Politics & Government

Transportation
5:26 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

General Assembly Unlikely to Raise Road Funding Next Year

Credit Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

The Indiana Department of Transportation says the cost of maintaining Indiana’s roads is substantial and growing, while the revenue streams used to pay for those repairs are decreasing.  Yet, the legislature will likely be unable address that issue in its next budget.

Read more
Courts
4:53 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Court Hears Arguments in Former Secretary of State's Appeal

Former Secretary of State Charlie White is appealing his 2012 voter fraud conviction. The Indiana Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday.
Credit File

An attorney for former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White says state law was misapplied when White was convicted in 2012 of six criminal counts stemming from voter fraud.  Arguments in the case took place Tuesday before the state Court of Appeals.

White’s appeal included several arguments – the jury wasn’t properly instructed, selective prosecution, his attorney at the time – Carl Brizzi – was ineffective. 

But when pressed by the Appeals Court judges for the strongest argument, White’s current attorney Andrea Ciobanu says it’s misapplication of the law. 

Read more
Congress
2:55 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Senate Bill Aims to Reduce Suicide in the Military

Sen. Joe Donnelly authored a bill aimed at preventing military suicides that he expects to pass the Senate soon.
Credit File

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly says legislation nearing passage will be an enormous help in preventing suicide among military service members.  More than 3,000 active-duty soldiers have taken their lives since 2001.

The rate of suicide among National Guard members has grown more than any other military branch in the last five years.  That’s why legislation Donnelly authored requires annual mental health assessments for all servicemembers – including members of the National Guard and reservists. 

Read more
Politics & Government
12:49 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Groups Fight to Reduce Hoosier Smoking in 2015

Indiana Chamber of Commerce CEO Kevin Brinegar wants legislators to repeal the state's Smoker's Bill of Rights in 2015.
Credit Courtesy / Indiana Chamber of Commerce

American Cancer Society officials say Indiana lawmakers should explore ways to help incentivize Hoosiers to quit smoking, a position reflected in the group’s 2015 legislative priorities.

Apart from health advocacy organizations like the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, groups such as the Indiana Chamber of Commerce are part of the fight to reduce smoking.  For two years, one of the group’s legislative priorities has been eliminating the Smoker’s Bill of Rights.

Read more
Politics & Government
12:30 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Environmental Group Concerned New Energy Plan Isn't Enough

Environmental groups say they’re concerned the legislature will create a watered-down statewide energy efficiency program to replace the program eliminated earlier this year.

Lawmakers voted last session to eliminate the program known as Energizing Indiana amid concerns about its rising costs.  Governor Mike Pence pledged to bring legislators a new energy efficiency proposal in the upcoming session, one crafted by the Utility Regulatory Commission. 

Read more
Opinion - Politics
3:54 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

What to Expect from the Indiana General Assembly in 2015

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

Election Day was November 4th and the members of the Indiana General Assembly got together on November 18th for Organization Day.  Organization Day is the third Tuesday following the first Monday in November.  This is the day that legislators take their oaths of office and in the days after that, the leaders announce committee assignments and who would be chairing those committees. 

Read more
Politics & Government
4:45 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

After Kassig's Death, U.S. Reviewing Hostage Policy

Former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton says current U.S. hostage policy makes sense, but could use some updating.
Credit File

As Hoosiers mourn the loss of Indianapolis-native Abdul-Rahman Kassig, the United States is considering changes to its hostage policy, and a former Indiana congressman says that could include strengthened military action to rescue Americans being held captive.

The White House revealed this week President Obama called for a full review of the country’s current hostage policy earlier this year.

The administration says that review will not include changes to the longstanding U.S. policy of not paying ransom.

Read more
Politics & Government
1:57 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Big Tax Cuts Won't Be on the 2015 Agenda

Indiana Senate president pro-tem, David Long.
Credit File

Legislative leaders say Hoosiers shouldn’t expect more big tax cuts or changes in the upcoming session. 

In the last 15 years, the General Assembly has enacted major cuts to property taxes, individual and corporate income taxes, financial institutions taxes, business personal property taxes, and eliminated the inheritance tax. 

Senate President Pro Tem David Long, echoing the comments of all four legislative caucus leaders, says it’s time to take a breath.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:18 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Coats Optimistic About GOP Senate Majority

Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana.

Republican U.S. Senator Dan Coats says the GOP’s capture of the Senate will make all the difference for his party. That is, if lawmakers handle their new leadership the right way.

Coats says Republicans have been incredibly frustrated the last few years as bills sent from the GOP-controlled House were blocked by a Democratic majority in the Senate, often without debate. 

The Hoosier Senator says the victories won in this month’s election can allow the GOP to advance its alternatives to President Obama’s proposals.

Read more
Election 2014
4:34 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Despite Losses, Pelath Optimistic About Dems' Future

Indiana House Minority Leader Scott Pelath spoke to reporters Thursday about the future of the Democratic party.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says his caucus took a step back in 2014 after losing two seats but promises 2016 will be a very different election.

House Republicans grew their supermajority from 69 to 71 Tuesday.  Minority Leader Scott Pelath says while he wasn’t expecting huge gains, he had hoped to chip away at the GOP’s lead.  And he says responsibility for those losses rests with him.

Read more

Pages