Governor Mike Pence says concerns about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act come from a misunderstanding of the law, for which he at least partly blames the media. Pence signed the controversial bill into law Thursday.
RFRA establishes a judicial test that courts will use to decide when the government can infringe on a person’s religious beliefs and practices.
Many groups say they’re concerned it will be used to sanction discrimination, particularly against LGBT Hoosiers.
Governor Mike Pence says he still hopes to alter a major sales tax exemption for Hoosier businesses after House lawmakers stripped out a change to the exemption from the governor’s tax legislation.
One of the biggest pieces of Governor Pence’s tax simplification bill was the elimination of what’s called the “double direct” test for determining business sales tax exemptions. The double direct test is a very specific metric for determining what items are exempt from the sales tax.
The General Assembly is trying to speed up the process for approving changes to this spring’s ISTEP+ test.
Late last week, the State Board of Education and Department of Education approved a handful of recommendations to shrink this year’s version of the test, which students can start taking in less than two weeks.
By law, those changes must get the okay from the General Assembly. In order to fast-track that process, two things happened in the House of Representatives Tuesday:
The Indiana Department of Education says it will proceed as planned to issue the ISTEP+ exam beginning Feb. 25, even after Gov. Mike Pence signed an executive order Monday to re-evaluate the test’s length.
Even though the test could change -- after the testing consultant hired through Pence’s executive order issues recommendations on how to shorten it -- the DOE says they are preparing school districts as if the test will not change.
Deputy state superintendent Danielle Shockey says Pence’s actions only add to the confusion in preparing for this year’s ISTEP.
Republican legislative leaders say the potential price tag of one aspect of Governor Mike Pence’s tax simplification proposal could be too costly to support.
Among the many provisions of Pence’s bill is a change to a sales tax exemption for Hoosier businesses.
Initial estimates by the governor’s administration put the cost around $35 million. But LSA, the legislature’s bipartisan research agency, calculates a revenue loss of anywhere between $130 million and $240 million per year.
Pence administration officials say they’ll work with press organizations to carefully evaluate the proposed state news service before it’s unveiled to the public.
Pence communications director Christy Denault says the original intent of the Just IN news service was to serve as a clearinghouse, a “one-stop shop,” for press releases from all state agencies. She says the current system, a state news calendar, didn’t display releases from nearly half of the state’s 90 agencies.
Governor Mike Pence says he wants the State Budget Committee to release the second half of the Major Moves 2020 fund. That would amount to $200 million dollars for road projects.
Listen to Brandon Smith's story on Gov. Pence's request to release the rest of the money from the Major Moves 2020 fund.
Two years ago, lawmakers put aside $400 million into what they called the Major Moves 2020 fund. It was meant for long-term, future projects. Pence last year secured the release of half of the fund to add lanes to major interstates. The governor Tuesday announced he will ask the State Budget Committee to approve the transfer of the remaining 200 million. He says it will be used for capacity building.