2015 Indiana General Assembly

Bradley Wells / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bdwells1986/

A House committee votes Thursday on lifting restrictions on buying and selling wine on the Internet. Indiana bans online wine sales unless the customer has first had a face-to-face transaction with the seller.

Sen. Phil Boots (R-Crawfordsville) argues that requirement is both unnecessary and outdated. He says some Indiana wineries have given up on in-state sales because of the burdens of the law, and only ship their product out of state.

But while Boots says wineries would benefit from the law, he says it‘s consumers who have pushed hardest for the change.

David Shank / Shank Public Relations Counselors

Proposed legislation this General Assembly sought to make kindergarten mandatory for Hoosier children by lowering the compulsory school age from seven to five.  It’s an issue that has lawmakers and educators split -- even as the state focuses on funding early education initiatives.

Count to 100 by ones.

Solve real-world problems that involve addition and subtraction.

Understand how a nonfiction book is organized.

Those are the some of the more than 60 skills five-year-olds are expected to learn now in Indiana’s public kindergartens.

Steve Baker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/littlebiglens

  Law enforcement crisis training is closer to becoming a statewide requirement now that the House has passed a bill advising more funding for it.

Sen. Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington) says there isn’t currently enough training teaching police how to handle a crisis, such as a mental health issue or a diabetic attack. Stoops says the bill would make law enforcement communication safer and more effective.

“Treatment typically costs about a dollar for every six dollars we would’ve spent on incarceration. So it’s a very cost-effective approach as well,” Stoops says.

Bradley Stemke / https://www.flickr.com/photos/detroitsunrise/

Legislators are crafting a grant program aimed at improving Indiana‘s sixth-worst in the nation infant mortality rate. Instead of state initiatives to address infant mortality, legislators are hoping local hospitals and doctors have better ideas.

The proposed "Safety PIN" grant gives preference to a handful of areas, including steering more women into prenatal care or getting pregnant women to quit smoking. The PIN in Safety PIN stands for Protecting Indiana‘s Newborns.

Rachel Morello / StateImpact Indiana

It may not sound like music to your ears, but for James Ratican, the administrator for a construction apprenticeship and training program in Anderson, a construction site is a concert.

“It’s like an orchestra playing and everyone has to be on the right key …That’s a little bit of the music and that bass will kick in when that diesel hammer fires off," Ratican says.

The program is operated by a local chapter of the International Union of Operating Engineers. On this day, students are learning how to operate cranes and pile drivers.

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