Politics & Government

Politics & Government
2:13 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Senate Committee Approves HJR-3

Supporters of HJR-3 rally at the statehouse Monday.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

A Senate committee Monday approved HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.  The debate surrounding the measure shifted during Monday’s hearing, focusing more on the restoration of the amendment’s controversial second sentence.

The House removed HJR-3’s second sentence, which bans civil unions, after concerns were raised it could prohibit domestic partnership benefits.  Proponents of the measure, including Governor Mike Pence, are calling on the Senate to reinsert that language. 

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Politics & Government
5:30 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Blight Elimination Program Aims to Reduce Foreclosures

The State of Indiana is diverting federal money to help local communities demolish abandoned homes.  Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann says the program will help stabilize neighborhoods and reduce foreclosures.

Indiana has the highest percentage of abandoned foreclosed homes in the country, with estimates of more than 50,000 abandoned homes statewide.  The state received approval from the federal government to divert $75 million from its Hardest Hit Fund – which helps Hoosiers avoid foreclosure – for a Blight Elimination Program.

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Opinion - Politics
3:51 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Constitutional Debate Creates Teachable Moments

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

(Ed. note: This month, we're launching a series of weekly columns from contributors across the community on topics like health, politics, food and more. This is the second column in our series.)

Indiana’s education standards include requirements regarding civics and government.  But I am a realist.  I know that just because a standard exists, there is no guarantee that a student will retain information any longer than it takes to through a test, if that long.  Life has an interesting way of providing moments when those things we were required to learn, and forgot, suddenly have relevance.  The legislative process is one of those things. 

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Politics & Government
4:53 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Indiana House Passes Amended HJR-3

The Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.
Credit Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

The House Tuesday approved the amended version of HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.

The House voted Monday to alter HJR-3, taking out the measure’s controversial second sentence banning civil unions.  That version of the amendment passed the House by a comfortable margin Tuesday, 57 to 40. 

The change also restarts the ratification process, potentially putting it on the ballot in 2016, instead of this fall. 

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says simply removing the second sentence isn’t enough:

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Politics & Government
4:06 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

House Votes to Change HJR-3

The empty chambers of the Indiana House of Representatives.
Credit Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers Monday voted to remove a portion of HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.  The change would also restart the ratification process.

Twenty-three Republicans joined 29 Democrats to approve an amendment offered by West Lafayette Republican Representative Randy Truitt removing HJR-3’s second sentence, a portion that banned legal statuses “substantially similar” to marriage. 

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Politics & Government
4:38 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Committee Approves HJR-3, Sets Up Indiana House Vote

Indiana House chambers were packed Wednesday as the House Elections Committee heard testimony on HJR-3.
Credit Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Many of the same faces, much of the same testimony, but a different result – a House committee Wednesday approved the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.

The House Judiciary Committee last week took more than three hours of testimony on the proposed amendment known as HJR-3.  But that committee did not take a vote, and after concerns arose that it would not pass the committee, House Speaker Brian Bosma reassigned HJR-3 to the House Elections Committee. 

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Politics & Government
2:29 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Procedural Move Makes Gay Marriage Vote Likely Soon

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

House Speaker Brian Bosma announced Tuesday he is reassigning the proposed same sex marriage ban amendment to a new committee.  The move is designed to ensure the amendment reaches the House floor.

The proposed same sex marriage ban amendment known as HJR-3 was initially assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.  But after a more than three hour long hearing last Monday, committee chairman Greg Steuerwald didn’t call for a vote.  

Speaker Brian Bosma says Steuerwald told him he doubts the amendment would have passed the committee and advanced to the House floor.

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Politics & Government
5:00 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Gay Marriage Ban Gets Its First Hearing at the Statehouse

The Indiana State Capitol in Indianapolis.

People on both sides of the debate over Indiana’s proposed same sex marriage ban amendment spoke passionately for hours in front of a packed House chamber Monday, as the amendment made its first legislative stop in a House committee.

The House Judiciary Committee audience was a sea of red – that’s the color opponents of the marriage amendment known as HJR-3 chose to wear.  Those who testified before the committee in opposition to the amendment were from a diverse background – there were leaders from Indiana’s business and faith communities, legal experts and average citizens. 

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Politics & Government
4:00 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Bill Aims to Clarify Gay Marriage Ban; Legislators Disagee On Its Meaning

Indiana Senate President Pro-Tem David Long at the statehouse Thursday.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Republican legislative leaders say a companion bill to the state’s proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage is meant to ease concerns some have expressed over the potential effect of the amendment. 

But GOP leaders still can’t agree on what the amendment or companion bill will do.

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Politics & Government
2:20 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Bosma Unveils 2014 Agenda, Targets Business Tax

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma unveiled the 2014 House GOP agenda Wednesday at the statehouse.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

House Speaker Brian Bosma Wednesday proposed what he calls the “smart way” to reduce Indiana’s business personal property tax.  But the plan wouldn’t completely eliminate the tax.

Governor Mike Pence made elimination of the business personal property tax the cornerstone of his 2014 legislative agenda.  He stopped short, however, of identifying a specific way to get rid of the levy on business equipment that brings in a billion dollars a year to local governments. 

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