Saturday, October 24, 2009

City-County Council to Meet Monday, October 26

The red hot smoking ban is one item on Monday night's agenda of the City-County Council. To its credit, the Council office has posted the amended proposed ordinance on its website. The full agenda can be found using this link.

The smoking ban, Proposal 371, introduced by Councillors Hunter and Mansfield, now has Councillors Evans and Malone signed on as sponsors. Prop 371 passed out of the Community Affairs Committee on October 14 with a do pass recommendation by a vote of 4-2. The minutes of that meeting are not yet posted, so I do not know which Councillors voted which way on the very tough issue. Those on the Committee include Councillors Speedy (chair), Bateman, Day, Hunter, Lewis, Minton-McNeil (likely absent), and Smith.

A not-hot and mildly worded proposal will also be voted on Monday night - Prop 378, which is a Special Resolution that "supports FedEx Express operations and the City of Indianapolis", introduced by Council President Bob Cockrum. I looked it up because FedEx is an operation situated mostly in Decatur Township, where it is shielded from paying its full due of property taxes because of sweetheart deals with the Airport Authority. The language of the Resolution is really vaguely worded, and as it turns out, deliberately so. Here is the key whereas clause:
WHEREAS, Congress is currently reviewing a 230-word provision in the FAA
Reauthorization Act of 2009 (H.R. 915) which unfairly targets FedEx Express and
could lead to disruption and job loss at the FedEx Express Hub;

Nowhere does the Resolution get any more clear than that. So, I Googled "Fed Ex Express HR 915". Turns out the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009 would change the sweetheart deal Fed Ex has gotten for decades to be under the Railway Labor Act and not the National Labor Relations Act for the purposes of union organizing. See here for more detail. And the Fed Ex union view here. UPS is governed by the NLRA, by the way. Seems to me that any loss of jobs would be Fed Ex's doing. This is a wayward proposal that is deliberately weasel-worded to cover up its anti-organizing position. Prop 378 passed the Rules & Public Policy Committee on October 13 with a do-pass recommendation vote of 5-1. Those members present were Councillors Lutz (chair), Cockrum, Gray, Malone, Pfisterer, and Plowman. I can guess how they voted, but I do not know for sure. During the Committee meeting, Councillor Cockrum mentioned that he and Councillor Vaughn were approached by the head of the Indianapolis operations of Fed Ex to put forth this resolution that urges Senators Bayh and Lugar to vote against this provision of HR 915.

Surprisingly enough, there appears to my eye to be no thrilling Proposals in the batch to be introduced on Monday night.

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