Two different propositions to change township government were made in the 2010 Indiana General Assembly. Although neither bill passed both houses intact (see below), there are sure to be more efforts to alter township government in next year’s “long session.”
The two bills proposed this year were:
House Bill 1181-
HB1181 (authored by Rep. Crawford) would require a public question to be placed on the November 2010 general election ballot in each township regarding whether the voters want to retain a township trustee and township board. If a majority of voters in a township do not approve the public question, the powers and duties of the trustee and township board are transferred to the county on January 1, 2012. This bill sets up the possibility of having township government in some townships and not in others within the same county.
HB1181 passed the House and was sent to the Senate. In the Senate, the House wording was stripped and the language of SB 240 was inserted. The rewritten bill was passed by the Senate and was returned to the House. The House dissented on the changes and the bill died in the House-Senate conference.
Senate Bill 240-
SB240 (authored by Sen. Lawson) would eliminate the township board and specify that in each county after December 31, 2012: (1) the county fiscal body (county council) would be the fiscal body and legislative body of each township in the county; and (2) the county fiscal body would exercise the legislative and fiscal powers assigned in the Indiana Code to township boards, including the authority to adopt the township’s annual budget and to levy township property taxes for township funds.
This bill effectively passes township duties over to the county.
SB240 passed the Senate and was sent to the House, where it was not brought up in committee and died.
Sen. Lawson, the author of SB240, was also chair of the Senate committee which stripped the language out of HB1181, and inserted the language of SB 240 in its place.