Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

 

March 31 was supposed to be the deadline for families in a lead-contaminated public housing complex in East Chicago, Indiana to move out, or be sent to temporary housing. But some are still appealing those assignments – and they won’t be forced out until their complaints are settled.

Hearings for residents who filed grievances about their temporary housing assignments will be held Monday April 3 and Tuesday April 4.

Holcomb Budget Priorities: Some In, Some Out

Mar 31, 2017

The Senate GOP budget leaves out a key priority of Governor Eric Holcomb’s – reinvesting money in a state trust fund. But the Senate budget did include two Holcomb initiatives dismissed by House Republicans.

Holcomb wants to reinvest half of the state’s $500 million Next Generation Trust Fund in Indiana companies and entrepreneurs. He says changing that investment strategy is key to the state’s economic development.

Holcomb Gets Specific In Road Funding Debate

Mar 31, 2017

Governor Eric Holcomb says he doesn’t support shifting sales tax on gasoline dollars to help pay for roads.

The House Republican proposal shifted all sales tax on gasoline dollars to pay for roads. That’s about $300 million a year. Senate Republicans eliminated that shift. Holcomb agrees, saying he doesn’t prefer to move those dollars.

The Senate GOP’s road funding plan keeps intact a 10 cent gas tax increase, but spreads it over two years. The proposal also creates two new fees but eliminates a shift of sales tax on gasoline dollars to pay for roads.


The Indiana Statehouse. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/Indiana Public Broadcasting)

As the legislative session enters its last three weeks, lawmakers begin to wrap up, and many of the major education bills we’ve been following moved forward.

State Superintendent Change Revived In The Senate

 

East Chicago residents affected by long-term lead exposure from now-shuttered refineries are hoping a new portable lead testing device will give them answers that have so far proved elusive.

Scientists, including a Purdue University professor, are in the process of testing an X-ray gun that measures the amount of lead in people’s bones – and they hope to take that test to East Chicago.

Senate Endorses Amended Version Of House Pre-K Bill

Mar 30, 2017

The Indiana Senate approved legislation for state-funded preschool that offers far less financial support than what House lawmakers and Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb had sought.

Throughout the session, Republican Senate lawmakers have been adamant: We don’t want to double the funding for the state’s preschool pilot program.

Indiana legislative leaders aren’t certain they’ll resolve a cold beer sales controversy this session.

Two Ricker’s convenience stores, using a legal loophole, recently secured the ability to sell cold beer. That was a right reserved solely for liquor stores and restaurants.

Senate GOP Eliminates Cigarette Tax Hike In Its Budget

Mar 30, 2017

 

Senate Republicans rolled out their version of the budget bill Thursday, one that diverges from the House budget in a few key areas.

The Senate unveiled its budget proposal for the next two years Thursday, showing higher increases for K-12 spending, compared to the House proposal. Increases include more money for English Language Learners and students living in poverty.

The budget that passed out of the House increased funding for K-12 by 2.8 percent over two years. The Senate proposal increased it by 3.4 percent, which shakes out to $358 million over two years.

 

A debate erupted in two committees over Indiana’s cold beer sales law after a convenience store’s recent use of a legal loophole drew the ire of liquor stores and legislative leaders.

Two Ricker’s convenience stores qualified to sell cold beer after they started selling made-to-order food and added seating. Indiana law only allows liquor stores and restaurants to sell cold beer for carryout.

Solar, Net Metering Bill Passes House Committee

Mar 29, 2017

Indiana’s House Utilities Committee voted 8-5 to advance a bill overhauling the state’s net metering policy Wednesday.

The bill would slowly lower the amount Hoosiers receive for selling excess energy back to the grid. In 30 years, Hoosiers would receive a rate closer to the wholesale rate, rather than the current, higher retail rate.

Senate Panel Moves Forward ISTEP Replacement Bill

Mar 29, 2017

A bill to overhaul Indiana’s standardized testing system passed out of a Senate committee Wednesday, but some lawmakers say the legislation does little to clear up concerns with over testing.

House Bill 1003 sets up guidelines for a new state test that will replace the ISTEP+ and graduation requirement exams by 2019.

Little Change Seen In County Health Rankings

Mar 29, 2017

For the eighth year in a row, a health survey that measures length and quality of life, places Hamilton County at the top and Scott County the bottom.

The annual County Health Rankings report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, RWJF, and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute finds Indiana’s health factors and outcomes vary by where you live. RWJF Program Officer Andrea Ducas says socio-economic factors give more affluent counties a healthy edge.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this story was published, federal officials have said that West Calumet families with nowhere else to go will now have until Monday, April 3, to appeal their temporary housing assignments before they’re forced to move. This story has been updated to reflect this change, and we’ll keep following the situation as it develops. 

Pages