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Bill to move to partisan school board elections dies in House

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Education, Government, Politics
Rep. J.D. Prescott (R-Union City) did not call his bill on partisan school board elections down for a vote on the House floor. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Legislation to allow local school board elections to become partisan died in the House Monday.

It’s very unlikely the issue will be revived this year.

The bill, HB 1428, would’ve allowed ballot referendums, prompted either by a local school board or by citizen petition, that could’ve made school board elections partisan.

On the deadline for House bills to clear that chamber, the measure wasn’t called down for a vote. House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said it was hard to find a “sweet spot” on the issue.

“Do you force people to go through primaries?” Huston said. “Is it just for the general election you need to declare a potential party affiliation?”

READ MORE: House committee moves toward partisan school board elections

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House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) said there was clearly not enough support in the Republican caucus – and none in his.

“Deep down, I think most legislators feel like this is one area that we just should not be putting more politics into the system,” GiaQuinta said.

A similar bill on the issue, SB 188, didn’t get a committee vote and died in the Senate earlier this year.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.