2016 Session

Harrison Wagner / Indiana Public Broadcasting

A Senate panel Wednesday unanimously approved legislation legalizing and regulating daily fantasy sports, such as the websites Fan Duel and DraftKings. 

The proposed bill would impose some insider information protections, barring daily fantasy employees and their families from playing. 

It also bars professional athletes and officials from playing. 

The measure says game operators must ensure their players are at least 18 years of age and must charge an entry fee to play. 

Bill Would Create School Security Handbook

Jan 27, 2016
Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

Schools may get a blueprint next year for tightening security.

The Senate votes next week on ordering Indiana's Department of Homeland Security to compile a handbook of security precautions schools should take.

Sen. Phil Boots (R-Crawfordsville) says schools need more guidance on potential vulnerabilities.

But Boots notes the Department of Education already works with schools on security issues.

NYC Department of Education / http://schools.nyc.gov/default.htm

An education bill in the Indiana House would expand what parents can do with state-allocated school money.

Right now, parents can use cash that would normally go to a public school for their child’s enrollment and spend it on private school tuition.

Rep. Tim Brown’s (R-Crawfordsville) bill would set up so-called “education savings accounts” to use for textbooks, private tutoring, college tuition savings and home-schooling.

Brown says parents get to choose how the money is spent and the state stays true to the philosophy of “the money follows the child.”


A-to-F school grades for Indiana schools were released Tuesday, following months of concerns about how lower ISTEP scores would affect them.

Schools could earn a higher grade but not a lower grade than last year -- because of concerns the major drop in scores of the new ISTEP test would unfairly impact a school’s grade.

Nearly 57-percent of all Indiana schools were given an A. Only about 9-percent of schools earned a D or an F.

Joe Gratz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/joegratz/117048243

Indiana is one of only five states without any hate crimes law.  Legislation unanimously approved Tuesday by a Senate committee would change that.

Sen. Sue Glick’s (R-LaGrange) bill would allow judges to inflict harsher penalties based on a person’s motivation for committing a crime – specifically, if they committed a crime with the intent to harm or intimidate someone based on that person’s race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, or transgender status. 

David and Ruth S / https://www.flickr.com/photos/existdifferently/8399061

An Indianapolis tourism group says the fallout from last year's debate over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act cost the city at least $60 million.

And Visit Indy officials worry the economic impact will be long-lasting.

At least a dozen conventions cited RFRA as a reason for not choosing Indianapolis as a host city on Visit Indy’s annual survey.

Republican lawmakers have claimed the fix they passed last year would repair any damage done by the controversy.

But Visit Indy Vice President Chris Gahl says that remains to be seen.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM / https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/7974506488

The bill proposing tax hikes to keep Indiana's roads in good repair includes another proposal for raising money -- toll roads.

But even if the bill passes, motorists won't be paying to drive on Indiana roads for at least five years -- if ever.

The bill simply orders INDOT to study whether tolls on I-65 and I-70 would be workable.

State law requires legislative approval of any tolls, and federal law bans tolls on roads that used to be free.

But Congress has approved an experiment to grant three states an exception to that rule.

Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Legislation aimed at making it a little easier for the public to access police body camera footage stalled in the House after Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) expressed concerns about the bill.  But, the measure’s author is confident about its chances to advance.

Current law doesn’t mention police body camera footage, so it’s mostly classified as what’s called “investigatory record,” meaning the police don’t ever have to release it. 

Albert Sun / https://www.flickr.com/photos/phatalbert/2235534259

Legislation headed for the House floor would allow police to ticket people who don’t move their vehicles out of the road after an accident.  The proposed bill essentially replaces a law that was recently dropped from state statute.

When Indiana rewrote its criminal code, legislators identified some crimes as obsolete or redundant and deleted them. 

The state’s so-called ‘move it’ law was eliminated because it charged people with a misdemeanor, and lawmakers thought that was too strict. 

Joel Kramer / https://www.flickr.com/photos/75001512@N00/2728233597

Two million Hoosiers would pay less at the license branch under a bill unanimously approved by the House.

The 431-page bill is the result of a two-year review begun after a class-action suit pulled back the curtain on millions of dollars in overcharges and undercharges.

Rep. Dan Forestal (D-Indianapolis) says the mammoth bill is a triumph of bipartisanship.