politics

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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Politics & Government
5:30 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Listen: Advocates Discuss Single County Executive Proposal at "Issues & Ales"

Listeners packed The Phoenix in Fort Wayne for the latest edition of "Issues & Ales" Oct. 29th.

WBOI listeners packed the house Wednesday night at The Phoenix in Downtown Fort Wayne for two hours of discussion on issues facing Allen County and the region at large.

The panel discussions were part of WBOI's "Issues & Ales" series, which features experts talking about topics in front of an audience at local restaurants and bars.

Hour one of the discussion focused on the upcoming vote on whether or not Allen County should change its county governance from three executives to one. Voters go to the polls to decide the issue Nov. 4th.

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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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Politics & Government
3:32 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Bayh Says He Won't Run in 2016

Former Sen. Evan Bayh says he won't run for governor in 2016, but will still help Democrats campaign for office.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Former U.S. Senator Evan Bayh says the growing partisan divide in Indiana is the reason for his decision not to make another bid for the governor’s mansion in 2016.

Friday’s announcement comes after months of questions about the former two-term governor’s political future. Bayh’s continued popularity in the state Democratic Party, combined with a still-robust campaign war chest, has been fueling speculation about a run for governor in two years. 

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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
6:43 pm
Sat June 7, 2014

GOP Platform Includes Traditional Marriage Language

Some GOP delegates wanted to strike language from the new party platform defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Their amendment failed in a floor vote.
Credit Sean Bueter / WBOI News

The Indiana Republican Party passed a platform Saturday endorsing marriage that some delegates found divisive.

The language officially adopted by the party says that strong families are founded on marriages between a man and a woman. It also recognizes the value of diversity in family structures.

But the plank didn't sit well with some delegates, who saw the position as divisive and wanted to amend the platform to remove the definition all together.

Marion County delegate Tom John proposed such an amendment to the platform during the convention.

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Politics & Government
2:18 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Treasurer Nomination Up for Grabs as GOP Convention Nears

Indiana Republican Party Chairman Tim Berry.
Credit File / Tim Berry Campaign

Indiana Republican Party Chair Tim Berry says he hopes his party’s upcoming state convention will show Hoosiers that the GOP can come together and have fun.

There are three statewide positions up for election this fall – Secretary of State, Auditor and Treasurer. 

Democrats had already decided on their three nominees going into the state party convention, and Republicans have incumbents running for Secretary of State and Auditor – Connie Lawson and Suzanne Crouch.  But three candidates are vying for the GOP’s state Treasurer nomination in what’s expected to be a hotly-contested convention fight.

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Opinion - Politics
5:09 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Summer Committees Offer Legislative Insight

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

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

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Opinion - Politics
4:32 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

No One Said It Would Be Easy

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

Minnesota has one of those problems many states would like to have. It is trying to figure out what do to with a growing budget surplus.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the January seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Minnesota was the ninth best rate in the United States at 4.7% and the economy is growing.  Short-term projections for the state are that there will be 42,000 more jobs by the fourth quarter of 2014 than there were in the fourth quarter of 2013. 

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