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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.