The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in King vs. Burwell Wednesday, a case that challenges one of the primary components of the Affordable Care Act. The outcome could affect hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers.
People like to compare the Affordable Care Act to a stool with three legs. The first leg mandates that insurers can’t discriminate against potential buyers; the second leg requires people to have insurance; and the third provides those who don’t have enough money to buy insurance subsidies so they can afford it.
The Indiana House easily approved legislation repealing the state’s common construction wage, and the bill’s support in the Senate looks strong. For the bill’s opponents, pushing it to a summer study committee could be their best hope.
Set by local boards, the common construction wage is a sort of minimum wage for public construction projects.
The House this week easily approved legislation aimed at making it easier for midwives to operate legally in Indiana. But the bill’s future is less certain in the Senate.
Legislation in 2013 established the framework for legalizing midwifery. But the law requires midwives to have written collaborative agreements with physicians, and unwillingness by doctors to enter into those agreements derailed the state’s attempt to create a licensing process.
The week of February 23rd includes a legislative milestone for the current session of the Indiana General Assembly. This was the week when bills had to move from one chamber to the other. Theoretically, if a bill failed to be voted out of the chamber of origin, it is not possible for that bill to become law. In other words, those bills are dead. (Click here to see how a bill becomes a law in Indiana.)
House Speaker Brian Bosma Tuesday halted a bill opponents say significantly reduces incentives for Hoosiers to use alternative energy for their homes.
Proposed legislation made changes to the system by which utility companies purchase excess electricity from Hoosiers who produce energy through alternative means, such as solar panels. Utilities would buy that energy at a lower price, and be able to charge alternative energy users fixed monthly fees for using the energy grid.
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.