Politics & Government

Politics & Government
3:24 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

State Faces Funding Challenges for New Roads

A blue ribbon panel studying Indiana’s future transportation needs laid out this week the state’s top road project priorities.  The task now is to figure out how to pay for them.

The panel recommended four priorities for road construction projects – widening I-65 and I-70, building an I-69 Ohio River bridge and creating a commerce connector around Indianapolis.  The panel did not include specific funding recommendations, though co-chair Cathy Langham says it does suggest developing some sort of user fee system.

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Politics & Government
3:44 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Ethics Commission Concerned About INDOT Official's Departure to Private Company

INDOT Chief of Staff Troy Woodruff.
Credit Courtesy / INDOT

Members of the Indiana Ethics Commission say they have serious concerns about a senior INDOT official leaving his position to work for a company he’s helped steer state contracts toward.

INDOT Chief of Staff Troy Woodruff is in negotiations to work for RQAW, an engineering firm that does business with INDOT.  While he’s working out an employment deal, Woodruff has put in place a screening procedure that ensures he isn’t involved with any state business that deals with RQAW. 

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Politics & Government
2:45 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Columbia City Senator Set for Fall Deployment

Ind. Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) will be deployed to Afghanistan this fall.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

State Senator Jim Banks, a Naval Reserve officer, is being deployed to Afghanistan this fall and will miss the entire 2015 legislative session.

Banks will use a provision in state law to take a temporary leave from his seat rather than resign, the first time a state lawmaker has used that provision.

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Politics & Government
5:08 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Despite Court Decision, State of Contraceptive Mandate Unclear for Non-Profits

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that closely-held companies like Hobby Lobby can refuse to cover the cost of contraceptives for religious reasons.

The ruling has major implications for private companies that do not want to fall in line with the Affordable Care Act, and it could indicate whether nonprofit religious institutions including the University of Notre Dame will be required to comply with the law.

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Opinion - Politics
6:16 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

They Gathered in Indy to Talk About What?

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

A recent episode of WBOI Presents featured IPFW historian Jeffrey Malanson and political scientist Mike Wolf discussing the two ways the United States Constitution can be amended according to Article V.  One of the methods has been used 27 times.  The other has never been used. 

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Politics & Government
4:09 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Pence Says Tax Conference is About Complexity, Not Revenue

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Credit Courtesy

An Indiana Tax Conference held Tuesday focused on simplifying the state’s tax system.  Governor Mike Pence says a simpler code will be a big part of his legislative agenda next session.

Participants at the conference included Arthur Laffer, the principal architect of Reaganomics, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, and former Bush administration economic advisor Al Hubbard. 

Their message is uniform: Indiana’s tax code is too complex and must be simplified to create a better environment for economic growth. 

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Politics & Government
2:28 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Conference Aims to Open Discussion on Hoosier Tax Climate

Governor Mike Pence will convene a tax conference in Indianapolis this week that he says will bring together leading tax reform thinkers to focus on making Indiana’s tax climate more competitive.

The Indiana Tax Competitiveness and Simplification Conference will feature more than two hundred national and local tax experts in an effort to develop recommendations for the Pence administration and General Assembly. 

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Politics & Government
1:50 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Pence Says Minott Departure a "Change in Direction"

Indiana FSSA Secretary Debra Minott said Monday she would be leaving her position in one to two months.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence is offering little explanation about the pending departure of Family and Social Services Secretary Debra Minott, saying only that he wants a “change in direction.”

In a statement released Monday, Minott said she would be transitioning out of her role within a month or two and would work with Governor Pence to ensure that transition is orderly. 

In a separate statement, Pence simply thanked Minott for her service, while his office cited a desire to change direction at the agency as the reason for the move.  A day later, Pence was saying the same thing.

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Politics & Government
4:54 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Indiana Preps HIP 2.0 Ahead of Federal Approval

FSSA Secretary Debra Minott says her agency is moving forward with HIP 2.0 preparations on the assumption the feds will approve the plan.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration is preparing for implementation of HIP 2.0, its healthcare expansion plan, even though federal approval of the program could still be months away.

Only Hoosiers earning up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level – about $24,000 for a family of four – are eligible for the current Healthy Indiana Plan.  That leaves more than 300,000 people without affordable health insurance coverage.  HIP 2.0 would expand that up to 138 percent of the poverty level – about $33,000 per year. 

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Politics & Government
3:50 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

WBOI Presents: The Mount Vernon Assembly and Constitutional Amendments

Ind. Sen. David Long addresses a meeting of The Mount Vernon Assembly, which met in Indianapolis this month.
Credit Andrew Downs / for WBOI News

A group of state legislators from around the United States met June 12th and 13th at the Indiana Statehouse to discuss an idea that's never been tested: a convention of the states aimed at amending the U.S. Constitution.

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