Talk:Indiana General Assembly/GA1

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GA Review[edit]


I've placed the article on hold for a week, as there are quite a few issues that need to be addressed before I'd pass it. Some of these are listed in my review below. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 03:08, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Well written[edit]

Some work is required here. For example:

  • "The General Assembly may not adjourn for more than three days with a resolution in both houses." What does this sentence mean, exactly?
    • typo, fixed "without"
  • "The governor has th authority..." Typo there.
  • "There are several checks and balances built into the Constitution of Indiana that limit the power of the General Assembly by allowing the other branches of the government to influence the body." I don't think "influence" is the right choice of verb here. Either that or "the body" isn't the right choice of object. By the explanation that follows, it seems that these checks and balances don't precisely influence that Assembly, it's more that they co-influence legislation with the assembly, possibly in competing directions.
    • reworded, removed some. Changed influence to limit - that seems more in keeping with the term balance.
  • "Among these, the Governor has the authority to veto any bill passed by the General Assembly." This sentence follows immediately after "Other clauses allow the General Assembly to influence the other branches of the government." and therefore parses as "Among (the clauses allowing the General Assembly to influence the other branches of the government), the Governor has the authority to veto any bill passed by the General Assembly.", which is of course incorrect; the veto is not among the clauses that allow the General Assembly to influence the other branches, but among the clauses that allow the other branches to influence the General Assembly.
    • i've removed the term influence and reworded it to hopefully be more clear. I tried to word that paragraph in the order that the events would happen: in a nutshell - veto, override, unconstitutional, constitutional amendment.
      • I think that's improved. However, the sentence is now grammatically uncorrect as the presumptive object ("among these checks and balances") lacks a very and a subject, and is followed instead by an independent clause. How about "Among these checks and balances is the Governor's authority to..."? Sarcasticidealist (talk)
  • "Once the bill is made law it can be challenged in the state courts who may rule that the law unconstitutional." Either the word "is" is missing, or the word "that" should be deleted.
  • "The body is made up of two houses, the House or Representatives and the Senate." This sentence should probably be moved to the "Structure" section, rather than the "Powers" section where it is currently.
  • "the Senate is not permitted to initiate legislation that will effect revenue." Affect/effect error.
  • "...must be passed by both houses before they can submitted to the governor." Convention elsewhere in the article has been to capitalize "Governor". This should be made consistent.
  • "Each law passed by the General Assembly must be applied to the entire state, the General Assembly has no authority to create legislation that is only carried out in a portion of the state." Comma splice.
  • The second paragraph of the "Powers" section has no variety in its sentence structure or wording ("The General Assembly has the authority...The General Assembly also has the authority...The General Assembly also has limited power...")
    • switched up, and combined
      • Much better. I still note that the paragraph contains the word "authority" three times - how about something like replacing one of the instances of "has the authority" with "is empowered", or similar? In any event, this isn't worth holding up the GA over.
        • done

Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:15, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

