Bayh v. Ind. State Bldg. and Const. Trades Council

674 N.E.2d 176 (Ind. 1996)


Lake Superior court enjoined the Governor from enforcing the Prevailing Wage Act because the 1995 amendments to the act had violated Article IV of the IN Constitution (“confines all acts, except those codifying, revising or rearranging the laws, “to one subject and matters properly connected therewith.” The amendment changed the prevailing wage standard to that of the county in which the work was being done. It failed in the Senate but was then amended into three separate bills – including HB1598, an environmental bill. The name of the bill was changed to “… concerning local administration.” The bill was then passed in both houses; but while the governor waited to sign the bill, negotiations on the bill ensued. HB1435 was the product of those negotiations. It was a single topic bill, but was different from HB1598 by amending “common construction wage” rather than “average construction wage.” HB1435 passed both houses and went to the governor – who signed the bill into law.

Usually, bills amend existing code. But, 1435 was shown amending 1598. HEA1598 was signed into law. Appellees sued because 1598 was not legitimate law, as it violated the single subject provision. The trial court then found 1435 unconstitutional because it referenced an unconstitutional act. The court said the tactics “inevitably infected, distorted and corrupted the process leading to the enactment of HEA1435.”


Whether the two bills violate the single subject clause of the IN constitution.


No, Reversed.
HEA1435 – Was a single subject bill, and does not violate the single subject clause. “The trial court saw HEA 1435 not as a second amendment to Indiana code…, but as an amendment to HEA 1598” – which was an error. 1435’s purpose was to amend Indiana Code – not a constitutionally invalid bill.

Log Rolling – the trial court found 1435 impermissible because of the confusing tactics used. But the court is still does not traditionally look into the journals of the two houses “for the purpose of attacking its validity or the manner of its enactment.”

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