Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

Cold Beer Expansion Bill Fails In Senate Committee

Jan 17, 2018

A push to allow grocery and convenience stores to sell cold beer was dealt Wednesday what’s likely a death blow for the 2018 session.

A Senate committee overwhelmingly rejected a bill to expand cold beer sales after hours of testimony from groups on both sides of the debate.

Democrat Harper Announces Bid For Secretary Of State

Jan 17, 2018

Indiana Democrats have their first declared candidate for Secretary of State.

Valparaiso attorney Jim Harper announced Wednesday his bid to unseat incumbent Republican Connie Lawson this fall.

In his announcement video, Harper says he wants to promote small businesses, help protect investors against fraud, and advocate for election reforms.

“Like expanded early voting, same-day registration, and an end to political gerrymandering,” he says.

A bill to legalize Sunday alcohol sales took a step closer to passage in the House Wednesday as a committee approved the measure 12-1.

The bill is simple – any retailer that sells alcohol Monday through Saturday could now sell it on Sunday, but only from 12 p.m to 8 p.m. Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) drafted an amendment to expand those hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Health and business leaders called on the legislature Tuesday to support House Bill 1380 at a rally.

The bill would increase the age for buying cigarettes to 21 and add a $1.50 tax per pack of cigarettes.

Indiana Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Brinegar spoke at the Raise It For Health rally. He says the state’s smoking habit costs employers three weeks a year in lost productivity for smoke breaks and nearly $3 billion in health care expenses.

Advocates Call For Hate Crimes Legislation, Again

Jan 16, 2018

The Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate asked state lawmakers for a hate crime law Tuesday. Similar legislation has failed to pass, each year, for nearly a decade.

READ MORE: Lawmakers Put Burden On Opposite Chambers In Bias Crimes Debate

So far, in this legislative session, two bills would include bias as a consideration for sentencing.

Indiana Youth Group’s Kyle Casteel expressed his frustration with the state’s lack of progress.

Lawmakers Hear Testimony On CBD Access Issues

Jan 16, 2018

State lawmakers are again weighing in on CBD oil. It was sold in many stores – over the counter – but the hemp extract is only legal for those with treatment resistant epilepsy. Legislators are considering a number of bills to increase access to the substance.

Indiana senators heard testimony for two measures concerning CBD or cannabidiol oil. Sen. Mike Young (R-Indianapolis) says one bill clarifies sale of the oil and the other legalizes its use more broadly.

Senate Approves Bill To Expand Baby Box Locations

Jan 16, 2018

 

The Indiana Senate unanimously passed legislation Tuesday to expand locations where baby boxes can be used, even as some senators express concerns surrounding the devices.

A House committee cautiously began debate Tuesday on what the committee chair calls “a touchy subject” – township government reform.

The legislation would force townships with less than 1,200 people to merge with an adjacent township by 2023. That mandate would eliminate about 1,200 elected officials.

Indiana Township Association President Debbie Driscoll says her organization supports such reform.

A new state report shows the number of students who transfer in or out of the school corporation boundary they reside in to attend other districts, charter schools or private schools.

The Public Corporation Transfer Report was created by a 2017 state law. The intent is to offer a better understanding of the mobility of students living within a school corporation’s boundary, according to the Indiana Department of Education who compiled and released it.

 

A House committee easily advanced legislation Tuesday that would block local governments from banning short-term rentals such as Airbnb.

No one spoke in opposition during the committee hearing.

The bill would allow local governments to require permits for those who operate short-term rentals. It would also allow a $150 fee for those permits.

A bill that would raise the limit on children in a foster family from five to six is headed to the Senate floor. It passed the Senate Family and Children Services committee unanimously last week.

Cathy Graham, executive director of the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy, testified in favor of the bill. She says increasing the limit could help the Department of Child Services in emergency placements.

Attorney General Expands Human Trafficking Efforts

Jan 15, 2018

Indiana’s Attorney General Curtis Hill will expand operations to better address human trafficking in the state.

The Human Trafficking Investigations Unit will add investigators and attorneys to better catch and prosecute people who engage in sex and labor trafficking in Indiana.

The Attorney General’s Office says human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries. In a statement, Hill said “victims trapped in this illegal enterprise who are desperate for a better way of life need to know there is help and hope.”

Indiana lawmakers want to study the impact of 529 College Savings Plans on state revenue after a just enacted federal tax change allows the accounts to be spent on tuition at private elementary and high schools.

Congressman Luke Messer emerged the victor Saturday of a straw poll of Republican U.S. Senate candidates.

Each of the six GOP Senate candidates delivered a short speech before 326 party activists in attendance cast their votes in the event organized by the Indiana Republican Party.

Rep. Messer (R-Shelbyville) won at 45 percent (147 votes). He calls the result “important momentum.”

“But there’s a whole lot of work to do between now and Election Day,” Messer says. “In a lot of ways, this is just the green flag to the four-month race before us.”

IDOE Releases 2017 Graduation Rate Data

Jan 12, 2018

The Department of Education released 2017 graduation rate data Friday.

The department reports the statewide graduation rate landed around 87 percent – two points lower than in 2016.

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