Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

Rally Pushes For Tobacco Tax Increase

Apr 5, 2017

A rally to raise Indiana’s per-pack cigarette tax was held at the Statehouse Wednesday.

The House budget included a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase, to help cover a funding shift to pay for roads. The Senate got rid of that road funding shift and eliminated the tax hike.

Health advocacy groups gathered at the statehouse to urge lawmakers to treat the cigarette tax as a funding issue and a health issue.

Director of tobacco control and advocacy with the American Lung Association, Monique French, says raising the tax is a win-win.

 

The House passed legislation that aims to crack down on heroin dealers and those who rob pharmacies. But critics argue the legislature is “backsliding” to previous, failed attempts to address the drug epidemic.

The bill increases penalties for robbing a pharmacy and dealing certain amounts of heroin. It also prevents a judge from suspending all or part of some heroin dealing sentences.

The Indiana Senate approved a bill Tuesday setting guidelines for ILEARN, a new standardized test that will replace the troubled ISTEP+ exam in 2019.

The proposal would require the test, for students in grades 3-8, be given on a computer and allow Indiana scores to be compared with scores nationally.

A bill that would make the state school superintendent a political appointee of the governor, passed the full Senate Tuesday despite attempts by Democrats to kill the proposal.

Net Metering Bill Passes House

Apr 4, 2017

The Indiana House passed a bill changing the state’s net metering policy. The bill passed 56-43.

Many lawmakers spoke against it Tuesday evening, citing extraordinary negative public input and saying the matter should be studied further. Rep. Mike Speedy (R-Indianapolis) says his opposition was purely economic.

“This makes no sense for us to turn our backs on competition, choice, freedom and stuff it to small business,” says Speedy.

After a more than hour-long debate, the Indiana Senate advanced legislation that raises taxes and creates new fees to fund the state’s road and bridge maintenance.

Parental Notification Of Abortion Bill Clears House

Apr 4, 2017

The House approved a bill adding rules to parental consent and notification of abortion…even as some Democrats raised new issues with the measure.

Underage girls can go to court to bypass their parents and get consent for an abortion. This session’s legislation says if the judge grants that consent, the judge must also decide whether the girl’s parents should be notified.

President Donald Trump is touting a new survey from the National Association of Manufacturers that shows record optimism among American factory owners – a rosier picture than a similar Indiana survey painted last fall.

Two Ricker’s convenience stores will be able to continue selling cold beer for the rest of the year under an amendment approved in a House committee.

Ricker’s used a legal loophole to sell cold beer at small burrito stands in two of its stores. Cold beer carryout sales are supposed to be the sole right of liquor stores and restaurants.

A House committee amendment would let Ricker’s keep its two permits. But when those permits are up for renewal at year’s end, the rules would be different.

Muncie Schools Added to Bill Despite District Opposition

Apr 3, 2017

An Indiana House committee has voted to amend a bill that if passed would allow a state takeover of Muncie Community Schools to right its financial crisis.

The House Ways and Means Committee added the Muncie school district to a bill that already passed the Senate. It would allow a state takeover of Gary Community School Corporation, for financial reasons, and Committee Chair Republican Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) extended it to include Muncie Community Schools.

Women in Indiana no longer have to wait at least 18 hours between an ultrasound and an abortion after a recent court ruling halting part of last year’s controversial abortion law.

A House committee moved a bill to the floor legalizing so-called “baby boxes” while putting in jeopardy the status of the state’s two existing devices.

Baby boxes are meant to be a more anonymous way for someone to leave an unwanted newborn. There are concerns surrounding the devices, focused on a lack of testing, industry standards, or best practices.

Environmental Protection Agency representatives fielded questions over the weekend about clean-up of a lead-contaminated Superfund site in East Chicago, Indiana.

Most of the questions centered around identifying contractors, the timeline of work, and details of what remediation entails. On March 21, the EPA announced a new settlement to pay for clean-up efforts in Zones 2 and 3 of the Superfund.

Donnelly Announces Support For Trump Nominee Gorsuch

Apr 2, 2017

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) announced Sunday he’ll vote for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Donnelly becomes the third Democrat to back Judge Neil Gorsuch.

In a statement, Donnelly said after meeting with Gorsuch, he believes the Trump nominee is qualified and well respected.

Although Donnelly says he’s disappointed President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, wasn’t considered by the GOP-controlled Senate last year, the Hoosier Democrat says, “I can only vote on the nominee that comes to the … floor.”

 

Two out of every five Hoosiers are expected to develop cancer and studies show good nutrition enhances chances of survival. A program aims to support Hoosier cancer patients living with food insecurity with medically-tailored meals is getting a boost in Indy.

Food As Medicine

Last summer LaCheryl Hampton learned she had uterine cancer. Shortly after her diagnosis, a nurse mentioned a program where she could get free, medically-tailored meals through Meals on Wheels.

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