Andrew Downs

Opinion - Politics
12:00 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

As February Wraps Up, A Legislative Milestone Passes

Andrew Downs, Director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at IPFW.
Credit Courtesy / Andrew Downs

The week of February 23rd includes a legislative milestone for the current session of the Indiana General Assembly.  This was the week when bills had to move from one chamber to the other.  Theoretically, if a bill failed to be voted out of the chamber of origin, it is not possible for that bill to become law.  In other words, those bills are dead.  (Click here to see how a bill becomes a law in Indiana.) 

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Opinion - Politics
4:51 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

A Primer on the Education Session

Andrew Downs, Director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at IPFW.
Credit Courtesy / Andrew Downs

This is a long session of the Indiana General Assembly, which means legislators are crafting the two-year budget for the state.  As I have written before, this is the issue that will dominate the session and the only thing they must get done, but there will be other issues that get discussed. 

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Politics & Government
10:34 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Interview: Andy Downs on Pence Administration's Proposed News Service

Andrew Downs is executive director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at IPFW.
Credit Courtesy / Andrew Downs

The Associated Press broke the news this week that Governor Mike Pence’s administration was planning to launch a state-run news service that would pitch stories to the press and the public.

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Opinion - Politics
3:54 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

What to Expect from the Indiana General Assembly in 2015

Andrew Downs, Director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at IPFW.
Credit Courtesy / Andrew Downs

Election Day was November 4th and the members of the Indiana General Assembly got together on November 18th for Organization Day.  Organization Day is the third Tuesday following the first Monday in November.  This is the day that legislators take their oaths of office and in the days after that, the leaders announce committee assignments and who would be chairing those committees. 

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Election 2014
4:11 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Voters Say No to Allen County Restructuring

The "No's" had it Tuesday night as voters defeated a referendum on restructuring Allen County's government. The measure only gained about 30 percent of the vote.
Credit Courtesy / No to One

A ballot measure that would have consolidated executive power in Allen County into a single office failed by a convincing margin Tuesday night.

Voters overwhelmingly defeated the referendum – which proposed restructuring county government away from the current three commissioner system to a single county executive – with about 70 percent checking the “No” box.

That result leaves the current Allen County government structure unchanged.

Opinion - Politics
6:13 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Balancing Disparities in Public School Funding is No Easy Fix

Andrew Downs, Director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at IPFW.
Credit Courtesy / Andrew Downs

In the past month, you may have heard or read the StateImpact story about the Indiana House Republican Caucus’ legislative priorities for the upcoming session.  One of the items that caught people’s attention was that the Republican Caucus wants to “fix” the K-12 school funding formula by reducing the gap between the highest and lowest funded districts.   According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, the highest funded district receives more than $9,500 per student and the lowest receives approximately $5,500.

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Opinion - Politics
4:57 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Allen County Executive Vote is Direct Democracy in Action

Andrew Downs, Director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at IPFW.
Credit Courtesy / Andrew Downs

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, many states added elements of direct democracy that enabled voters to have a direct say in what might become law, how public money would be spent, and recalling elected officials from office. 

Indiana did not add many of these elements which is why many voters may not be able to remember ever actually voting on anything like these. 

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Opinion - Politics
5:30 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

How Regulation Can Build Community

Andrew Downs, Director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at IPFW.
Credit Courtesy / Andrew Downs

Bloomington, Ind., recently adopted an ordinance that requires all chain businesses to meet a visual standard.  The visual standard means that chain businesses such as restaurants and retail outlets most likely will not be able to build their usual buildings or modify buildings to look like their usual buildings.  Instead, the businesses will have to complement the architecture, façade, scale, and signage of their neighbors.  The ordinance applies only to downtown and an area west of the Indiana University campus. 

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Opinion - Politics
6:16 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

They Gathered in Indy to Talk About What?

Andrew Downs, Director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at IPFW.
Credit Courtesy / Andrew Downs

A recent episode of WBOI Presents featured IPFW historian Jeffrey Malanson and political scientist Mike Wolf discussing the two ways the United States Constitution can be amended according to Article V.  One of the methods has been used 27 times.  The other has never been used. 

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Politics & Government
3:50 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

WBOI Presents: The Mount Vernon Assembly and Constitutional Amendments

Ind. Sen. David Long addresses a meeting of The Mount Vernon Assembly, which met in Indianapolis this month.
Credit Andrew Downs / for WBOI News

A group of state legislators from around the United States met June 12th and 13th at the Indiana Statehouse to discuss an idea that's never been tested: a convention of the states aimed at amending the U.S. Constitution.

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