In the late 1800s and early 1900s, many states added elements of direct democracy that enabled voters to have a direct say in what might become law, how public money would be spent, and recalling elected officials from office.
Indiana did not add many of these elements which is why many voters may not be able to remember ever actually voting on anything like these.
The Indiana Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges says the state needs to put more money into providing public defenders for juveniles. The announcement comes ahead of a new rule that will create a greater need for those lawyers.
Indiana Criminal Rule 25 mandates that juveniles in the court system must be provided a lawyer – often a public defender – in certain circumstances.
Environmental and consumer advocates say they’re skeptical about whether lawmakers will take seriously a report providing a positive evaluation of the state’s now-eliminated energy efficiency program.
Last session, the legislature passed a bill eliminating the state’s energy efficiency program known as Energizing Indiana. It also mandated the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission create a report evaluating the effectiveness of the program.
Former U.S. Senator Evan Bayh says the growing partisan divide in Indiana is the reason for his decision not to make another bid for the governor’s mansion in 2016.
Friday’s announcement comes after months of questions about the former two-term governor’s political future. Bayh’s continued popularity in the state Democratic Party, combined with a still-robust campaign war chest, has been fueling speculation about a run for governor in two years.
Indiana Senate Appropriations Chair Luke Kenley says Hoosiers shouldn’t be concerned about lagging tax revenues. But he says lawmakers should proceed with caution as they prepare to write a new budget in the coming months.
Indiana tax revenues came in under projections for the first two months of the fiscal year that began in July. That follows the last fiscal year in which the state only outperformed its targets by one-tenth of one percent, and with less revenue than the previous year.
A new report indicates the state’s energy efficiency program legislators eliminated earlier this year was cost effective—saving about three dollars for every one dollar spent.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission report shows the biggest payback from the program—called Energizing Indiana—was in rebates given to commercial and industrial businesses that upgraded to energy efficiency equipment. For every one dollar in rebate, the companies saved more than five dollars in electricity costs.
Indiana adoption advocates say there’s excitement in the community after the state announced it will resume funding the State Adoption Subsidy for parents who adopt special needs children from foster care.
The Department of Child Services stopped providing the subsidies in 2009. It was the peak of the recession and agency budgets were being slashed.
The Indiana Attorney General’s office says it hasn’t decided whether to appeal a ruling allowing atheist leaders to solemnize marriages in the state. That’s despite the group that brought the lawsuit – atheist group Center for Inquiry – announcing its victory Thursday. Still, CFI Executive Director Reba Boyd Wooden still says she’s ready to perform marriages.