'Home Rule' becoming issue between local and state leaders across Indiana

While it's not a new issue, several bills making their way through the state house and senate have local leaders concerned that some of their decision making power is being taken away by state leaders.

Posted: Mar 1, 2021 9:27 PM
Updated: Mar 2, 2021 10:22 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- A number of issues at the state level are causing concerns for local leaders, who are worried some of their decision making power is being taken away by state leaders.

All nine members of Fort Wayne City Council are speaking out against Indiana House Bill 1164.

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City councilman Geoff Paddock, D - 5th District, says it would prevent local leaders from deciding where cell phone towers can go, and this power struggle is not a new issue.

"Whether it’s with cell phone towers or preservation of historical houses, or annexation, or another of other issues, why can’t we make more of those decisions here on the local level ourselves," Paddock asked.

RELATED: Read more about House Bill 1164

It’s not just Fort Wayne leaders who are concerned.

All Allen County commissioners, the New Haven mayor, and the Wells County Plan Commission are speaking out against House Bill 1381, which gives power to state level leaders to decide where commercial wind and solar panel farms can go.

Michael Lautzenheiser, director of the Wells County Plan Commission believes some of these bills aren’t the right situation for state-control.

"I think there is a value on having maybe statewide rules for how you start things and maybe how you handle the general processes," Lautzenheiser said. "But taking away some of the abilities to make local regulations is not one of those."

RELATED: Read more about House Bill 1381

This feeling is shared by Fort Wayne City Council as well. Paddock says they want to work with state leaders, but he says the final call needs to be made locally.

Paddock explained, "In each session of the general assembly as some of these issues are bubbling up, we’re always looking for a way, how can we on a local level, whether it’s city or towns, or counties or rural areas, how can we be more involved in self-governance."

Several state leaders representing the Wells County area voted against House Bill 1381, which Lautzenheiser says he’s happy they’re listening to locals.

Paddock says the council has not heard back from Senator Liz Brown since sending her their letter of opposition last week. 

You can use this link to find your state legislators

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 704632

Reported Deaths: 13211
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion961411718
Lake51322943
Allen39040670
Hamilton34368405
St. Joseph33865539
Elkhart27197431
Vanderburgh22050394
Tippecanoe21725212
Johnson17475374
Porter17240298
Hendricks16754310
Clark12663190
Madison12321337
Vigo12172244
Monroe11417166
LaPorte10841204
Delaware10325184
Howard9629211
Kosciusko9098113
Hancock7954139
Bartholomew7867155
Warrick7680155
Floyd7543176
Wayne6887198
Grant6773171
Boone6524100
Morgan6379138
Dubois6074117
Marshall5770108
Dearborn568576
Cass5678102
Henry5569100
Noble539383
Jackson492869
Shelby478295
Lawrence4336118
Gibson427789
Harrison427570
Clinton417753
Montgomery417286
DeKalb407984
Huntington377480
Whitley376339
Miami371765
Knox365789
Steuben363357
Putnam352360
Jasper347546
Wabash347377
Adams337852
Ripley333468
Jefferson312180
White307854
Daviess289399
Wells285581
Decatur278592
Fayette277162
Greene270485
Posey268433
Scott260853
Clay253044
LaGrange252170
Randolph234680
Washington230631
Spencer227531
Jennings224747
Fountain208245
Sullivan207542
Starke202652
Owen191956
Fulton190939
Jay185829
Carroll185620
Perry179736
Orange176753
Rush170624
Vermillion165943
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144316
Blackford133331
Pike130234
Pulaski113245
Newton103034
Brown99740
Crawford97514
Benton96413
Martin82515
Warren79315
Switzerland7698
Union69710
Ohio55711
Unassigned0408

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1050112

Reported Deaths: 18991
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1219281356
Cuyahoga1067232069
Hamilton780741168
Montgomery49976996
Summit45252909
Lucas39984765
Butler37678570
Stark31385895
Lorain24111473
Warren23864293
Mahoning20869583
Lake19963362
Clermont19423229
Delaware18002130
Licking16109207
Fairfield15676197
Trumbull15553460
Medina14839259
Greene14643236
Clark13602293
Wood12733185
Portage12353196
Allen11312229
Richland11025198
Miami10525214
Muskingum8702127
Wayne8556209
Columbiana8535226
Pickaway8429121
Tuscarawas8370240
Marion8365135
Erie7554154
Hancock6694123
Ross6693146
Geauga6532146
Ashtabula6470165
Scioto6286101
Belmont5610158
Union557447
Lawrence5465102
Jefferson5303147
Huron5298114
Darke5268121
Sandusky5171120
Seneca5108120
Washington5073107
Athens500656
Auglaize475184
Mercer471184
Shelby455890
Knox4380108
Madison421559
Putnam420799
Ashland412688
Fulton409167
Defiance400896
Crawford3866101
Brown386055
Logan372876
Preble369898
Clinton360560
Ottawa356578
Highland346359
Williams324974
Champaign319257
Jackson307951
Guernsey306149
Perry289649
Fayette277348
Morrow274639
Hardin264164
Henry263566
Coshocton258857
Holmes253099
Van Wert238862
Gallia233346
Pike232931
Adams227852
Wyandot226953
Hocking208959
Carroll189147
Paulding168638
Meigs141538
Noble132837
Monroe128841
Morgan106623
Harrison105236
Vinton81414
Unassigned02
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