Politics & Government

Election 2016
3:32 pm
Thu June 4, 2015

Ritz Announces Candidacy for Governor

Glenda Ritz announced her candidacy for governor on Thursday in Indianapolis
Credit Rachel Morello / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Despite constant clashes with Governor Mike Pence over the last two years, State Superintendent Glenda Ritz says her decision to run for governor isn’t personal; it’s because of significant differences with Pence over how to move Indiana forward.  On Thursday, Ritz officially became the third person to enter the Democratic primary, calling herself the “best candidate” to beat the governor.

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Indiana Bicentennial
4:20 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

State Introduces Bicentennial Visioning Project

Credit Courtesy / Indiana Bicentennial Commission

Indiana is gearing up for a celebration of its 200-year history, and former Congressman Lee Hamilton says the upcoming bicentennial party can’t just be about the state’s past, but also about its future.  He helped announce the creation of the Bicentennial Visioning Project on Friday.

Hamilton – who co-chairs the Indiana Bicentennial Commission – says he wants the state’s Bicentennial Celebration to be about trying to make Indiana’s future a better one. 

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Transportation
2:50 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Post-Bankruptcy, Toll Road Gets New Management

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Eight months after previous management filed for bankruptcy, the Indiana Toll Road has a new operator.

IFM Investors took ownership of the operation of the road and its pavilions after the state finance board approved the deal earlier this month.

The change in ownership comes after the original operator, ITR Concession, declared bankruptcy on more than $6 billion in debt last September.

That group will continue operating the toll road under the ownership of the new company.

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Politics & Government
6:10 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Legislature Passes on Formal Study of LGBT Rights

Indiana Senate President Pro-Tem David Long says even though LGBT civil rights protections will not see formal study this summer, it's still on the minds of legislators.
Credit Courtesy / Indiana Senate Republicans

Republican legislative leaders say a formal study on creating civil rights protections for the LGBT community won’t happen this year. But they say they’ll be thinking about the issue regardless.

Republican leaders admitted earlier this year that controversy surrounding the religious freedom bill fast-forwarded the debate around adding LGBT protections to the state’s civil rights statute.  But the topic didn’t make it onto the list of issues lawmakers will officially study this summer. 

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Energy
5:29 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Pence, Critics at Odds Over New Energy Program

Gov. Mike Pence says the energy efficiency program approved this year will save Hoosiers money.
Credit Courtesy / State of Indiana

“Worse than doing nothing” – that’s how critics describe Indiana’s new energy efficiency effort crafted by Governor Mike Pence and the General Assembly.  But the governor insists the program will keep more money in Hoosiers’ pockets.

Environmental and consumer advocacy groups say the new energy efficiency program is going to drive up costs for residential consumers.  Under the approved legislation, each utility company must develop its own energy efficiency program, and they can raise rates to cover any revenue they lose because of decreased energy usage.

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Politics & Government
4:44 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Despite Legislation, Midwife Regulation Still Incomplete

Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) says passing a midwifery bill this year was better than leaving the practice unregulated.
Credit Courtesy / Indiana Senate Republicans

After two years of unsuccessfully putting into practice a law regulating midwives, the General Assembly enacted a follow-up bill aimed at finally making the system work.

Legislators crafted a law in 2013 to regulate midwives, including the requirement that, to legally practice, midwives must have a signed, written collaborative agreement with a doctor.  But the Professional Licensing Board – charged with fully developing midwife regulations – couldn’t find a doctor willing to sign an agreement, and gave up creating the midwifery license. 

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Politics & Government
5:58 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Licensing Changes Could Get More Kids into Driver's Ed

Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) hopes new changes to Indiana's driver licensing laws will get more teens into driver's education classes.
Credit Courtesy / Indiana House Republicans

Hoosier teenagers who take driver’s education classes will be able to get their license a little sooner under legislation set to take effect in July.  The bill’s author hopes the change will incentivize more young people to go take driver training courses.

Under current law, teens who don’t take driver’s education can get their license at 16 years, nine months old, while teens who do take driver’s ed can get their license three months earlier, at 16 and a half. 

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Politics & Government
12:14 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Pence Will Seek a Second Term in 2016

Indiana Governor Mike Pence will seek a second term, according to Republican Party officials.
Credit Mike Pence for Indiana

Indiana’s Republican Party chairman Monday announced Governor Mike Pence will make a bid for a second term.  The incumbent could face a tougher test than he did in 2012.

A Pence run for reelection wasn’t always considered a lock as the Hoosier governor had been mentioned – sometimes prominently – as a 2016 presidential contender. 

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Election 2016
5:18 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Former Rep. Baron Hill Will Run for Senate

Baron Hill represented Indiana's 9th District in congress, and says he'll announce a run for U.S. Senate this summer.
Credit Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

Former Democratic Congressman Baron Hill is running for the U.S. Senate—although he doesn’t plan to officially announce until June.

Hill told a group of Bartholomew County Democrats Thursday night he plans to run for the Senate seat Republican Dan Coats is vacating after 2016.

Hill is the first Democrat to throw his hat in the ring.

Two Republicans—Third District Congressman Marlin Stutzman and former Coats chief of staff and state GOP chairman Eric Holcomb have already announced they’re running.

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Politics & Government
4:54 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Coats Wants Bipartisan Nominating Commission

U.S. Sen. Dan Coats proposed a new commission for filling judicial vacancies Wednesday.
Credit Courtesy / Dan Coats

U.S. Senator Dan Coats says he wants to take the politics out of appointing federal judges, proposing a bipartisan commission to fill vacancies. Indiana’s federal system has three vacancies, with another on the way.

To fill judicial vacancies at the federal level, U.S. Senators submit recommendations to the president, who then submits a candidate for nomination to the Senate. 

Senator Coats says the system is fraught with politics, particularly when, as in Indiana, the two senators are from different parties. 

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