Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly Friday publicly announced his support of same-sex marriage, saying he changed his position in light of recent Supreme Court arguments and public discussion. The Democratic U.S. Senator’s support could influence the issue in the Statehouse.
In a statement released on his Facebook page, Senator Joe Donnelly said he opposes amending both the Indiana and U.S. constitutions to ban same-sex marriage, much as a proposed amendment to Indiana’s constitution would do if passed a second time by the General Assembly and then by voters.
The Indiana Senate budget proposal unveiled Thursday does include an income tax cut, but it's not nearly as large as Governor Mike Pence proposed. Still, Pence says it’s a good start.
Last year, then-congressman Mike Pence made a 10% income tax cut proposal the centerpiece of his campaign. But when House Republicans presented their budget earlier this session, Governor Pence’s tax cut was nowhere to be found.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz does not agree with a recent change to a school safety bill that would require armed personnel in every Indiana public school.
A House committee Tuesday amended a Senate-approved school safety bill to create what the bill calls school protection officers (employees who must carry guns). The definition includes teachers and principals. The bill mandates a protection officer in each building, and that’s why State Superintendent Glenda Ritz said she doesn’t support it.
Changes made Tuesday to a school safety bill would require armed personnel in every Hoosier public school, and those personnel can now be teachers or administrators.
The original bill, as it passed the Senate, encouraged, but did not mandate, Indiana schools to hire school resource officers, trained law enforcement who receive additional training for the school environment. A House committee Tuesday approved an amendment that creates a new position, school protection officer, and requires each school to have one.
The Pence administration said changes made in an Indiana House committee Monday to a bill dealing with implementation of the Affordable Care Act hurts the state’s negotiating power with the federal government.
The House Public Health Committee approved changes to the bill that include removing language urging federal Medicaid dollars be given to Indiana in block grant form, requiring the state to end healthcare expansion if the federal government doesn’t contribute the funds it has promised and prompting the Pence administration to continue negotiating for expansion.
Indiana’s unemployment rate went up once again in February, though the state’s private sector marked the 20th consecutive month of job growth.
Indiana’s private sector added 5,800 jobs last month. And since July of 2009, the low point of the recession, the state has created jobs in all but four months. But at 8.7% in February, Indiana’s unemployment rate is at its highest level in more than a year.
Sponsors of legislation overhauling the state’s criminal code hope changes made to marijuana penalties Thursday will help ease Governor Mike Pence’s concerns.
One of the goals of the criminal code revision legislation is to reduce penalties for low-level, first-time drug offenses in an effort to focus more on rehabilitation. But Governor Mike Pence waded into the debate last week, expressing concern the bill wasn’t tough enough on drug crimes.
A bill regulating abortion-inducing drugs administered at Indiana abortion clinics will advance to the House floor after passage in committee Wednesday.
When the bill passed the Senate, it required women receiving the abortion-inducing drug known as RU-486 to undergo an ultrasound prior to taking the drug. Changes in the House committee Wednesday would require the ultrasound to be offered but allow women to turn it down.
The bill now only forces changes at one Indiana location – a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette.
Bedford Republican Senator Brent Steele says he remains confident the legislature will pass a bill overhauling the state’s criminal code, despite Governor Mike Pence voicing concerns about the measure’s impact.
Gov. Pence’s main issue with the bill is its reduction of penalties for low-level drug offenders. Those behind the criminal code reform effort want to focus more on rehabilitation. But Pence says the state must remain tough on drugs and work to reduce crime, not penalties.