Governors-Elect Plan Low-Budget Inaugural Celebrations
By Josh Goodman, Staff Writer
Last year, the Democrats who controlled the Ohio House of Representatives opposed a plan to place legislative and congressional redistricting in the hands of a bipartisan commission. They wanted to do the job themselves. Then the elections happened. Republicans were handed majorities in both houses of the legislature and control of every state constitutional office-bringing them the power to redraw both legislative and congressional districts without Democratic input. So how did Democrats respond? By proposing a bipartisan commission. They tried to create one in the recent lame duck legislative session. They were rebuffed by Republicans, the Columbus Dispatch reports, even though many Ohio Republicans had supported the idea before the election. "This could have been passed at any time if your side of the aisle elected to do so," Republican Rep. Robert Mecklenborg told the Dispatch , chiding his Democratic colleagues. "You elected to roll the dice."
Indiana lawmakers are set to consider a broad set of changes to K-12 education, including compensating teachers based on student achievement, the Indianapolis Star reports . The plans are supported by Governor Mitch Daniels and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett , both of whom are Republicans. Teachers' unions have reacted warily to the proposals because they could upend collective bargaining agreements. But the changes will have a better chance next year than in the past because Republicans won control of the Indiana House. (They already controlled the Senate). Besides merit pay, the proposals include a provision allowing a majority of parents at a school to petition for state intervention, and another offering college scholarships to students who graduate early from high school.