Politics & Government

Politics & Government
2:56 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Drug Testing For Welfare Recipients Heads to Senate Floor

Brookville Rep. Jud McMillan, who authored the bill requiring some Indiana welfare recipients to undergo drug testing.
Credit Courtesy

The Senate sponsor of a bill requiring some welfare recipients to be drug tested says he thinks he’s found the right balance for the measure to pass.

The original welfare drug testing bill would have required all welfare recipients to submit to a pre-screening test that determines a likelihood of addiction. Those showing that likelihood would then be subject to a drug test. 

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Politics & Government
4:05 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Criminal Code Grant Plan Heads to Full Senate

Follow-up legislation to last year’s criminal code overhaul bill is headed to the Senate floor after a committee Thursday added potential funding help for local communities.

The purpose behind the state’s criminal code overhaul was in part to divert low-level offenders away from prison and into local community corrections programs.  But so far, the General Assembly hasn’t done much to provide those local programs more money. 

Senate Appropriations Chair Luke Kenley says, for now, the legislature can begin to address local needs by creating a grant program.

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Politics & Government
4:17 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Pence Renews Call for Pre-K Pilot

Gov. Mike Pence appeared in an Indianapolis classroom Wednesday as he again called on legislators to create a pre-K pilot program during the 2014 session.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Surrounded by children at a pre-kindergarten program on the east side of Indianapolis Wednesday, Governor Pence emphasized the need for Indiana to begin providing preschool opportunities for low-income Hoosiers.  He says “the time is now” for the legislature to reinstate a pre-k pilot program.

The Senate Education Committee gutted a bill last week that would have provided vouchers for one thousand low-income children in five counties to attend preschool. They replaced it with a study committee on the issue. 

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Opinion - Politics
3:36 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Both Parties Can Agree on This

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

What is the role of government? 

Conservatives and liberals spend quite a bit of time arguing about this question.  Even when they agree on a role the government is supposed to play, they often will argue about how the government is supposed to play that role. 

While the ideological differences between the two parties can explain their varying perspectives on the role of government, the reality is that even those with the same ideology disagree on what they want government to do.  

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Politics & Government
4:26 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Senate Will Not Revive Pre-K Pilot Program

Indiana Democratic Senators Tim Lanane and John Broden failed to revive a preschool pilot program Monday that was previously eliminated in committee.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Senate Republicans Monday rejected an attempt to revive a preschool pilot program that had been eliminated in a Senate committee last week.

The House overwhelmingly approved legislation creating a pilot program that would provide vouchers for 1,000 low-income Hoosier children to attend preschool.  But the Senate Education Committee gutted the bill, replacing the pilot program with a study committee that will examine specific issues with pre-Kindergarten education. 

South Bend Democratic Senator John Broden wants to add the pilot program back into the bill.

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Politics & Government
12:57 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Senate Scales Back Drug Testing Bill

Indiana Sen. Michael Young and Rep. Jud McMillin testify before a Senate committee Wednesday.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

A Senate committee Wednesday dramatically scaled back the scope of a bill creating a drug testing program for welfare recipients.

Brookville Republican Representative Jud McMillin’s bill originally required all welfare recipients to take a written pre-screening test meant to determine a likelihood of addiction.  Recipients who showed that likelihood were then eligible to be randomly drug-tested – with their welfare benefits potentially at risk after several failed tests. 

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Politics & Government
1:35 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Senate Passes Amended Same-Sex Marriage Ban

The Indiana State Capitol in Indianapolis.

The proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage known as HJR-3 survived the 2014 session but not unscathed, losing its controversial second sentence.  And it won’t be on the ballot this fall.

HJR-3’s second sentence, which banned civil unions, was removed by the House because of concerns it could prohibit domestic partnership benefits.  The Senate opted against reinserting it.  And the Senate ended debate on the issue this year Monday, passing HJR-3 32 to 17. 

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Politics & Government
9:15 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Henry Delivers 2014 State of the City Address

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry
Credit Courtesy / City of Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry delivered his annual State of the City address to a packed room of mostly municipal employees at the Grand Wayne Center Wednesday.

Henry used the forum to highlight some of his administration's victories in 2013 and announce new plans for this year.

His speech touched on everything from business growth to infrastructure improvements to the $71 million Ash Brokerage project coming to Downtown Fort Wayne.

Henry also acknowledged there's work to be done, especially in containing the violent crime Fort Wayne experienced in 2013.

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Politics & Government
2:13 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Senate Committee Approves HJR-3

Supporters of HJR-3 rally at the statehouse Monday.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

A Senate committee Monday approved HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.  The debate surrounding the measure shifted during Monday’s hearing, focusing more on the restoration of the amendment’s controversial second sentence.

The House removed HJR-3’s second sentence, which bans civil unions, after concerns were raised it could prohibit domestic partnership benefits.  Proponents of the measure, including Governor Mike Pence, are calling on the Senate to reinsert that language. 

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Politics & Government
5:30 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Blight Elimination Program Aims to Reduce Foreclosures

The State of Indiana is diverting federal money to help local communities demolish abandoned homes.  Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann says the program will help stabilize neighborhoods and reduce foreclosures.

Indiana has the highest percentage of abandoned foreclosed homes in the country, with estimates of more than 50,000 abandoned homes statewide.  The state received approval from the federal government to divert $75 million from its Hardest Hit Fund – which helps Hoosiers avoid foreclosure – for a Blight Elimination Program.

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