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.
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.
The Indiana General Assembly meets in session until the end of April in odd-numbered years. This is known as the long-session and is when the two-year budget is drafted and approved.
In even-numbered years, the General Assembly meets in session until the middle of March. This is known as the short-session. You can see the archive of legislative activity and deadline information here.
Conservatives and liberals spend quite a bit of time arguing about this question. Even when they agree on a role the government is supposed to play, they often will argue about how the government is supposed to play that role.
While the ideological differences between the two parties can explain their varying perspectives on the role of government, the reality is that even those with the same ideology disagree on what they want government to do.
(Ed. note: This month, we're launching a series of weekly columns from contributors across the community on topics like health, politics, food and more. This is the second column in our series.)
Indiana’s education standards include requirements regarding civics and government. But I am a realist. I know that just because a standard exists, there is no guarantee that a student will retain information any longer than it takes to through a test, if that long. Life has an interesting way of providing moments when those things we were required to learn, and forgot, suddenly have relevance. The legislative process is one of those things.