Politics & Government

Politics & Government
5:57 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Convenience Stores Redouble Efforts to Sell Cold Beer

Indiana convenience stores won’t stop their push to make the sale of cold beer in their shops legal. Instead, they’re filing a new lawsuit and appealing their existing case.

Under Indiana law, only liquor stores are allowed to sell cold beer.  The Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association filed a lawsuit against the state last year in federal court, seeking to strike down the law. 

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Politics & Government
5:10 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Bayh Not Ruling Out a 2016 Gubernatorial Run

Former Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh said Monday he's not ruling out another run for the office.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Evan Bayh isn’t ruling out a run for governor in 2016.

The son of legendary Senator Birch Bayh, Evan Bayh was elected Secretary of State before serving two terms as governor, followed by 12 years in the U.S. Senate.  He abruptly opted not to seek a third Senate term in 2010.  Since then, he’s worked as a policy analyst and political commentator for Fox News.

He’s also donated some of his remaining campaign funds -- which total nearly $10 million -- to various Hoosier Democrats. 

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Politics & Government
1:56 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Indiana Lands Big Budget Surplus, But Democrats Cry Foul

Indiana State Auditor Suzanne Crouch announced the state closed out the 2014 fiscal year with a more than $100 million surplus.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Despite tax revenues that struggled for much of the fiscal year, Indiana closes its book with a surplus of more than $100 million and reserves topping $2 billion.  But Democrats say the state is hoarding money to make its bottom line look good.

Going into the final month of the fiscal year, Indiana was about $50 million short of expectations.  But a strong June helped the state end the year about $13 million above projected levels.  Still, Indiana brought in nearly $60 million less this year than last year. 

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Politics & Government
3:24 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

State Faces Funding Challenges for New Roads

A blue ribbon panel studying Indiana’s future transportation needs laid out this week the state’s top road project priorities.  The task now is to figure out how to pay for them.

The panel recommended four priorities for road construction projects – widening I-65 and I-70, building an I-69 Ohio River bridge and creating a commerce connector around Indianapolis.  The panel did not include specific funding recommendations, though co-chair Cathy Langham says it does suggest developing some sort of user fee system.

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Politics & Government
3:44 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Ethics Commission Concerned About INDOT Official's Departure to Private Company

INDOT Chief of Staff Troy Woodruff.
Credit Courtesy / INDOT

Members of the Indiana Ethics Commission say they have serious concerns about a senior INDOT official leaving his position to work for a company he’s helped steer state contracts toward.

INDOT Chief of Staff Troy Woodruff is in negotiations to work for RQAW, an engineering firm that does business with INDOT.  While he’s working out an employment deal, Woodruff has put in place a screening procedure that ensures he isn’t involved with any state business that deals with RQAW. 

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Politics & Government
2:45 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Columbia City Senator Set for Fall Deployment

Ind. Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) will be deployed to Afghanistan this fall.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

State Senator Jim Banks, a Naval Reserve officer, is being deployed to Afghanistan this fall and will miss the entire 2015 legislative session.

Banks will use a provision in state law to take a temporary leave from his seat rather than resign, the first time a state lawmaker has used that provision.

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Politics & Government
5:08 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Despite Court Decision, State of Contraceptive Mandate Unclear for Non-Profits

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that closely-held companies like Hobby Lobby can refuse to cover the cost of contraceptives for religious reasons.

The ruling has major implications for private companies that do not want to fall in line with the Affordable Care Act, and it could indicate whether nonprofit religious institutions including the University of Notre Dame will be required to comply with the law.

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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
4:09 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Pence Says Tax Conference is About Complexity, Not Revenue

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Credit Courtesy

An Indiana Tax Conference held Tuesday focused on simplifying the state’s tax system.  Governor Mike Pence says a simpler code will be a big part of his legislative agenda next session.

Participants at the conference included Arthur Laffer, the principal architect of Reaganomics, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, and former Bush administration economic advisor Al Hubbard. 

Their message is uniform: Indiana’s tax code is too complex and must be simplified to create a better environment for economic growth. 

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Politics & Government
2:28 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Conference Aims to Open Discussion on Hoosier Tax Climate

Governor Mike Pence will convene a tax conference in Indianapolis this week that he says will bring together leading tax reform thinkers to focus on making Indiana’s tax climate more competitive.

The Indiana Tax Competitiveness and Simplification Conference will feature more than two hundred national and local tax experts in an effort to develop recommendations for the Pence administration and General Assembly. 

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