Republican lawmaker pushes bill to prevent renaming of Indianapolis, any Indiana City

The bill being considered by a state Senate committee would prohibit the four cities named in the state Constitution — Indianapolis, Clarksville, Vincennes and Evansville — and some 140 cities referenced in state laws from name changes, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

Posted: Jan 17, 2021 3:01 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Republican lawmaker has proposed a measure that would ban the changing of any Indiana city names in the wake of Native American protests that forced the renaming of professional sports teams.

No efforts have emerged seeking to change the name of Indiana or Indianapolis along the lines of those that prompted recent decisions to rename the NFL’s Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians baseball franchise.

“I call it a preemptive measure,” said bill sponsor Sen. Jack Sandlin of Indianapolis. “People know Indianapolis worldwide. ... Losing our identity could have a significant economic impact.”

The bill being considered by a state Senate committee would prohibit the four cities named in the state Constitution — Indianapolis, Clarksville, Vincennes and Evansville — and some 140 cities referenced in state laws from name changes, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

The state of Indiana is named in recognition of the Native American tribes that lived in the area for centuries before the arrival of European and American settlers.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said in July there’s no chance Indiana will be renamed.

Sandlin, at first, said during a Senate committee hearing Thursday that the bill was necessary because allowing the renaming of cities would require too much work to update the Indiana code or amend the state Constitution.

Democratic senators said they believed the proposal was another attempt by Republican legislators to usurp the authority of city governments, such as GOP-backed prohibitions in recent years on local minimum wage increases, gun regulations and plastic bag bans.

“I think we’re overstepping our bounds,” said Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor of Indianapolis.

The sports team name changes followed a national movement, which gained momentum in the wake of widespread civil rights protests last summer, to have prejudicial names and symbols removed.

A Republican senator from far southwestern Indiana said he believed a city name-change ban might be warranted.

“Let’s not fool ourselves — we’ve seen a lot things going on in the last 10, 11 months,” said Sen. Jim Tomes of Wadesville.

The committee chairman, Republican Sen. Jim Buck of Kokomo, said he allowed a hearing on the bill because he was concerned about wasting tourism promotion money if cities could change their names for any reason.

He didn’t call for a vote on the bill Thursday to give Sandlin time to consider revisions.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 697533

Reported Deaths: 13138
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion951321706
Lake50779930
Allen38511669
Hamilton33981404
St. Joseph33279535
Elkhart26810431
Vanderburgh21931393
Tippecanoe21440212
Johnson17325371
Porter17012297
Hendricks16631308
Clark12592190
Madison12223335
Vigo12089243
Monroe11237166
LaPorte10601204
Delaware10241182
Howard9555211
Kosciusko8999112
Hancock7842137
Bartholomew7797152
Warrick7657155
Floyd7501175
Wayne6846196
Grant6724167
Boone647399
Morgan6335137
Dubois6052117
Marshall5709108
Cass5657102
Dearborn564674
Henry5545100
Noble532583
Jackson489469
Shelby474095
Lawrence4305118
Gibson424988
Harrison424870
Montgomery414486
Clinton413153
DeKalb402583
Huntington371880
Whitley371039
Miami369565
Knox363589
Steuben358457
Putnam350560
Wabash344677
Jasper341646
Adams336652
Ripley332368
Jefferson306479
White305954
Daviess287999
Wells283580
Decatur278092
Fayette276562
Greene268685
Posey267333
Scott258553
Clay250744
LaGrange249970
Randolph233379
Washington228429
Spencer226731
Jennings223947
Fountain207245
Sullivan207041
Starke199352
Owen190856
Fulton188939
Jay184829
Carroll184520
Perry178536
Orange175552
Rush169324
Vermillion165343
Franklin164435
Tipton160343
Parke143416
Blackford131730
Pike129634
Pulaski112245
Newton102334
Brown98840
Crawford96814
Benton94513
Martin81915
Warren78315
Switzerland7678
Union69410
Ohio55311
Unassigned0405

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1037600

Reported Deaths: 18827
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1203461345
Cuyahoga1048492040
Hamilton774221164
Montgomery49484984
Summit44494904
Lucas39105757
Butler37437566
Stark31094890
Lorain23775467
Warren23688291
Mahoning20622581
Lake19698360
Clermont19305226
Delaware17783130
Licking15970205
Fairfield15493195
Trumbull15377458
Medina14662255
Greene14484233
Clark13433287
Wood12547182
Portage12144193
Allen11216229
Richland10899197
Miami10455211
Muskingum8639127
Columbiana8478225
Wayne8451209
Pickaway8388120
Tuscarawas8311239
Marion8297135
Erie7415153
Ross6636145
Hancock6595123
Geauga6449146
Ashtabula6355163
Scioto625299
Belmont5518158
Union550847
Lawrence5435102
Huron5229112
Darke5225121
Jefferson5210147
Sandusky5087118
Seneca5048118
Washington5029107
Athens493654
Auglaize470484
Mercer467884
Shelby453289
Knox4332108
Putnam417298
Madison416157
Ashland408986
Fulton402165
Defiance395096
Brown383855
Crawford3819100
Logan369676
Preble367995
Clinton356859
Ottawa351978
Highland344858
Williams317574
Champaign317055
Jackson304451
Guernsey303348
Perry286449
Fayette276348
Morrow272639
Henry261266
Hardin261063
Coshocton255957
Holmes251499
Van Wert237462
Gallia232146
Pike230931
Adams226151
Wyandot224153
Hocking207057
Carroll187746
Paulding167538
Meigs140838
Noble131737
Monroe128441
Morgan105722
Harrison104836
Vinton80913
Unassigned01
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Rain showers continue Saturday evening, as will a few thunderstorms. Overnight, rain will taper off a little as temperatures drop into the mid 40s. On Sunday, rain chances return in late morning and last much of the day. Temperatures max out in the mid 50s and winds will be brisk at times.
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