Politics & Government

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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Justice
5:24 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Council Calls for More Funding to Represent Juveniles

The Indiana Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges says the state needs to put more money into providing public defenders for juveniles.  The announcement comes ahead of a new rule that will create a greater need for those lawyers.

Indiana Criminal Rule 25 mandates that juveniles in the court system must be provided a lawyer – often a public defender – in certain circumstances. 

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Energizing Indiana
4:47 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Study Committee Will Hear Report on Energizing Indiana

Environmental and consumer advocates say they’re skeptical about whether lawmakers will take seriously a report providing a positive evaluation of the state’s now-eliminated energy efficiency program.

Last session, the legislature passed a bill eliminating the state’s energy efficiency program known as Energizing Indiana.  It also mandated the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission create a report evaluating the effectiveness of the program.

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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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Politics & Government
4:01 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

As Revenue Lags, Senator Urges Caution During 2015 Budget Session

Indiana Senate Appropriations Chair Luke Kenley says Hoosiers shouldn’t be concerned about lagging tax revenues.  But he says lawmakers should proceed with caution as they prepare to write a new budget in the coming months.

Indiana tax revenues came in under projections for the first two months of the fiscal year that began in July.  That follows the last fiscal year in which the state only outperformed its targets by one-tenth of one percent, and with less revenue than the previous year. 

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Politics & Government
5:01 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Report: "Energizing Indiana" Was Cost Effective

Energizing Indiana, the state's energy efficiency program, was canceled earlier this year.

A new report indicates the state’s energy efficiency program legislators eliminated earlier this year was cost effective—saving about three dollars for every one dollar spent.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission report shows the biggest payback from the program—called Energizing Indiana—was in rebates given to commercial and industrial businesses that upgraded to energy efficiency equipment. For every one dollar in rebate, the companies saved more than five dollars in electricity costs.

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Politics & Government
4:17 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

State Will Fund Adoption Subsidies for Children with Special Needs

Indiana adoption advocates say there’s excitement in the community after the state announced it will resume funding the State Adoption Subsidy for parents who adopt special needs children from foster care.

The Department of Child Services stopped providing the subsidies in 2009.  It was the peak of the recession and agency budgets were being slashed. 

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Politics & Government
5:37 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Donnelly Lauds Farm Bill on Statewide Tour

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana.
Credit Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly says the new Farm Bill is good legislation for the times the nation is facing.  Donnelly is traveling around the state this week talking to farmers about the bill.

Donnelly says the most recent version of the farm bill is strong in two important areas: a greater shift toward crop insurance and greater focus on conservation. 

The Indiana Democrat says past farm bills relied heavily on direct payments to farmers; the new bill does away with them almost entirely, which he says is better for taxpayers as well as farmers.

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Politics & Government
3:58 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Effort to Clean Up Voter Rolls Continues

Indiana Sec. of State Connie Lawson.
Credit Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

Indiana has identified more than 700,000 voter records that need to be updated or marked inactive in its effort to clean up the state’s voter rolls.

Earlier this year, Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s office sent postcards to every Hoosier on the voter list.  More than 750,000 came back as undeliverable. 

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Politics & Government
5:46 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Attorney General Undecided on Appeal to Athiest Celebrant Rulilng

The Indiana Attorney General’s office says it hasn’t decided whether to appeal a ruling allowing atheist leaders to solemnize marriages in the state.  That’s despite the group that brought the lawsuit – atheist group Center for Inquiry – announcing its victory Thursday.  Still, CFI Executive Director Reba Boyd Wooden still says she’s ready to perform marriages.

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