Indiana News

Indiana related news items and stories.

Indiana is one of just three states in the country without an official state insect. Legislation passed in the Senate Tuesday would change that.

The unanimously approved bill is the initiative of West Lafayette elementary school students. Their push to name the Say’s Firefly as Indiana’s state insect began three years ago.

Senate lawmakers approved legislation Tuesday to allow Hoosier gun owners to carry their firearms in churches that are on school property.

Current law bars most Hoosiers from carrying guns onto school property. And that applies to churches on school grounds. Senate-approved legislation would lift that restriction for everyone during worship services and for employees and volunteers at the church at any time – unless the church bans firearms.

A for-profit nursing school’s central Indiana campus is trying to get more students interested in the field, which faces a shortage of qualified practitioners.

A few dozen students from Indianapolis’ Warren Central High School took part in Chamberlain University College of Nursing’s simulation lab, including disaster response.

Junior Stephan Gaither says he has family members pursing healthcare related jobs.

“They kind of inspired me to go into the medical field and be an EMT or something,” says Gaither.

Township Reform Bill Dies Without Vote In House

Feb 5, 2018

Legislation to force about 300 of Indiana’s townships to consolidate quietly died in the House Monday. The bill didn’t get called for a vote on the House’s deadline day after its author says she couldn’t find enough support in her caucus.

Student Press Freedom Bill Fails On House Floor

Feb 5, 2018

A bill to provide some press freedoms to Indiana students failed to garner enough votes for passage on the House floor Monday.

Rep. Ed Clere’s (R-New Albany) bill would prevent school officials from censoring student journalists’ content or disciplining students because of what they produce. But Clere says the bill does not provide free reign to students.

Senate Votes To Legalize Cannabidiol

Feb 5, 2018

The Indiana Senate approved legislation Monday to allow anyone in the state to buy or sell cannabidiol, or CBD.

The Senate’s bill is similar to language approved last week by the House – meaning CBD legalization appears to have a clear path forward this session.

Single Diploma Measure Moves Through House

Feb 5, 2018

Monday marks the last day for Indiana lawmakers to move legislation out of the House of Representatives, and a handful of education measures received approval.

One of those bills, House Bill 1426, would address a change in federal graduation rate calculations. It would create a single high school diploma structure to meet those federal rules, and is a welcome solution to a problem many state and school officials have shared concern over in recent months.

The House approved legislation Monday to eliminate the fee for Indiana’s lifetime handgun carry license.

Cash from gun carry permits typically goes to local law enforcement agency budgets. And some expressed concerns eliminating the fee would cut into police funding.

Rep. Tim Wesco (R-Osceola), the bill’s author, says the fee elimination doesn’t take effect until July 2019.

The 24th annual Indiana Youth Institute’s Kids Count Data Book was released Monday. The data tool measures the well-being of Hoosier children. Overall Indiana ranks 28th nationally, but near the bottom in several categories.

This year’s data is broken up by race and ethnicity. Indiana Youth Institute President Tamil Silverman says this year’s data gives a clearer picture of which groups of Hoosier children face the greatest challenges.

The state’s goal to prepare Hoosiers for life after high school is a major theme for education changes this year. And this week lawmakers will vote on legislation to make more students ready for the workforce.

One bill up for discussion would require schools to implement “soft skill” standards in their curriculum. Those include things like how a person works with others, or shows up dressed for their job. Lawmakers want schools to help more kids develop those, largely due to a push from employers who say workers lack those skillsets.

Messer, Rokita Dodge On DACA Path To Citizenship

Feb 2, 2018

Indiana U.S. Representatives – and U.S. Senate candidates – Luke Messer and Todd Rokita won’t say for sure whether they’ll support a path to citizenship for DACA recipients.

DACA is a federal program that shields undocumented immigrants who came to the U-S as children. About 10,000 Hoosiers are enrolled.

President Donald Trump says he supports a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, over a period of around a decade.

Rep. Messer (R-Shelbyville) says the focus in immigration negotiations needs to be border security.

House Approves Controversial School Management Bill

Feb 1, 2018

House lawmakers are moving forward with a controversial school financial management bill. Lawmakers debated HB 1315 for nearly two hours Thursday before passing it, and some members, including Rep. Earl Harris (D-East Chicago), say they’re concerned the legislation takes too much power away from the locally elected school boards of struggling schools.

“I’m very much uncomfortable with us taking away the will of the voters in terms of the school board. The school board is voted in,” Harris says.

The Indiana State Department of Health has awarded $127,000 in naloxone kits to rural Indiana counties. The opioid overdose reversal medication is going to the counties with high numbers of emergency room overdose visits.

Thirty-four rural counties will receive nearly 3,400 naloxone kits, to be distributed to first responders. The federal grant money is part of a larger $3.2 million gift the state received last year.

House lawmakers rejected an effort Thursday to allow voters in small townships to have their own say on consolidation.

The underlying bill would force townships of 1,200 people or less to consolidate with an adjacent unit by 2023.

Senate Passes Bill To Broaden Feticide Law

Feb 1, 2018

The Senate easily approved legislation Thursday that would allow prosecutors to bring a second murder charge against someone who kills a pregnant woman and causes the death of her fetus.

Current law would allow that – but only if the fetus is viable. Sen. Aaron Freeman’s (R-Indianapolis) bill would eliminate the need for viability.

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