Senate Bill attempts to reorganize specialty license plates

Several Indiana specialty plates could soon disappear if some lawmakers have their way

Indianapolis

A House committee passed a bill, Wednesday, that would drop specialty plates that are new this year, or unpopular plates – under 1,000 sold. Government and college plates would be exempt.

Supporters of Senate Bill 327 said it is an effort to reorganize the state’s plate program and to limit it to groups that have a statewide impact.

"The issue is when we're your collection agency, there needs to be some accountability," said Republican Representative Ed Soliday.

Some of the groups affected by the bill include Teamsters, Habitat for Humanity, NRA, Special Olympics, Indiana Youth Group, and the Indianapolis Zoo.

"$25 out of the $40 that is spent on those (plates) goes directly to the animals medical care and food," said Jon Glesing, communications director for the Indianapolis Zoo. "Disappointed would be the word that sums it up."

Members of the Indiana Youth Group feel the bill is targeting their organization which supports gay youth. The group had to fight a legal battle to get their specialty plates in the first place.

"The only way that they could... take ours away was to take away the whole group of them," executive director Mary Byrne. "I don't know what they're thinking. I really don't know what they're thinking."

Byrne doesn’t understand why organizations selling plates for the first time this year couldn’t have been grandfathered into the legislation.

The bill has to be passed by the House and the Senate before it ever makes it to the Governor’s desk.

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