House Rejects Effort To Give Voters Say In Township Consolidation

Feb 1, 2018

House lawmakers rejected an effort Thursday to allow voters in small townships to have their own say on consolidation.

The underlying bill would force townships of 1,200 people or less to consolidate with an adjacent unit by 2023.

Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville) lives in one of those small units, Franklin Township in Henry County. He proposed an amendment that would require voters to approve of consolidation before it went forward.

“The public question would read, ‘Should Dudley Township and Franklin Township consolidate?’ It would be a yes or no question,” Saunders says.

Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) opposes that change.

“If this amendment goes in, in my opinion it guts the bill of what went through two meetings that we held earlier in the first half of this session where this was very, very well-vetted,” Mahan says.

The House voted down Saunders’s amendment. The bill will be up for passage in the chamber Monday.