Indiana Legislature

Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

Columbia City Republican Senator Jim Banks announced Tuesday he’s running for congress in Indiana’s third district. The seat is being vacated by Marlin Stutzman, who’s stepping down to run for U-S Senate. 

Banks asked his supporters to help send him to Washington just three weeks after he returned home from an eight-month mission to Afghanistan.

The Navy Reserve officer was deployed last September. His wife Amanda took his place in the General Assembly for the 2015 session.

Legislature Approves Budget Minutes to Midnight

Apr 30, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

Republicans declared “mission accomplished” on the new budget as they brought a close to the 2015  legislative session.

The $31 billion two-year budget creates a record-increase in K-12 education spending, allocates  more money for domestic violence prevention and treatment, the Department of Child Services, and  public retirees.  

House Speaker Brian Bosma says after years of major tax cuts and reforms, it’s time for the General Assembly to, in his words, “take a breath.”

Speaker Bosma says the legislature has enacted 15 tax cuts over the last 14 years, including property  tax caps, reductions in the corporate and individual income taxes and elimination of the inheritance tax.  

Bosma says he thinks it’s time to let the system settle and allow people to get accustomed to the state’s  existing tax climate.

We continue our series The Difference, exploring black male achievement - today, on a statewide level.

Even when the Indiana General Assembly isn’t in session, lawmakers meet in interim study committees to discuss complex issues facing the state. A few weeks ago, the education committee tackled school discipline.

Those who testified claimed that Indiana’s discipline code is punitive and inconsistent with research, and that suspensions and expulsions disproportionately affect students of color.

The Indiana legislature is considering a bill that would allow microbreweries to sell beer at Indiana farmer’s markets. The bill proposes that Indiana microbreweries would be able to sell beer for off-site consumption at local farmer’s markets.

Under the bill, tastings would not be allowed. Republican State Senator Ron Alting of Lafayette who authored the bill says that’s because the legislature wants to maintain farmer’s markets as family-friendly environments.