Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

Holcomb Signs Budget, Road Funding Bill

Apr 27, 2017

Gov. Eric Holcomb says lawmakers “over-delivered” on an ambitious agenda this session. And veterans groups call the spending bill Holcomb signed into law the “most veteran-friendly budget” in state history.

Holcomb applauded lawmakers for “leadership and teamwork,” praising them for finishing on-budget and a week ahead of schedule in the 2017 session.

The Indiana Supreme Court made a decision that will likely cost local governments millions of dollars in property tax revenue.

The conflict surrounds property tax valuations of big box stores – in this case, a Kohl’s. Local governments say the assessment should be based on how much value the property is worth to the current user, not some hypothetical future user.

Holcomb Signs Indiana Pre-K Bill Signed Into Law

Apr 27, 2017

With little fanfare, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill Wednesday that will expand Indiana’s pre-K pilot program.

The new plan will expand state-funded preschool to 20 counties, tie it to the state’s private school voucher program and include a controversial option for online preschool.

Currently, the $10 million state-funded On My Way Pre-K program serves around 2,000 low-income students in five counties. Expanding preschool access in Indiana has been a key goal of lawmakers this session, including Holcomb.

 

Lawmakers representing Indiana’s communities with casinos say legislation awaiting the governor’s signature breaks promises and drains local budgets.

The slew of obituaries that have been published since Olympic diver Sammy Lee's death on Friday rightly highlight his conquest over racism and indignity on the way to winning gold medals in London and Helsinki nearly 70 years ago. As Greg Louganis, Lee's most famous protege, reflected in the Los Angeles Times, "At a time of intolerance, being Korean, he broke down racial barriers, setting an example of what it meant to be an Olympian."

Gov. Eric Holcomb’s legislative agenda was broken down into what he called the five pillars, including upgrading infrastructure, attacking the drug epidemic, and strengthening the workforce.

Within those pillars were 28 individual legislative initiatives. And Holcomb secured all or part of 26 of them.

Holcomb praised the collaborative effort between his office and lawmakers.

A new study from Ball State University underscores how higher education can boost wages – especially in certain parts of the state.

Its author, at the Center for Business and Economic Researcher, says the study suggests poorer counties have lots to gain from regional educational partnerships.

Graduate researcher Nathan Law found that since the recession, it’s been easier for Hoosiers with at least a bachelor’s degree to find full-time work.

Holcomb Signs Several Controversial Bills

Apr 25, 2017

Lawmakers approved a bill this session allowing legislative staffers to carry guns into the Statehouse. Governor Eric Holcomb says he supports the reasoning behind the bill.

“They put in long hours – especially during the session – and they are walking blocks away, oftentimes after midnight. And I can sympathize with someone who wants to be able to protect themselves and feel secure,” Holcomb says.

And after pledging to sign that bill, Holcomb did crack a joke about it.

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

Apr 24, 2017

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

Apr 24, 2017

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

Apr 24, 2017

 

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.

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