Politics & Government

Politics & Government
6:13 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Hoosier native addresses Senate from space

Kevin Ford

Indiana state senators are used to hearing from special guests during the legislative session, but Thursday lawmakers had an out of this world experience as NASA Commander and Hoosier native Kevin Ford addressed the Senate from aboard the International Space Station.

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Politics & Government
3:27 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

House committee considers expansion of school voucher program

Indiana’s voucher program could be significantly expanded by loosened eligibility requirements under legislation being considered by the General Assembly.

The state’s current voucher program is available to any student who spends at least one year in public school beyond kindergarten and has an annual income of $64,000 or less for a family of four.  Proposed legislation would remove the public school attendance requirement.  It would also allow voucher recipients who meet the initial income level to keep their voucher if their income goes up to as much as $127,000 a year. 

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Politics & Government
1:37 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Lawmakers hope to boost veteran-owned businesses

A Republican state senator wants each state agency to set aside 10% of its contracts each year for veteran-owned small businesses, a move supporters say the will help reduce veteran unemployment.

Governor Mike Pence signed an executive order his first day in office establishing a goal of procuring three percent of state contracts for veteran-owned businesses. 

Proposed legislation would expand that to 10%, something American Legion state commander Richard Jewell says could help reduce veteran unemployment, which is double the state rate.

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Politics & Government
4:47 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Pence appoints new DCS director

Governor Mike Pence is making a change in leadership at the Department of Child Services, appointing a juvenile court judge as director of the embattled agency.

Lake County Superior Court judge Mary Beth Bonaventura will become the third DCS director in the last seven months.  She has spent three decades working in the juvenile division, experience Governor Pence says makes her uniquely qualified for her new role. 

Bonaventura said she’s already familiar with some of the issues plaguing DCS, including high turnover rates among case workers.

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Politics & Government
12:58 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Lawmakers call for financial literacy standards

Indiana Sen. Brent Waltz (R-Greenwood).
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

State lawmakers are pushing legislation that would create a financial literacy curriculum for the state, encouraging schools to teach skills such as investing, balancing a checkbook, and applying for loans. 

Supporters of the legislation say students are graduating high school without basic financial skills.

Greenwood Republican Senator Brent Waltz says that’s not a new problem.

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Politics & Government
1:46 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Union membership down, but effects of Right to Work unclear

The fears of opponents of Indiana’s Right to Work law appear to be bolstered by statistics showing a significant decrease in the state’s union membership since 2011.  But leaders on both sides of the debate say Right to Work likely had little effect.

Union membership in Indiana dropped about 20% from 2011 to 2012, just as Indiana’s Right to Work law, which prohibits union contracts that require workers to pay dues for representation, went into effect. 

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Politics & Government
3:53 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Indiana legislators aim to grow workforce through education

Indiana legislators say they are working in a bipartisan way to bring all the elements of Indiana’s education and workforce development sectors together to reduce the state’s unemployment, with legislation that would establish the Indiana Career Council.

Speaker Brian Bosma, a co-sponsor of the Career Council bill, said various entities like the state’s career and technical education districts, regional economic development organizations and Ivy Tech campuses and regions are often disjointed.

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Politics & Government
2:26 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Committee approves casino legislation

Indiana Sen. Phil Boots (R-Crawfordsville) says his casino legislation will help create jobs in the Hoosier State.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Legislation aimed at helping Indiana gaming facilities compete with other states and bolster struggling attendance cleared its first legislative hurdle Wednesday.

Legislation unanimously approved by the Senate Public Policy committee adds mobile gaming devices to off-track betting sites and eliminates taxes on free-play coupons.  It also allows live-dealer games in racetrack casinos, something the bill’s author, Crawfordsville Republican Senator Phil Boots, says will boost job creation.

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Politics & Government
2:11 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Pence gives his first "State of the State" address

Fiscal restraint was the theme Tuesday night as Governor Mike Pence delivered his first State of the State address to the Indiana General Assembly.

Pence took to the podium with the goal of convincing legislators and Hoosiers across the state, that a 10-percent income tax cut is a fiscally responsible move.

Pence says because the state is bringing in more than it spends, it can leave some of that money in Hoosiers’ pockets.

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Politics & Government
3:44 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Legislation could limit sale of ephedrine

Lawmakers are considering legislation that would place stricter limits on how much ephedrine and pseudoephedrine is bought and sold in the state.   Those drugs are two of the key ingredients used in methamphetamine production.

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