Brandon Smith http://wboi.org en Healthy Indiana Plan Enrollment Ends for 2014 http://wboi.org/post/healthy-indiana-plan-enrollment-ends-2014 <p>Indiana is cutting off enrollment in the Healthy Indiana Plan because the program has reached this year’s funding limit.</p><p>When the federal government reauthorized HIP, the health insurance program for low-income Hoosiers, last year, it required Indiana to lower the income eligibility ceiling from 200 percent of the poverty level – about $47,000 &nbsp;a year for a family of four – to 100 percent – roughly $23,000 &nbsp;a year.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:53:13 +0000 Brandon Smith 33689 at http://wboi.org State, Local Governments at Odds Over Tax http://wboi.org/post/state-local-governments-odds-over-tax <p>The next showdown between the state and local governments over the business personal property tax will be at a blue ribbon commission studying the issue this summer.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The tax on is a levy on business equipment that generates a billion dollars a year for local governments.</span></p><p>Legislation passed this year allows local governments to either exempt new equipment from the business personal property tax, eliminate it on small businesses or abate the tax on specific projects for up to 20 years.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:32:36 +0000 Brandon Smith 33625 at http://wboi.org State, Local Governments at Odds Over Tax Indiana Government Aims to Improve Transparency http://wboi.org/post/indiana-government-aims-improve-transparency <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">The governor’s office has unveiled a new website aiming to improve transparency and accountability in state government. The site was built to be a&nbsp;&nbsp;one-stop shop for Hoosiers keeping tabs on state agencies’ performance.</span></p><p></p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 22:14:04 +0000 Brandon Smith 33520 at http://wboi.org Indiana's Unemployment Rate on the Rise http://wboi.org/post/indianas-unemployment-rate-rise <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">Indiana’s private sector sent a June record for job creation. Yet the state’s unemployment rate rose for the first time in a year. &nbsp;</span></p><p></p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 19:35:51 +0000 Brandon Smith 33402 at http://wboi.org Prescription Drug Disposal Program Coming to Indiana http://wboi.org/post/prescription-drug-disposal-program-coming-indiana <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">The Yellow Jug Old Drugs program creates opportunities for people to dispose of unused prescription&nbsp;drugs year-round at participating pharmacies. The program is coming to Indiana.</span></p><p></p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 20:44:25 +0000 Brandon Smith 33307 at http://wboi.org Prescription Drug Disposal Program Coming to Indiana Convenience Stores Redouble Efforts to Sell Cold Beer http://wboi.org/post/convenience-stores-redouble-efforts-sell-cold-beer <p>Indiana convenience stores won’t stop their push to make the sale of cold beer in their shops legal. Instead, they’re filing a new lawsuit and appealing their existing case.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Under Indiana law, only liquor stores are allowed to sell cold beer.&nbsp; The Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association filed a lawsuit against the state last year in federal court, seeking to strike down the law.&nbsp;</span></p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:57:59 +0000 Brandon Smith 33253 at http://wboi.org Bayh Not Ruling Out a 2016 Gubernatorial Run http://wboi.org/post/bayh-not-ruling-out-2016-gubernatorial-run <p>Evan Bayh isn’t ruling out a run for governor in 2016.</p><p>The son of legendary Senator Birch Bayh, Evan Bayh was elected Secretary of State before serving two terms as governor, followed by 12 years in the U.S. Senate.&nbsp; He abruptly opted not to seek a third Senate term in 2010.&nbsp; Since then, he’s worked as a policy analyst and political commentator for Fox News.</p><p>He’s also donated some of his remaining campaign funds -- which total nearly $10 million -- to various Hoosier Democrats.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 21:10:20 +0000 Brandon Smith 33198 at http://wboi.org Bayh Not Ruling Out a 2016 Gubernatorial Run Indiana Lands Big Budget Surplus, But Democrats Cry Foul http://wboi.org/post/indiana-lands-big-budget-surplus-democrats-cry-foul <p>Despite tax revenues that struggled for much of the fiscal year, Indiana closes its book with a surplus of more than $100 million and reserves topping $2 billion.&nbsp; But Democrats say the state is hoarding money to make its bottom line look good.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Going into the final month of the fiscal year, Indiana was about $50 million short of expectations.&nbsp; But a strong June helped the state end the year about $13 million above projected levels.&nbsp; Still, Indiana brought in nearly $60 million less this year than last year.&nbsp;</span></p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 17:56:39 +0000 Brandon Smith 33177 at http://wboi.org Indiana Lands Big Budget Surplus, But Democrats Cry Foul State Faces Funding Challenges for New Roads http://wboi.org/post/state-faces-funding-challenges-new-roads <p>A blue ribbon panel studying Indiana’s future transportation needs laid out this week the state’s top road project priorities.&nbsp; The task now is to figure out how to pay for them.</p><p>The panel recommended four priorities for road construction projects – widening I-65 and I-70, building an I-69 Ohio River bridge and creating a commerce connector around Indianapolis.&nbsp; The panel did not include specific funding recommendations, though co-chair Cathy Langham says it does suggest developing some sort of user fee system.</p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 19:24:13 +0000 Brandon Smith 33073 at http://wboi.org State Faces Funding Challenges for New Roads Ethics Commission Concerned About INDOT Official's Departure to Private Company http://wboi.org/post/ethics-commission-concerned-about-indot-officials-departure-private-company <p>Members of the Indiana Ethics Commission say they have serious concerns about a senior INDOT official leaving his position to work for a company he’s helped steer state contracts toward.</p><p>INDOT Chief of Staff Troy Woodruff is in negotiations to work for RQAW, an engineering firm that does business with INDOT.&nbsp; While he’s working out an employment deal, Woodruff has put in place a screening procedure that ensures he isn’t involved with any state business that deals with RQAW.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 19:44:34 +0000 Brandon Smith 33019 at http://wboi.org Ethics Commission Concerned About INDOT Official's Departure to Private Company