Politics & Government

Politics & Government
5:26 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

IEDC Pushes for Additional Regional Cities Money

The Regional Cities Initiative website urges Hoosiers to lobby lawmakers for more funding. But legislative leaders say funding levels need to be balanced between the initiative and other projects.

Legislative leaders say an aggressive push by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation likely won’t influence final negotiations over how much money to put into the governor’s Regional Cities Initiative.  The initiative is meant to help foster greater collaboration in economic development between communities around the state.

The governor’s proposed budget puts $42 million a year towards the IEDC project.  The House and Senate scaled that back to $10 million a year. 

Read more
Politics & Government
4:29 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

INDOT Commissioner Abruptly Resigns

The Indiana Department of Transportation has new leadership after Commissioner Karl Browning abruptly resigned Wednesday. Gov. Mike Pence won’t say why the longtime official is leaving.

Karl Browning has led INDOT since 2013, and previously served as Commissioner from 2006 to 2009. He submitted his resignation via email to the governor Wednesday morning, saying he was proud of his accomplishments but that it was “time to move on.” 

Read more
Politics & Government
3:47 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Live Dealers Still a Controversial Issue at the Statehouse

Sen. Luke Kenley (foreground) listens to testimony from Centaur Gaming VP John Keeler at the Statehouse Wednesday.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

As lawmakers negotiate the final details of gaming legislation, the future of live dealers at racetrack casinos remains one of the most controversial provisions.  Racino advocates made a final public plea Wednesday.

When the gaming bill left the House, it allowed racinos to replace some electronic games with tables that have live dealers.  The Senate altered that arrangement, instead allowing racinos to add live dealers beginning in 2021. 

Read more
Politics & Government
5:44 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Advocates Push for Spending for State Retiree Benefits

Indiana Retired Teachers Association executive director Nancy Tolson says many retired state employees need the additional benefit lawmakers cut from the new budget.
Credit Courtesy / Indiana Retired Teachers Association

Members of the public Friday got their last chance to weigh in on the budget bill this session.  Retiree advocates made a plea for more spending even as a gloomy new revenue forecast has lawmakers looking to cut money out of their budget proposals.

The so-called “13th check” is an additional yearly benefit for retired public employees and teachers.  The amount can range from $150-$450. 

Read more
Politics & Government
4:49 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Senate Votes to Repeal Common Construction Wage

Indiana Sen. Carlin Yoder authored the bill repealing the common construction wage, which passed in the Senate Wednesday.
Credit Courtesy / Indiana House Republicans

The Senate Wednesday narrowly approved a bill eliminating the state’s common construction wage.  Legislators spent more than three hours over the past two days debating the issue of repealing Indiana’s minimum wage for construction workers on public projects.

Opponents of the bill like Portage Democrat Karen Tallian note that the common wage helps support job training programs and ensures public projects are properly built by well-trained, highly paid workers.

Read more
Politics & Government
3:42 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Thousands Protest Construction Wage Repeal

Thousands of protesters rallied at the Indiana Statehouse Monday against the repeal of the Common Construction Wage law.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Thousands of construction workers gathered at the Statehouse Monday to loudly protest a bill eliminating the state’s common construction wage. It’s the latest in a battle over the future of the minimum wage in public projects.

More than 2,000 predominantly union workers and contractors filled the south lawn of the Statehouse, listening to industry leaders and lawmakers oppose a bill repealing the common wage law.

Read more
Politics & Government
4:13 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Senate Leaders Want to Spend Less 'Major Moves' Money

The Senate Republican budget proposal mirrors its House counterpart in setting aside $400 million for future road projects.  The chamber's budget leader says he’d like to keep that money in state coffers the next two years.

In the 2013 budget, lawmakers created the Major Moves 2020 fund that put aside $400 million for future projects.  But the Pence administration, with State Budget Committee approval, took that money and spent it on road projects over the last two years. 

Read more
Opinion - Politics
11:00 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Homeowner Association Bill Could Limit Political Activity

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

On March 23rd, the Committee on Elections in the Indiana Senate voted 6-0 to send House Bill 1236 to the full Senate for consideration.  Back on January 27th, HB 1236 cleared the Indiana House of Representatives on a vote of 70 to 28.  These are indicators that this bill will become a law. 

Read more
Politics & Government
3:58 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Pence Promises Legislative Clarification for RFRA

Gov. Mike Pence gave a statement and took questions from the press on RFRA Tuesday in Indianapolis.
Credit Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence says he wants to see legislation on his desk by the end of the week that clarifies the intent of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

The governor says RFRA is meant to protect people’s religious liberties and does not allow businesses to deny services to gay and lesbian couples.

“No one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, who they love or what they believe,” Pence said.

He added that much of the criticism Indiana has been receiving is because of a misunderstanding about what the law actually does.

Read more
Politics & Government
2:58 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Bosma, Long Say RFRA Clarification is in the Works

Senate Pres. Pro-Tem David Long (left) and House Speaker Brian Bosma (right) say the intent of RFRA was never to allow discrimination. The legislative leaders spoke Monday morning.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Republican legislative leaders say they want to help turn the tide against the backlash that’s erupted over Indiana’s so-called religious freedom bill.  They say that will involve making it clear the law does not allow discrimination.

Read more