People on both sides of the debate over Indiana’s proposed same sex marriage ban amendment spoke passionately for hours in front of a packed House chamber Monday, as the amendment made its first legislative stop in a House committee.
The House Judiciary Committee audience was a sea of red – that’s the color opponents of the marriage amendment known as HJR-3 chose to wear. Those who testified before the committee in opposition to the amendment were from a diverse background – there were leaders from Indiana’s business and faith communities, legal experts and average citizens.
Republican legislative leaders say a companion bill to the state’s proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage is meant to ease concerns some have expressed over the potential effect of the amendment.
But GOP leaders still can’t agree on what the amendment or companion bill will do.
House Speaker Brian Bosma Wednesday proposed what he calls the “smart way” to reduce Indiana’s business personal property tax. But the plan wouldn’t completely eliminate the tax.
Governor Mike Pence made elimination of the business personal property tax the cornerstone of his 2014 legislative agenda. He stopped short, however, of identifying a specific way to get rid of the levy on business equipment that brings in a billion dollars a year to local governments.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence isn't giving many specifics on his 2014 legislative agenda, saying he wants "to give legislators the broadest possible range to develop how they think this might work best giving consideration to all of the interests involved."
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting
Governor Mike Pence is still short on specifics as he outlines his legislative agenda for the upcoming session. And he says that’s not an accident.
The governor’s legislative agenda includes a preschool voucher program, a teacher innovation fund, increased tax relief and a phase-out of the business personal property tax – a levy that sends a billion dollars to local governments each year.
Each of those items will have a significant fiscal impact and so far, Pence has been coy in talking about ways to pay for his plans. He says that’s for good reason.
Members of congress began their latest budget talks Wednesday as they look for ways to cut spending and the national deficit.
One of the proposals Americans are likely to see is a change in the way the government measures inflation, moving from the long-standard consumer price index to something called chained CPI (the Washington Post explained the concept here).
Indiana House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says he sees no sense of urgency from the state Inspector General in the investigation into the school grade changing scandal involving former State Superintendent Tony Bennett.
Reports first surfaced in late July that former Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett altered school accountability letter grades in 2012 after an Indianapolis charter school – a favorite of Bennett’s team – would have received a mediocre rating. Multiple investigations have been launched into the matter, including one by the Indiana Inspector General.