Rupert Urges Indiana House to Block Attacks on Specialty License Plates
Rupert Boneham, Libertarian candidate for Governor, announced that he stands with the 22 non-profit organizations that stand to lose their specialty license plates, and the fundraising dollars generated by the sale of those plates under the amended version of SB 327 currently making it ways through the Indiana General Assembly.
"I've run my mentoring program, Rupert's Kids, for many years and understand how difficult fundraising can be," says Boneham. "This bill's amendment appears to wipe out the ability of the groups approved for plates in 2011."
Groups, such as the Tony Stewart Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Indiana Youth Group, and the Patriot Guard, among others, who received approval for their specialty license plates in 2011 will lose their specialty plates, and have to re-apply.
"This is an issue where politics doesn't need to meddle. The state already has a process in place for non-profit groups to apply for the ability to raise funds through sales of these specialty plates," adds Boneham. "We don't need to have the politicians in the legislature deciding which non-profit organizations are worthy of this consideration. We need to keep politics out of cases like these, and let the organizations who meet the criteria have the access.
In addition to retroactively eliminating plates for groups who were approved in 2011, and forcing them to re-apply, the bill as amended would place in jeopardy the status of plates for groups such at the NRA, Special Olympics, the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the American Diabetes Association. These groups and others like them, have surpassed the 500 plate benchmark currently in place, but may be in jeopardy if the bill goes through as amended and raises the benchmark to 1000 plates.
"These groups have put in many hours proving their eligibility for these specialty plates. We don't need the legislature to retroactively change the five year contracts these groups have agreed to with the state," Boneham adds.
Of concern to Boneham is the idea that this amendment is targeted at one specific group – The Indiana Youth Group. "Their organization does excellent work in advocating throughout the state for safe and secure learning environments for self-identified LGBTQ youth," says Boneham.
There have been multiple failed attempts in the Indiana Legislature to attach amendments to bills aimed at taking away the specialty plate issued for the Indiana Youth Group.
Boneham adds, "It's sad, that these groups, and the communities they serve are caught up in what appears to be an attack based on fear and hate. This is a good example of why the process for awarding these plates was placed in the hands of the BMV, and not given to the whims of politicians."
Updated: on March 1, 2012
Boneham's campaign was pleased to hear that Rep. Ed Soliday, R- Valparaiso, had pulled SB 327, but remained cautious of the bill's intent.
Evan McMahon, Boneham's campaign manager, said, "The entire process reeked of partisan politics and 'moral' superiority." Referring to the multiple failed amendments targeting the recently approved specialty plates for Indiana Youth Group (IYG).
McMahon continued, "Had there been a real desire to reign in all the current specialty plates and limit future ones... there would have been a larger hearing, a study session or at least a public discussion with the BMV and currently approved non-profits groups."
Boneham noted that he was encouraged to see the public response to the bill, "I am proud to see Hoosiers standing up and taking an active role in support of all 22 of these outstanding organizations."
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