narrow committee defeat. With it so close, this issue is certain to come back next year. Also:

Rep. Jeff Espich, R-Uniondale, on Wednesday said that he was willing to compromise on language that says workers at a transportation authority can't be forced to join a union and language that says the transportation authority could bypass common-wage hearings. Today, his committee voted to take out the language concerning common wage hearings.

The committee left in the right-to-work language, and that cost it the votes of several Democrats.

Democrats viewed the language as a poison pill for workers. But it also conflicted with federal law governing the use of federal transit money.

Let's hear it for poison pills! But again, this will come back. And, if the Democrats gain seats down the road, they may be able to get this kind of language out of the bills, or might even hold their noses and vote for the provision.

I have been arguing against expanded mass transit, particularly light rail, for about 8 years on this blog. I think we are ultimately doomed to this kind of stupidity, but for now, I will savor the temporary defeat.


Greg Purvis said...

Mike, you know I admire you a lot for standing up to the Fishers ruling clique in the "Tripartisan litigation" attempting to preserve some democracy in Fishers. But on mass transit, I am in the camp of leaders of both parties who think we actually NEED mass transit to reduce the subsidy we now provide for auto transportation and highway building. Simply put, we are choking to death on our own cars. Mass transit has support in both Republican and Democratic leadership. I know Libertarians want government to do as little as possible, and that may be the basis of your objection, but this is literally "the greatest good for the greatest number". HOW it is done is the issue. It will happen, but the longer it takes, the more it costs.

Mike Kole said...

There are two ways to equal out subsidies- One is to raise 'b' to match existing 'a'. The other is to eliminate 'a'. This latter is what I'm in favor of. Let the users of roads pay for them, not the non-users. This is the same principle I apply to light rail.

I believe the numbers are overwhelmingly on my side. 'Greatest good for greatest number'? We already know that the majority of Hoosiers drive. MTO generously estimated that the light rail might, on the best days, take as many as 4% of cars off the road- but conceded that on most days, it would be more like 2%. My opinion, based on my studies of other systems, is that it would be considerably less than 1%.

But, ok. Make your case about the greatest good for the greatest number. In 8 years of listening to the promotion of this, I've yet to be even marginally swayed. Perhaps you can be more persuasive.