INDIANAPOLIS | It took an extra year, but the Indiana House on Tuesday voted 92-6 for a plan by state Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, intended to bring order to the state's special group license plates.
House Bill 1279, which now goes to the Senate, sets new standards for obtaining a group license plate, caps the total number of plates at 150 and requires groups with plates disclose their financial records.
Under the plan, a panel of four Republicans and four Democrats from the House and Senate would review applications for group plates and advise the Bureau of Motor Vehicles on whether to issue a new plate.
While the BMV would not be required to follow the committee's recommendation, it couldn't create a new plate until the committee weighed in.
Soliday said he's heard from lawmakers who would prefer to eliminate group plates and others who would allow any group to obtain a plate.
He believes his proposal is a satisfactory compromise and appropriately regulates community, university, charity and social groups that get $25 for each plate sold.
"Maybe if we were starting at zero we'd say we would never get into this, but I'm not prepared to tell those folks that we're going to cut off a revenue stream that we know goes to good things," Soliday said.
Soliday killed similar legislation last year after House conservatives hijacked his proposal to revoke a license plate issued to an Indianapolis gay rights group.