Indiana General Assembly en State, Local Governments at 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 State, Local Governments at Odds Over Tax Columbia City Senator Set for 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 Columbia City Senator Set for Fall Deployment Effort to Allow Cold Beer in Convenience Stores Falls Flat <p>Groups pushing Indiana to allow cold beer sales in convenience stores likely face a tough road in the state legislature.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A federal judge this week ruled against convenience store owners in their lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on cold beer sales by non-liquor stores.&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 19:46:14 +0000 Brandon Smith 31980 at Senate Passes Amended Same-Sex Marriage Ban <p></p><p>The proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage known as HJR-3 survived the 2014 session but not unscathed, losing its controversial second sentence.&nbsp; And it won’t be on the ballot this fall.</p><p></p><p>HJR-3’s second sentence, which banned civil unions, was removed by the House because of concerns it could prohibit domestic partnership benefits.&nbsp; The Senate opted against reinserting it.&nbsp; And the Senate ended debate on the issue this year Monday, passing HJR-3 32 to 17.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 18:35:24 +0000 Brandon Smith 26722 at Senate Passes Amended Same-Sex Marriage Ban Dermody Could Have Big Impact On Hoosier Gaming <p>A new chairman in the Indiana House Public Policy committee is giving gaming industry officials hope for more success in the legislature.</p><p>Indiana’s gaming industry has been hit hard in the last few years, both by the recession and increased competition from neighboring states.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:28:00 +0000 Brandon Smith 23892 at Lawmakers Explore More Autonomy for IPFW <p>State lawmakers say the legislature could give Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne more autonomy and flexibility in funding and degree offerings.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A legislative study committee was tasked this year with investigating the governance structure of the state’s regional university campuses.&nbsp; And though its initial focus was broad, the committee has narrowed in on one location – </span>IPFW<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the state’s fifth largest college campus.&nbsp;</span></p> Mon, 21 Oct 2013 15:02:34 +0000 Brandon Smith 21889 at Lawmakers Explore More Autonomy for IPFW Group Vows to Fight Gay Marriage Ban <p>A bipartisan coalition of community, faith and business leaders opposing Indiana’s proposed amendment banning same sex marriage is promising a well-funded campaign against lawmakers who support the measure.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The General Assembly approved a constitutional amendment in 2011 banning same-sex marriage.&nbsp; The legislature must pass it again next year. &nbsp;Then it would go to the voters in the 2014 November general election.&nbsp;</span></p><p>The newly-formed Freedom Indiana is vowing to fight its passage.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 22 Aug 2013 17:27:32 +0000 Brandon Smith 19331 at Group Vows to Fight Gay Marriage Ban Indiana's School Grading System In the Spotlight <div>The controversy surrounding Indiana’s former superintendent, Tony Bennett, is bringing new attention to the formula state officials use to issue letter grade performance ratings to schools.&nbsp;</div><p> Mon, 05 Aug 2013 22:02:00 +0000 Kyle Stokes 18570 at Indiana's School Grading System In the Spotlight Committee Set to Add Transparency at DCS <p>Lawmakers say a new Department of Child Services oversight committee will help increase the agency’s transparency by developing a greater sense of collaboration between the legislature and DCS.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The </span>DCS<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Oversight Committee was created last legislative session as part of a larger Commission on Improving the Status of Children.</span></p><p>Middlebury Republican Senator Carlin Yoder, who chairs the committee, says it was created because of struggles DCS went through the last several years.</p> Mon, 29 Jul 2013 14:46:03 +0000 Brandon Smith 18248 at Committee Set to Add Transparency at DCS Gay Marriage Advocates, Opponents Prepare for 2014 <p>Advocates on both sides of Indiana’s same sex marriage debate are preparing for a fight after the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings Wednesday clear the way for the states to decide the marriage question.</p><p> Thu, 27 Jun 2013 12:16:44 +0000 Brandon Smith 16824 at