Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

 

The controversy over Ricker’s convenience stores’ ability to sell cold beer and hard alcohol grew more contentious as the House killed a bill that would’ve let Ricker’s keep its permits.

At issue are restaurant permits Ricker’s was able to secure at two of its convenience stores. Those permits allow them to sell cold beer and hard liquor for carryout – previously, the sole right of liquor stores and restaurants.

The vast majority of House lawmakers approved a bill to legalize baby boxes in hospitals – over the objections of the Department of Child Services.

The measure now also sanctions the state’s two existing boxes.

Baby boxes are intended to provide mothers with more anonymity when dropping off newborns. Current law gives people immunity from child abandonment charges only if the baby is delivered to another person.

Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) says the reality is that some mothers aren’t willing to face another person when dropping off their newborn.

Senate Advances Budget To Conference Committee

Apr 6, 2017

The Senate approved its version of a new two-year state budget 39-9 Thursday.

Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville), the budget’s author, praised the bill for not increasing taxes, funding the fight against Indiana’s drug epidemic, and focusing on education issues.

But many Democrats took issue with that last point, including Sen. Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington), who says the Republican plan doesn’t fund education enough.

Airbnb, Short-term Rentals Bill Passes Senate

Apr 6, 2017

The Senate approved a measure 27-20 Thursday that stops local governments from banning short-term rentals, such as Airbnb.

The legislation establishes guidelines for short-term rentals, including a ban on renting more than 30 days in a row and 180 days total in a year. But it prohibits barring short-term rentals outright.

Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage), who opposes the bill, says it undoes 50 years of zoning ordinances and risks the commercialization of residential neighborhoods.

Telemedicine Bill Poised To Expand Services

Apr 6, 2017

A bill expanding coverage of and access to telemedicine passed the Senate this week. The measure will cover Hoosiers on Medicaid who get healthcare through telemedicine practices like videoconferences and electronic communications.

Republican Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer authored the proposal and says the expansion includes addiction and behavioral health treatment that often requires extensive services.

“You have the management of the other wrap-around services to lift you up as you are going through your treatment program,” says Kirchhofer.

Purdue University researchers are releasing new findings about how Indiana counties regulate big livestock farms, in hopes of determining what rules work best to help farmers get along with their neighbors.

Paul Ebner’s team at Purdue has spent years mapping out the wide range of zoning rules counties use to regulate confined animal feeding operations – known as CFOs – and their bigger, more concentrated counterparts, called CAFOs.

House Approves Vaping Regulations Bill

Apr 6, 2017

The House overwhelmingly approved a bill to regulate Indiana’s vaping industry, aiming to undo a monopoly created by existing law.

Indiana’s existing e-liquid law forced dozens of manufacturers to either leave the state or shut down, leaving only seven sanctioned companies.

A federal court ruling earlier this year struck down the bulk of existing regulations.

 

Ricker’s would be able to permanently keep its cold beer carryout permits at two locations under an amendment approved by the House.

Ricker’s recently used a legal loophole to secure restaurant alcohol permits at two convenience stores. That prompted outcry from liquor stores, which previously – along with restaurants – had sole ownership of cold beer sales.

 

Republicans rejected several attempts by Democrats Wednesday to increase pre-k funding as they voted down proposed amendments to the budget.

To director Ti West and actor James Ransone, no amount of money can overshadow integrity. HBO veteran Ransone ("The Wire", "Treme") is adamant he will "back an artist over the money any day." And when triple threat writer-director-editor West is asked which of those three stages of production he would give up if he had unlimited funds, he says he "won't do it! ...That's the price of integrity." In fact, it was during a conversation about integrity during the pair's first meeting that sparked both a successful working relationship, and a friendship.

It's time to talk about ballot measures. Or rather, those other things voters are deciding on Nov. 8.

This November, there are 156 measures being voted on in 35 states and the District of Columbia. California is in the lead, with a whopping 17 measures on its ballot.

Although these ballot measures are voted on state by state, there are some big national themes.

Mike Pence Says Trump Never Said That. Well, He Did

Apr 5, 2017

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine clearly came into last night's vice presidential debate with the goal of making Indiana Gov. Mike Pence answer for Donald Trump's most controversial statements and policy positions. Unlike his running mate the week before, the steely Pence resisted taking the bait.

Kaine repeatedly quoted Trump's own words. Pence either ignored him, mocked him, tried a Jedi mind trick reversal or flatly denied the quotes were real. And maybe that was Kaine's real goal. The Clinton campaign is already out with a video.

The vice presidential nominees, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, will meet on the debate stage Tuesday.

It'll be two traditional politicians facing off in a non-traditional election year: Kaine as the safe and even boring choice by Hillary Clinton and Pence as the calm, unflappable balance to Donald Trump's bombast.

When it comes to the issues, Kaine and Clinton mostly agree. Among other things, they want to raise taxes on the wealthy, expand gun control legislation, and they both support President Obama's executive orders on immigration.

 

A bill overhauling Indiana’s net metering policy is heading to Gov. Eric Holcomb for final approval.

Senate Bill 309 passed the House 56-43 on April 4 after a contentious floor debate where supporters and opponents of the bill both said they have the solar industry’s best interests in mind.

The bill garnered a remarkable amount of public testimony this session, more than 15 hours all together, with Republican and Democratic lawmakers filing dozens of amendments.

 

Colleges and universities across the country are tackling a big issue: Whether to officially adopt certain policies intended to protect people who entered the U.S. illegally.

In Indiana, that conversation could soon end.

Under a bill moving through the Indiana Legislature, lawmakers would outlaw so-called sanctuary campuses. They’re colleges that pledge they will not share anyone’s immigration status with federal authorities.

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