Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

Senate Approves Scaled-Back E-Liquid Regulations

Mar 1, 2017

 

The Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill to significantly scale back regulations on manufacturers of e-liquids, which are used for vaping.

Indiana’s existing vaping regulations created a de facto monopoly, forcing dozens of manufacturers to shut down or move, leaving only seven remaining companies. That prompted lawsuits and an FBI inquiry.

 

Senate lawmakers advanced legislation that allows police to collect DNA from anyone arrested for a felony. But there’s still disagreement over what happens to some of those DNA records.

Backers of the measure say DNA collection will help identify the guilty and exonerate the innocent.

Wednesday, March 1, is the deadline for residents of a lead-contaminated East Chicago, Indiana, housing complex to renew their federal housing vouchers.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, gave out the Section 8 vouchers late last year to help residents find new homes.

As of this month, HUD says 106 families still live in West Calumet Housing Complex, and 91 of those have not yet found a new place to live – including Keesha Daniels and her sons.

Indiana Pre-K Expansion Moves Forward At Statehouse

Feb 28, 2017

Lawmakers voted Tuesday to advance a proposal to expand state-funded preschool in Indiana.

In a 41-9 vote, state senators pushed ahead a two-year, $32 million proposal that would modestly expand state-funded preschool beginning July 2017.

“It is not universal pre-K, there are a finite number of potential 4-year-olds [covered],” says Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Blufton), who authored the bill.

 

The Indiana Senate approved a bill Tuesday that supporters say give parents rights in abortions involving underage girls, while the measure’s detractors argue it’s unconstitutional.

Under current law, if a girl under 18 doesn’t want to get her parents’ consent for an abortion, she can go to court to seek what’s called judicial bypass. Legislation approved by the Senate requires at least one parent or guardian to be notified of that judicial hearing before it can proceed.

 

Senate lawmakers overwhelmingly approved legislation to legalize the use of baby boxes, but only in hospitals.

The boxes are meant to be a more anonymous way for someone to leave an unwanted newborn. The bill makes it legal to drop off a baby in a designated box in a hospital without facing child abandonment charges.

 

The Senate gutted a bill that deals with protesters who block traffic, sending the entire issue to a summer study committee.

The original bill required police to clear protesters who block traffic from roadways using “any means necessary.”

Net Metering Bill Passes Senate

Feb 27, 2017

Senate Bill 309, a controversial bill that alters Indiana’s net metering policy, passed the Senate 39-9 on Monday evening.

Net metering is a practice that allows people with solar panels, or other alternate energy generation sources, to sell excess energy back to utilities at the retail rate.

Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek), the bill’s author, says, despite some public confusion, the bill is actually good for the solar industry.

“It expands the ability of people to generate power for their own needs and to sell the excess back to the grid,” Hershman says.

 

The Indiana Senate made changes to a parental consent for abortion bill that supporters say they hope the changes fix the bill’s issues.

The bill requires parents or guardians be notified if their underage daughter goes to court to get consent for an abortion.

Current law already requires parental consent for anyone under 18 to get an abortion. If a child doesn’t want to get their parents’ permission, they can go to court to get a waiver.

Hate Crimes Bill Dies On Senate Floor Without Vote

Feb 27, 2017

Indiana is one of five states without a hate crimes law. That will continue for at least another year.

Monday morning, Indianapolis’ Jewish Community Center was evacuated after a bomb threat, making Indiana one of 11 states to experience such threats at Jewish centers in the last 24 hours.

The Indiana Youth Institute released its annual Kids Count data book Monday. The report measures children’s well-being in five categories: family, economics, education, health and safety.

It highlights the well-being of children in preschool through college – and finds a mixed bag. Overall, it finds, Indiana’s children are “surviving, not thriving.”

We took a dive into how Indiana’s students and school systems measure up.

Major takeaways:

 

Indiana House lawmakers passed a bill Monday requiring doctors to inform women their drug-induced abortions could be reversed – and also to say there’s no scientific study to support that claim.

The vote for the measure, authored by Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Boonville), came over bipartisan opposition.

The two-year House Republican budget was approved Monday despite criticism from Democrats that the education funding lacks transparency and will hurt rural schools.

Elad Rahmin / https://www.flickr.com/photos/eladrahmin/

Deaths from drug overdoses have continued to increase in Indiana, mirroring national trends reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week.

According to the CDC report, the national drug-related death rate has increased more than two and a half times since 1999.

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