The Indiana General Assembly is required to complete its work no later than April 29th in the years when they pass a two-year budget. It is quite common for them to work right up to that deadline like they did this year.
As this session ended, people began talking about how memorable this session was. They certainly have some notable legislation and events to point to when they are making their case.
Governor Mike Pence was able to declare almost total victory Thursday in the wake of the 2015 session despite early skepticism from the General Assembly for much of his agenda.
There were several items on the governor’s agenda that lawmakers were at least hesitant to fully support. That includes a significant boost to charter school funding, dollars for next year’s state Bicentennial celebration, a major investment in Pence’s Regional Cities Initiative, along with the proposed balanced budget amendment to the state constitution.
Legislative leaders say an aggressive push by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation likely won’t influence final negotiations over how much money to put into the governor’s Regional Cities Initiative. The initiative is meant to help foster greater collaboration in economic development between communities around the state.
The governor’s proposed budget puts $42 million a year towards the IEDC project. The House and Senate scaled that back to $10 million a year.
The Indiana Department of Transportation has new leadership after Commissioner Karl Browning abruptly resigned Wednesday. Gov. Mike Pence won’t say why the longtime official is leaving.
Karl Browning has led INDOT since 2013, and previously served as Commissioner from 2006 to 2009. He submitted his resignation via email to the governor Wednesday morning, saying he was proud of his accomplishments but that it was “time to move on.”
As lawmakers negotiate the final details of gaming legislation, the future of live dealers at racetrack casinos remains one of the most controversial provisions. Racino advocates made a final public plea Wednesday.
When the gaming bill left the House, it allowed racinos to replace some electronic games with tables that have live dealers. The Senate altered that arrangement, instead allowing racinos to add live dealers beginning in 2021.
Members of the public Friday got their last chance to weigh in on the budget bill this session. Retiree advocates made a plea for more spending even as a gloomy new revenue forecast has lawmakers looking to cut money out of their budget proposals.
The so-called “13th check” is an additional yearly benefit for retired public employees and teachers. The amount can range from $150-$450.