Politics & Government http://wboi.org en GOP Leader Proposes City Worker Protections http://wboi.org/post/gop-leader-proposes-city-worker-protections <p>Allen County’s Republican Party leader has a new proposal to protect workers he says will “smooth the edges” of Fort Wayne’s recent ban on collective bargaining for most city employees.</p><p>Chairman Steve Shine sent a letter to Republican members of the Fort Wayne City Council Friday urging them to create an appeals process for city workers that would ensure fairness in firing and disciplinary decisions.</p><p>Shine says he was initially approached on the matter by Jeremy Bush with the Fort Wayne Professional Firefighers union, who asked him to intercede with a proposal.</p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 20:26:52 +0000 Sean Bueter 33822 at http://wboi.org GOP Leader Proposes City Worker Protections Pence Says Recent ACA Rulings Point to Repeal http://wboi.org/post/pence-says-recent-aca-rulings-point-repeal <p>Governor Mike Pence says recent court rulings on the Affordable Care Act should send a message to Congress to repeal the controversial healthcare law.</p><p>Two federal appeals courts this week issued conflicting rulings on subsidies offered to consumers who purchase health insurance through federally-run exchanges – one court invalidated them, the other upheld them.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:26:00 +0000 Brandon Smith 33718 at http://wboi.org Pence Says Recent ACA Rulings Point to Repeal 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 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 Columbia City Senator Set for Fall Deployment http://wboi.org/post/columbia-city-senator-set-fall-deployment <p>State Senator Jim Banks, a Naval Reserve officer, is being deployed to Afghanistan this fall and will miss the entire 2015 legislative session.</p><p>Banks will use a provision in state law to take a temporary leave from his seat rather than resign, the first time a state lawmaker has used that provision.</p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 18:45:26 +0000 Brandon Smith 32894 at http://wboi.org Columbia City Senator Set for Fall Deployment