Dems accuse GOP of power grab in Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Marion County Democrats are accusing Republicans of an attempt to give GOP Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard more authority. Democratic leaders came to the Statehouse Wednesday to protest a bill that would eliminate the four at-large members of the City County Council. They are all Democrats.

The bill would also shift the balance of power in the City County Building by giving the Mayor a line item veto along with the ability to change numbers in the budget.

“We believe this is a simple power grab," said City County Council President Maggie Lewis. "It's a power grab, it's an attempt to take away the authority the City County Council has."

Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) said lawmakers have more important issues to consider.

"Why is the state legislature being asked to solve what is not a problem at a local level other than a political problem?" he asked.

A spokesman for Mayor Ballard says the bill in question is not part of his legislative package but the author, Senator Mike Young (R-Indianapolis,) says it was drafted with input from the Mayor's staff.

The bill is not yet scheduled for a hearing.

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