  • "...presides over the senate while it is in session..." Convention elsewhere in the article has been to capitalize "Senate".
  • ficed
  • "The committees are chaired by a senior member of the majority party." This currently parses as "A single senior member of the majority party chairs all committees", which I gather is incorrect. It should be reworded to "Each committee is chaired by a senior member of the majority party." or "The committees are chaired by senior members of the majority party."
  • "Most legislation begin..." Subject/verb disagreement.
    • should be "most legislation beings" - "legislation" is the noun, "begins" is the verb. Can still be changed if you think it needs it
      • Yes, that's what I meant by "subject verb disagreement" - the verb was conjugated in a way that didn't agree with the subject. It's good now. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:15, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
  • "...within the committees who have oversight..." "That" would be a better word than "who". Besides that, this is a little awkwardly worded - how about "...in the committee responsible for..."?
    • fixed
      • I still prefer "responsible for" to "who have responsibility for", but I can let it slide, except that "who" should be "that". Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:15, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
  • "...of the area the bill will effect." Affect/effect again.
  • "Terms" and "Qualifications" should be prosified.
    • I am not familiar with that term. What is prosified?
  • I'd suggest merging the House and Senate sections, since there seems to be a lot of duplication. Rather than having separate sections to say that most Senate legislation originates in committee and most House legislation originates in committee, have one section that says that most legislation in both houses originates in committee, and so on.
    • I have removed the committee info to the structure section. The rest, i believe, is sufficiently different to still warrant being separate sections.
      • I disagree. For example, three out of the four bullets under "Qualifications" are exactly identical for each house, and the other (minimum age) is just a numerical difference. If you'd like, we can get a third opinion on this issue. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:15, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
        • I see what you mean about the terms and qualification, I have merged those into one paragraph under structure, but I still think that the house and senate should have seperate sections - they operating quite differently, have different numbers of members, and have different leadership.
  • "There the first General Assembly began its development into the institution it is today." In this sentence "It" seems to refer to "the first General Assembly". This could be addressed by just removing the word "first", which is largely redundant in any event.
  • "...began construction on the State Seminary, and began constructions on roads..." This is unnecessary repetition. Why not "...and began construction of the State Seminary in (wherever the state seminary is) and of roads in the Southern part of the state."?
  • "The General Assembly was faced with low tax revenues and they created the First State Bank and sold nine million acres of public lands to finance their projects." Try to avoid using the word "and" more than once per sentence.
  • "The General Assembly choose to relocate..." This should be in the past tense.
  • "The wilderness of northern and central Indiana was slowly subdued..." I don't like the wording of this. "Slowly civilized", maybe? "Gradually settled"?
    • changed to "slowly developed" - there were still Indians there (and they were being removed - hence subdued), so cant make it sound to POV.
      • Your new wording is good. I didn't understand what you meant by "subdued", though - I think that if it was in reference to subduing resisting natives, subdued works fine, but then it needs to make clear that the target of the subdual was the natives rather than just "the wilderness". Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:15, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
  • "...the construction roads, canals, railroads, and numerous other infrastructure projects." The word "of" should probably be in here.
  • "Among its new clauses, the new constitution extended the terms of representatives to two years and senators to four years." This is a misplaced modifier - the new constitution did not do this among its new clauses. A corrected wording might be "Among its new clauses was an extension of the terms..."
  • "Governor Oliver Morton and the minority party..." What was this minority party? I presume the Republicans, but why not call them that instead of just "the minority party"?
  • "...return to Democrat control..." This should read "Democratic", as an adjective is called for here.
  • "...control in the General Assembly..." I think "of" would be a better word choice than "in".
  • "During the 1907..." I presume the article is a typo?
  • "...the first state to enact eugenics legislation that remained in effect until 1921." This parses as "the first state to enact (eugenics legislation that remained in effect until 1921)." Try using "which" instead of "that", and adding a comma as appropriate.
  • "...making Indiana one of the lowest property tax location..." "Location" should be pluralized, as Indiana is being characterized as one of several lowest property tax locations.
    • done
      • Good - although, unrelatedly, "Indiana" appears twice in that sentence, which I don't think it necessary. You could just remove the first mention, or you could convert the second one to "the state" or something. There are probably plenty of other solutions as well. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:15, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
        • fixed
  • As a non-GA issue, the article could use more wikilinks. For example, there should be links to "treason" and "felony", and probably also "sales tax".

Additional issues[edit]

Some (though not many) of your fixes have let to new issues:

  • "During the next two years the federal government intervened removing much of the Klan's power." There should either be a comma after "intervened", or it should be reworded to "...government intervened and removed much...". Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:34, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
    • fixed
  • "The General Assembly passed the nations first DUI laws in 1939..." There should be an apostrophe here. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:34, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
    • fixed
  • "The new revenues from the tax led to a host of new projects across the state." You should remove one of the instances of the word "new" from this sentence. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:34, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
    • fixed
  • "In 1970 a series of constitutional amendments were passed, among them was one that authorized the General Assembly to meet annually instead of biennially." Comma splice. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:34, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
  • "After a period of negotiations, both parties agreed to share majority powers alternating which party controlled the position of speaker each day." This could use a comman. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:34, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
  • "...overriding the governors veto." Apostrophe needed. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:34, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
  • "Special sessions of the General Assembly were rarely called in the state's early history but have become more common place in modern times." "Commonplace" should be one word. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:34, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
    • fixed
  • "The General Assembly could then override the courts decision..." Apostrophe. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:34, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
    • fixed
  • "...also legalized the operation of riverboat casinos the state." The word "in" should appear in there. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:34, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
    • fixed

Great work so far! Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:34, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Factual[edit]

This article is currently well short of the sourcing required of a Good Article. Some examples:

  • "(The Assembly also holds an Organization Day in mid-November to allow newly elected members to be sworn into office. This day is always counted as the first day of the upcoming legislative session.) During odd-numbered years the legislature meets for 61 days (not necessarily consecutively) and must be adjourned by April 30. This is referred to as a long session. During even-numbered years the legislature meets for 30 days (not necessarily consecutively) and must be adjourned by March 15. This is referred to as a short session." This is unsourced in its entirety.
    • Some of that information is superfluous. I have removed everything that is not directly established by the reference cited at the end of the paragraph.
  • "The General Assembly delegates are elected from districts. Every ten years the districts are realigned by the General Assembly using information from the US Census Bureau to ensure each district is roughly equal in population. This districting is done to comply with the United States Supreme Court ruling in Reynolds v. Sims" This is also unsourced.
    • The reynolds vs sims case is linked next to the paragraph - I have converted this to an inline ref.
  • "There are several checks and balances built into the Constitution of Indiana that limit the power of the General Assembly by allowing the other branches of the government to influence the body. Other clauses allow the General Assembly to influence the other branches of the government." This is either unsourced or, if it's intended to be sourced to Artice IV, is borderline original research.
    • it is from the constitution - But I have located a book that states the same thing. I did some minor rewording to better reflect the source I found and added it as an inline citation.
  • "Under Indiana law, legislators cannot be arrested while the General Assembly is in session unless the crime they commit is treason, a felony, or breach of the peace." This is unsourced.
    • added source
  • "The 2008 Senate Pro Tempore is Sen. David Long of Fort Wayne. The 2008 Senate had a Republican majority. The Senate offices and chamber are located in the west wing of the Indiana Statehouse." Unsourced (there's a footnote after this, but it doesn't substantiate any of the content).

