Monday, January 5, 2009

Lawmakers cool to Daniels' reforms

We've noted Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' efforts at reforming Indiana's bloated local governments (count 3,100 units) in a state with more counties than California.

However, local governments are run by local politicians, who are used to giving and getting perks. Which, as Milton Friedman would tell you, forms an iron triangle.

Sheila Kennedy, an associate professor of law and public policy at IU, despairs at Indiana's muted reaction to Daniels' proposed reforms:

The response of Indiana elected officials was dispiriting, to put it mildly. According to The Star, "County officials said they don't want to give up their elected positions. School boards stressed that they oppose forced consolidation.

And House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer said the General Assembly has more pressing matters to consider next year than 'an academic's view of how government should operate, without any consideration given to whether such ideas are practical, or even feasible, in the real world.' "