Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

A state board that authorizes charter schools voted Monday to cancel plans for a group of Indianapolis business professionals to open schools in Marion and Clark counties.

The reason?

The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed Monday that gun violence victims can’t get monetary damages from gun stores that illegally sell firearms. But the court didn’t entirely dismiss a former Indianapolis police officer’s lawsuit either. Former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer Dwayne Runnels sued a gun store that he says illegally sold the firearm that wounded him.

 

Gov. Eric Holcomb used his first veto to reject a measure creating fees for public records searches.

Holcomb’s predecessor, former Gov. Mike Pence, vetoed a similar bill in 2015.

Indiana U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) are pushing legislation to help get law enforcement better access to mental health services.

Lebanon, Indiana, police officer Taylor Nielsen says in the wake of a double-homicide she worked last year, she struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide.

Young, Donnelly Want To Avoid Government Shutdown

15 hours ago

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) are headed back to Washington, D.C. as Congress and the White House work to avert a government shutdown.

A federal funding measure approved last year will expire Friday night. Without anything to replace it, a partial shutdown of federal agencies will begin Saturday.

Donnelly says he was part of a small group of senators that helped end the last shutdown.

Court Protectee Gun Bill Passes Legislature

18 hours ago

A controversial piece of gun legislation is heading to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk after it passed through the legislature.

It allows people protected by restraining orders to carry handguns without a license for up to 60 days.

It passed easily in the House, 74 to 26, and in the Senate, 38 to 12. But those opposed argued it would escalate domestic violence situations.

Hoosiers are already allowed to keep firearms at home without a license. Senate sponsor Mark Messmer (D-Princeton) says the bill keeps victims safe outside the home.

$1.2 Billion Road Funding Package Sent To Governor

19 hours ago

 

The state legislature has sent Gov. Eric Holcomb a $1.2 billion-a-year road funding package, fulfilling a session-long pledge from all four legislative caucuses.

The road funding package generates money in several ways, including gasoline tax hikes and BMV fees, providing $340 million per year to local roads and $870 million for the state.

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane criticized the larger scope of the bill, raising gasoline taxes while cutting taxes for casinos in the state in a separate bill.

The legislative focus of this year’s session wasn’t a mystery. Lawmakers already spent more than a year debating road funding. And so it wasn’t a surprise when Gov. Eric Holcomb told the General Assembly this in the first weeks of session.

“I will work with you to establish a plan that invests in the new projects for the future that ensures Indiana will remain The Crossroads of America,” Holcomb said.

But it was not the only big goal – or debate – this session.

Legislation To End ISTEP Sent To Governor

Apr 22, 2017

It’s (almost) official. ISTEP+ is out. ILEARN is in.

Lawmakers pushed through legislation Friday to develop new statewide testing program known as Indiana’s Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network or ILEARN. The legislation also creates multiple pathways to meet high school graduation requirements.

The Republican-led Indiana General Assembly crafted a two-year state budget that spends about $32 billion while maintaining what Speaker Brian Bosma calls a “healthy reserve.”

Even as Indiana’s new revenue forecast gave an optimistic outlook, House and Senate fiscal leaders didn’t waiver from their conservative appropriations.

Yet Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb achieved some of his legislative goals during his first budget session.

Legislation is headed to the governor that eliminates many of the state’s monopoly-creating, vaping regulations.

While the legislation deletes several rules, it installs new regulations, including certain packaging and labeling requirements and a mandate that manufacturers disclose their ingredient list with state regulators.

It does not prohibit online sales.

Lawmakers completed a temporary rewrite of the state’s alcohol carryout laws to address a convenience store that found a legal work-around.

Ricker’s acquired restaurant permits for two of its convenience stores. Those permits allow them to sell cold beer and hard liquor for carryout – which grocery and convenience stores have never been allowed to do.

K-12 Funding Inches Up In 2-Year Indiana Budget

Apr 22, 2017

Indiana schools will receive more money per student as part of a two-year state budget compromise hashed out between House and Senate lawmakers in the past few days.

Funding for education, which is more than half of the state’s $32 billion biennium spending plan, includes $345 million in new dollars for English-language learners, private school vouchers and a 1.6 percent increase in per-student funding in 2018 fiscal year. That will increase to 1.7 percent in 2019 fiscal year.

A new Indiana plan to expand state-funded preschool allows the program to extend to 15 new counties, ties it to the state’s private school voucher program and includes a controversial option for online preschool.

Currently, the $10 million state-funded On My Way Pre-K program serves around 1,500 low-income students in five counties. Expanding preschool access in Indiana has been a key goal of lawmakers this session, including Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Indiana Unemployment Rate Lowest In Nearly 16 Years

Apr 21, 2017

The Indiana unemployment rate dropped 0.02 percent in March, down to 3.9 percent. That’s the lowest rate since May of 2001.

Yet the Hoosier private sector lost 1,500 jobs last month, primarily driven by a significant decline in the Professional and Business Services sector. That’s the third time in the last four months the private sector lost jobs.

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