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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.