Local communities with casinos could face significant financial losses under changes made Thursday in the House Ways and Means Committee to gaming industry legislation.
Communities where casinos are located currently get four pots of money because of those facilities: dollars from the admittance tax and the wagering tax, money from the state to supplement previous losses in the admittance tax, and money from what are called local development agreements, or LDAs -- essentially, side contracts with the casinos themselves.
The Senate passed their version of a bill Tuesday to change how the State Board of Education is constructed.
Senate Bill 1 allows the members of the State Board of Education to select a board chair from within their ranks.
Right now, the state superintendent automatically assumes that position. But the General Assembly has taken it upon itself to change this, following months of strained relations among the board, current superintendent Glenda Ritz and Governor Mike Pence.
House Republican budget architect Tim Brown says his caucus’ proposed budget will include more money spent on education than ever before in state history. The House GOP’s budget proposal was unveiled Monday.
House Republican leaders have said for months that education was their top priority this session and that they planned a significant increase in funding for K through 12 schools.
To that end, House Ways and Means Chair Tim Brown says, under the House GOP budget, schools would get $469 million more over the next two years than they did in the last state budget.
A measure aimed at simplifying the state’s tax code is on its way to the House floor. But the version committee members passed doesn’t include as many changes as Governor Mike Pence was pushing for.
Pence’s proposed tax bill, sponsored by Fishers Republican Representative Todd Huston, aims to simplify the tax code by, in part, eliminating more than two dozen tax credits. It also included a change to a sales tax exemption for Hoosier businesses.
A bill designed to help Indiana casinos struggling from declining revenues is moving forward despite the objections of some in the gaming community. A House committee approved the measure Thursday, the first step towards passage.
Indiana’s gaming revenues have been in steady decline for some time, worsened in recent years by increased competition in neighboring states.
Proposed legislation would allow racetrack casinos to add a limited number of table games with live dealers, while the state’s riverboats would be permitted to move inland on their existing footprint.
The second-term mayor took the opportunity to applaud the momentum he says the city has gained in recent years, touching on everything from riverfront and downtown development to infrastructure and crime.
A House committee Tuesday unanimously approved a bill creating what Speaker Brian Bosma calls the first major ethics code revision in at least 20 years. The bill comes in the wake of several ethics scandals over the last year.
Bosma says the Statehouse culture has not been one of corruption, but there hasn’t been enough attention paid to the potential appearance of conflicts of interest. He says the ethics reform bill’s goal is to increase transparency in an effort to reaffirm the public’s trust.
A House committee Monday made a major change to legislation allowing high-fenced deer hunting preserves to continue operating in Indiana. The committee also passed the bill.
Debate over the existence of high-fenced deer hunting preserves goes back a decade, including an ongoing legal battle over the issue. Previous attempts to pass legislation allowing and regulating the preserves ended with those measures dying each year in the Senate.