Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

Indiana will remain one of five states without a hate crimes law after the Senate Republican caucus opted not to take a vote on the bill this session.

The hate crimes bill would have allowed a judge to impose harsher penalties if the crime was committed in part because of a victim’s characteristics. One of those characteristics was gender identity – which bill author Sen. Sue Glick (R-LaGrange) says was a significant sticking point.

So-called “serious” sex offenders would be allowed to attend church services on school property under legislation approved by a Senate panel Tuesday.

Serious sex offenders – those who committed crimes involving children – are currently barred from schools. But an Indiana Court of Appeals ruling says they’re entitled to attend worship services – even if the church is on school grounds.

Funding to help schools in central Indiana develop substance abuse prevention programs is available. The new grant initiative called Prevention Matters from the Fairbanks Foundation aims to connect Marion County students with opportunities for education.

High school aged students who receive proven prevention education are more than 60 percent less likely to use hard drugs like heroin or cocaine.

Indiana Senate Republicans rebuffed Democrats’ attempt Monday to create an independent redistricting commission that would draw the state’s legislative district lines.

An amendment offered by Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) would have established that commission to largely take over the duties currently performed by lawmakers.

Bullying, Human Trafficking Legislation Move Forward

Jan 29, 2018

Student safety was a major focus of the House Education committee Monday, and lawmakers approved a set of bills centered around bullying and human trafficking.

Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) says human trafficking is a problem, but not all teachers know the signs to identify students who might be at risk.

“I am in my 24th year of education. And I had not really understood or known or been educated about human trafficking until I actually came up here,” McNamara says.

House Committee Votes To Increase Smoking Age To 21

Jan 29, 2018

Hoosiers age 18 to 20 would no longer be able to buy cigarettes under legislation unanimously approved by the House Public Health Committee Monday.

There’s a common argument made against the bill to raise the minimum smoking age to 21: that those old enough to serve in the military shouldn’t be barred from smoking.

Former Army National Guard Deputy Surgeon General David Wilmot dismisses that argument.

IU School Of Medicine Set Record For 2017 Funding

Jan 26, 2018

The Indiana School of Medicine announced a record year in research funding. Scientists helped bring in more than $135 million last year from the National Institutes of Health.

The funding sets the school in the top 33 systems funded by the federal agency. It has increased more than 40 percent since 2013 and has helped build the school’s research infrastructure.

IU School of Medicine dean Jay Hess says they also benefit from an environment of collaboration in Indianapolis.

Holcomb Extends CBD Enforcement Moratorium

Jan 26, 2018

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Friday he’s extending a moratorium on enforcement of Indiana’s law banning sales of cannabidiol, or CBD.

Holcomb says he wants to give lawmakers more time to develop legislation that’s expected to change that law.

Bill To Regulate Factory Farms Dead For 2018 Session

Jan 26, 2018

House Environmental Affairs Committee Chair Dave Wolkins decided this week not to hear a bill this session that deals with confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

Student Press Freedom Bill Advances Out Of Committee

Jan 25, 2018

Indiana public school students would have freedom of the press protections under legislation approved by a House committee Thursday.

But the bill is still on shaky ground as principals, superintendents, and school boards oppose it.

Plainfield High School student journalist Anu Nattam’s publication was censored by school officials after a school board member’s family complained about its content – none of which violated traditional media decency guidelines.

A greater push for STEM education is setting the tone for many of this year’s legislative agendas, and part of that push is a bill in the House that would make it possible for elementary school teachers to earn a special license in math.

Ball State University professor Sheryl Stump says it’s an incentive for educators to learn more about and better teach the subject.

“According to the needs and plans of their school districts, they could continue to work primarily with students, or they could work as mathematics coaches or teacher leaders,” she says.

Lawmakers approved a House floor amendment Thursday to require yearly sexual harassment training for all state lawmakers.

The provision would require lawmakers take at least one hour of sexual harassment training each year. Exactly what qualifies as training would be decided by the House Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tem.

Rep. Karlee Macer (D-Indianapolis) says such a move is long overdue.

“And I don’t believe that Indiana has done everything right. But we certainly are on the path to doing so,” Macer says.

House Adopts Resolution To Study Medical Marijuana

Jan 25, 2018

The Indiana House voted Thursday to urge the federal government to loosen its grip on marijuana so the drug can be more effectively studied.

A unanimously-adopted resolution also pushes for a state legislative study committee to examine medical marijuana legalization.

Senate Committee Moves Dyslexia Bill Forward

Jan 24, 2018

A senate committee wrapped up a two-day discussion Wednesday, on a bill that would provide additional dyslexia screening for students and training for teachers.

Many parents who support SB 217 say dyslexia can cause students to fall years behind in reading. Patricia Truelove from Mooresville is a mom of three, and she says this type of legislation could have helped her daughter.

School Financial Management Bill Sent To House Floor

Jan 24, 2018

The state’s House Ways and Means committee approved a bill Wednesday that would have a major impact on financially struggling schools. But, some key provisions of the bill are causing concern.

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