Brandon Smith en Indiana Senate chooses not to restore preschool pilot program to bill <p>Indiana Senate Republicans have rejected an attempt to revive a preschool pilot program that was eliminated in a Senate committee last week.&nbsp;</p><p>The House overwhelmingly approved legislation creating a pilot program that would provide vouchers for one thousand low-income Hoosier children to attend preschool.&nbsp; 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.&nbsp; South Bend Democratic Senator John Broden wants to add the pilot program back into the bill</p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 13:21:28 +0000 Brandon Smith 54784 at Pre-K voucher program stripped from bill <p>A pilot program aimed at providing pre-kindergarten educational opportunities for low-income Hoosier kids has been stripped out of a bill in a Senate committee.&nbsp;</p><p>The program – a major initiative of Governor Mike Pence – was replaced with a mandated study of the issue.</p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 17:02:06 +0000 Brandon Smith 54435 at IN Senate scales back welfare drug testing bill <p>A Senate committee has dramatically scaled back the scope of a bill creating a drug testing program for welfare recipients.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 18:06:36 +0000 Brandon Smith 54354 at IN Senate approves HJR-3 <p>Opponents of HJR-3 says ensuring the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage wouldn’t be on the ballot this fall was a huge victory.&nbsp;</p><p>But they say the battle isn’t over yet.</p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 12:37:37 +0000 Brandon Smith 54248 at HJR-3 moves to full Senate for consideration <p>A Senate committee has approved HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.&nbsp;</p><p>The debate surrounding the measure shifted during Monday’s hearing, focusing more on the restoration of the amendment’s controversial second sentence.</p><p>The House removed HJR-3’s second sentence, which bans civil unions, after concerns were raised it could prohibit domestic partnership benefits.&nbsp; Proponents of the measure, including Governor Mike Pence, are calling on the Senate to reinsert that language.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 15:42:28 +0000 Brandon Smith 53814 at Governor declares energy emergency <p>Governor Mike Pence has declared an energy emergency in Indiana as the state faces a severe propane shortage.&nbsp;</p><p>The state will provide more support for low-income Hoosiers facing increased energy prices:</p> Thu, 30 Jan 2014 18:02:14 +0000 Brandon Smith 53193 at House votes in favor of Truitt HJR-3 amendment <p>A bipartisan group of House lawmakers has voted to remove a portion of HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.&nbsp;</p><p>The change would also restart the ratification process.</p> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 11:16:06 +0000 Brandon Smith 53041 at Poll indicates Hoosiers want to have their say about same-sex marriage ban <p>Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma says a recent poll commissioned by House and Senate Republicans clearly indicates Hoosiers want to have their say at the ballot box on the proposed amendment banning same sex marriage.&nbsp;</p><p>The House and Senate GOP caucuses commissioned a phone survey of registered voters that took place last week asking Hoosiers for their view on the same sex marriage ban amendment known as HJR-3.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 17 Jan 2014 16:56:19 +0000 Brandon Smith 52482 at Pence outlines legislative agenda in second State of the State <p>In his second State of the State address, Governor Mike Pence thanked the House and Senate for beginning work quickly on finding the best way to meet his goal of phasing out the business personal property tax.</p><p>And he reminded legislators he‘s also seeking another income tax cut, in the form of increased personal and dependent deductions.</p><p>Pence reaffirmed his call for locally-written academic standards for Indiana schools, and for an expansion of preschool vouchers for low-income students.</p><p>The governor also signaled support for a constitutional ban on gay marriage.</p> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 13:29:41 +0000 Brandon Smith 52327 at Vote on same-sex marriage amendment postponed <p>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 yesterday.&nbsp;</p><p>The amendment is making its first legislative stop in a House committee.</p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 11:30:38 +0000 Brandon Smith 52260 at