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Senate leader discusses HJR-3, won’t comment on Delph punishment

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Senate president pro tempore David Long joins us in this week’s edition of “On The Record” – watch the video above to see what Sen. Long had to say about HJR-3, and the debate over expanding vouchers for pre-K students.

The plan to put more disadvantaged kids in preschool hit a major hurdle this week, as the Senate Education Committee put the brakes on the proposal, deciding instead to send it to a summer study committee.

Long also answers some of our viewer-submitted questions and comments very briefly on the controversial statements posted on Twitter by Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel.

Long said he was “disappointed” Thursday but would not comment on the punishment Delph would face.

A source with knowledge of the situation told Fox59 that Delph’s punishment was not related to his opinionated remarks criticizing Senate leadership, but instead a reaction to Delph’s tweet announcing caucus decisions before the issue was heard on the floor.

As a result, that source said Delph’s press secretary was taken away, his seat in the Senate chamber was moved away from those of GOP leadership, and his positions as assistant majority floor leader of communications and ranking Judiciary committee member were also stripped.

[Read more about his controversial social media posts here]

Our interview with Sen. Long took place Thursday before his meeting with Sen. Delph.

In the video below, Long talks about other issues at the Statehouse, including sentencing reform, mass transit and the debate over a potential phase-out of the state’s business personal property tax.

While supporters, like Governor Pence, feel the tax keeps more businesses from moving to Indiana, many mayors around the state have said that phasing out the tax would be disastrous for their city budgets.

Still, House and Senate leaders said they were still working on a compromise plan to do something about it this year.

Lawmakers have until March 14 to finish their work and reach a compromise on this year’s legislation.