Businesses on either side of legislation legalizing Sunday alcohol sales are blaming each other after the bill died in the House Tuesday. The bill’s author pulled the measure after he said he couldn’t garner enough votes to pass it.
The battle lines in the Sunday sales debate had been unchanged for years: on one side, pushing for Sunday sales, were grocery and convenience stores, led by their lobbying arm, the Indiana Retail Council. Opposing Sunday sales were the state’s package liquor stores, represented by the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers.
House Democrats say the state budget proposed by House Republicans will devastate many public schools throughout the state. The budget passed overwhelmingly in a House vote Tuesday.
House Republicans named education their top focus this session, and the bulk of debate over the budget revolves around education funding.
Specifically, it involves changes to the school funding formula that seek to help growing, wealthier suburban school districts. But those changes would mean significantly less money for poor, inner city schools that are losing students.
The organization behind last year’s successful fight against Indiana’s proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage is back at the Statehouse this year. The group’s target is a bill that allows people to use religious reasons to challenge state and local laws.
Some of the group that made up last year’s Freedom Indiana coalition, including manufacturer Cummins, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the ACLU, have already spoken out against the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA.
Governor Mike Pence says he still hopes to alter a major sales tax exemption for Hoosier businesses after House lawmakers stripped out a change to the exemption from the governor’s tax legislation.
One of the biggest pieces of Governor Pence’s tax simplification bill was the elimination of what’s called the “double direct” test for determining business sales tax exemptions. The double direct test is a very specific metric for determining what items are exempt from the sales tax.
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.