Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

Senate Education Committee Delays School Finance Bill Vote

Feb 15, 2018

An Indiana Senate committee has decided to postpone voting on a controversial school financials bill because of its effect on Muncie and Gary schools. Some committee members say the bill too radically changes plans lawmakers approved last session.

Last year, Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) singled out Gary and Muncie schools for their financial debts, putting emergency management processes in place.

READ MORE: Can Gary Schools Be Saved By A State Takeover?

Maternal Mortality Bill Moves Forward

Feb 15, 2018

A bill to create a maternal mortality review committee passed a House committee this week. It seeks to determine the reason for Indiana’s high maternal mortality rate – when a mother dies during pregnancy or in childbirth.

These rates are on the rise in many states, including Indiana. Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) proposed a bill this session to investigate the cause.

“Our death rate for moms having babies in our state is twice that of the national average,” says Leising.

House Committee Hears Testimony On Sex Education Bill

Feb 15, 2018

The House Education Committee heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would require schools to make sex education instructional materials available to parents and require parents to opt-in to instruction.

Elkhart Police Department

Jacob Ryan Underwood, 22, from Elkhart has been charged by criminal complaint with possession of a destructive device in an arrest that may have a connection with the pipe bombs found in Mishawaka in late January.

 

Underwood is also accused of watching two other pipe bombs be made and later throwing them out of a car window in Mishawaka.  

Investigators linked Underwood to an explosion outside of his home, and also with assisting in the construction of a pipe bomb.

 


A bill to open up the industrial hemp industry in Indiana passed a Senate panel, even as supporters face pushback from some skeptical lawmakers.

'Soft Skills' Bill Moves Forward In House

Feb 15, 2018

Legislation to improve employability, or soft skills, for Hoosier students is another step closer to becoming law. Those include things like getting to work on time and working well with others.

Ports Of Indiana Land Record Numbers In 2017

Feb 14, 2018

Ports of Indiana officials are hoping a successful 2017 sets the stage for more growth this year.

The Ports of Indiana handled 11.8 million tons of cargo in 2017 – a 5 percent increase from the previous year and the second highest annual shipment total between the three ports. This marks the fourth consecutive year the organization exceeded the 10 million ton threshold. Officials estimate the ports generate almost $8 billion in economic development each year.

Committee Debates Potential Changes To Airbnb Bill

Feb 14, 2018

Legislation to regulate short-term rentals such as Airbnb may undergo some tweaks in the Senate.

The measure prohibits local governments from banning short-term rentals. It does allow locals to require permits for those who use platforms such as Airbnb. And it says municipalities can charge a permit fee of up to $150.

The Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana met Wednesday in Indianapolis. The group received a brief update of what was happening with the state’s independent assessment of the Department of Child Services.

Newly appointed DCS Director Terry Stigdon says members of the review team have conducted many interviews.

“Providers that partners with DCS to provide care that’s needed to children,” says Stigdon. “They have met with legislators as well.”

The State Board of Education will hear feedback on a recently approved school accountability proposal, during public hearings throughout Indiana, starting next week. Members approved a new school grading system plan proposal at their meeting in January. It met some pushback because it differs from the state’s federally approved education plan, and makes changes to the weight of student growth in school grades.

Sunday alcohol carryout sales would become legal even earlier than expected under a legislative change made in a House committee Wednesday.

If passed, legislation to legalize Sunday alcohol sales from noon to 8 p.m. would have taken effect July 1, like most new laws. But Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn), the bill’s sponsor, says he’d rather see it take effect as soon as the governor signs it into law.

More than 12,000 people attended a moderated conversation with former First Lady Michelle Obama in Indianapolis Tuesday night.

The conversation covered a range of topics – from her roots in a supportive environment in Chicago to the potential positive impacts of diversity and civic action.

The Women’s Fund of Central Indiana hosted the event and provided 500 free tickets to women and girls who might not have been able to attend. Obama gave advice to young woman facing adversity.

Federal Judge Philip Simon has denied East Chicago residents’ request to intervene in court proceedings concerning lead contamination in the Calumet neighborhood, formerly home to a public housing complex and an elementary school.

Simon’s ruling agrees with a prior magistrate judge’s opinion saying the request was made too late in the process.

School Funding Gap Widens With New Numbers

Feb 13, 2018

The state’s school funding gap is much larger than first expected.

The budget shortfall isn’t new – lawmakers knew in December  it would be an issue because of an increase in public school enrollment.

Indiana can move forward with lethal injections following an Indiana Supreme Court ruling sanctioning the state’s use of a new lethal injection drug.

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