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Provision to disqualify attorney general candidates if they face certain sanctions removed from bill

Rodric Bray speaks on the Senate floor. Bray is a White man with dark, slightly graying hair, wearing a suit and tie.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said language to clarify state law's qualifications for attorney general was removed because it's an election year.

Language to disqualify candidates for Indiana attorney general if they face certain sanctions to their law license was removed from a bill on the Senate floor this week.

The provision was taken out about a week after it was suddenly inserted into the measure.

An amendment to HB 1265 in the Senate Elections Committee said a candidate for AG is disqualified if the Indiana Supreme Court disbars them or suspends their law license without automatic reinstatement within a year of the election.

That provision was removed from the bill on the Senate floor, without explanation or debate.

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Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said there’s still a need to address what many perceive as a gap in state law on attorney general candidates. But he said not doing so this session came down to timing.

“It’s a difficult and maybe inappropriate thing to do in an election year,” Bray said. “We can take a look at another time to see if we can fill that gap.”

Republicans said the original language was not aimed at current Attorney General Todd Rokita, who received a public reprimand from the Indiana Supreme Court and faces another inquiry from the state attorney disciplinary commission. Still, Rokita last week accused lawmakers of being “deep state players” who were taking away people’s power.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.