There is a ref establishing the pro tempore in the leadership info table, i duplicated that ref. I also added a ref showing they are housed in the west wing.

  • "In 2008 the Speaker of the House was B. Patrick Bauer. in 2008 house had a Democratic majority with 51 Democratic representatives and 49 Republican representatives. The House offices and chamber are located in the east wing of the Indiana Statehouse." This is unsourced (there's a footnote after this, but it doesn't substantiate any of the content).
    • same as above, duplicated the refs.
  • "In 1851 a new state constitution was created and ratified. Among its new clauses, the new constitution extended the terms of representatives to two years and senators to four years. It also placed new limits on the General Assembly's power to create local laws." This is unsourced.
    • added sources

In addition to the above problems, I haven't carefully checked the references in the "History" section. I'm assuming that the footnotes at the end of each paragraph lead to sources that support what's in the paragraph, but I won't pass the article without checking these more thoroughly (I haven't done so yet just because it seems unnecessary to worry about issues like that when there are many more glaring sourcing problems).

Neutrally written[edit]

Mostly fine. The only quibble I have is with the sentence "The General Assembly passed landmark property tax reform legislation in 2008 capping Indiana property taxes at one percent", since I don't think it should be called "landmark" legislation unless an independent source can be found to that effect.

That does sound a little POV, i just removed landmark.
Good - it passes this criterion now. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 21:45, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Broad[edit]

I think the history section needs to be expanded somewhat. The more recent history (1907 until the present) consists only of brief sentences naming (but not describing) legislation passed by the Assembly. Context would be useful. Additionally, it would be nice to see some linkage of the provisions found in the law with reality. For example, the article says that the Governor can call special sessions; does he/she ever actually do so? Likewise with the checks and balances: how often is legislation vetoed by the Governor, and how often are these vetoes overridden? Have there been any particularly noteworthy incidents of either? Finally, "Once approved by a committee, a bill can be voted on by the full Senate." suggests that a bill cannot be voted on by the full Senate unless it's approved by a committee. Is this the case?

  1. I have expanded the history section somewhat and added more references.
  2. The special sessions are fairly common, about ever other year, since the 1930s, but only 3 times prior to that. But I don't know where to find a single source that says that. Only sources for each individual session...
  3. I added the only noteworthy veto override i have read of in the history section. As far as the frequency of being used, its not common, a single party typically is dominant - so nothing veto worthy is passed. But again, I dont know where to locate a single source for that, only several dozen sources for individual situations. There is nothing published on the subject that i am aware of.
  4. constitutionally, bills don't have to go through committee, but in operation they almost always do. Even joint session bills are created by a joint committee. Only the majority leader or a committee chair can bring a bill up for vote to the full house or senate. It is rare - but not impossible. This could be sourced out of the operating rules of each house and added in detail. At the begining of the committee information it says "most bills", so that does leave little opening. Also, there are seperate articles for each house, in keeping with WP:SUMMARY, i only wrote the general operation of things on this article. I am also working on the senate article and the house article to include information there - this should probably be there.
That's a great improvement - good work. I'd still prefer, if possible, to see the history section place more emphasis on legislative events (Governor's vetoes, deadlocked houses, shifts in meeting from biennial to annual, etc.). You do mention these, which is good, but I think they need to be given more prominence vis-à-vis things like legalization horse racing. If possible, this should read more like a history of Indiana's legislature, and less like a history of Indiana legislation. I'll pass it for broadness now, but I think that's something you might want to work on going forward. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 21:50, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I understand what you mean, I will have to do a bit of reading to gather that information and it may take a bit of time. There are good published sources on Indiana from the founding to the 1930s, but there is very little, especially on this topic, on modern indiana. I will see what I can find though! Charles Edward 03:52, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Stable[edit]

Pass.

Well illustrated[edit]

Good picture, apparently released into the public domain by the photographer. Pass.

Just a note that the new picture is also an excellent, properly-licensed selection, so this category remains a pass. Sarcasticidealist (talk) 04:41, 20 June 2008 (UTC)