2016 Session

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

Restaurant and retail workers would have to get their work schedules at least two weeks in advance under a bill proposed in the state Senate.

Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) says it's increasingly common for stores and restaurants to wait till the last minute to tell employees whether they're working, or to send them home after they show up for work.

Tallian says that’s unfair...

“They’ve scheduled their lives around having to be at work: daycare, moving, taking care of children or people at home,” Tallian says.

Melanie Holtsman / https://www.flickr.com/photos/holtsman/4577259238

A proposal to make some cold remedies prescription-only is taking a back seat, with a Senate committee instead endorsing a pair of less stringent alternatives.

Senators voted to ban drug offenders from buying medication with pseudoephedrine, and to require pharmacists to question purchasers in a way that satisfies pharmacists the drugs won’t later become meth.

Fulton County pharmacists have taken that step on their own.

Nic McPhee / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee

A bill to fully fund all three winners of the Regional Cities Initiative breezed through the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday.

The Regional Cities Initiative money comes from the 2015 tax amnesty program, and all $84 million was originally meant to be split between two regions.  This economic development program aims to encourage cooperation across city and county lines. 

State of Indiana / http://in.gov/

Groups which often disagree on education are uniting behind a proposed scholarship to coax more top students into teaching careers.

House Republicans have made the scholarship bill a priority this session.

It would offer students in the top 20-percent of their high school class as much as $30,000 for college, in exchange for a commitment to teach for five years afterward.

The scholarship proposal drew support from teachers' unions, education reform groups, State Board of Education members and state school superintendent Glenda Ritz.

M Glasgow / https://www.flickr.com/photos/glasgows/

Legislation approved by the Senate Thursday would impose new rules for Indiana’s high-fenced hunting facilities, an industry left entirely unregulated by recent court rulings.  The measure appears headed for success after years of failing in the legislature.

The legislation would mandate minimum fence heights – eight feet – and minimum acreage – 80 acres for the seven existing facilities, 100 acres for any new facilities.  It also bans hunting in the reserves using drones, requires the facilities to report disease and escapes, and allows wild sheep and goats to be hunted. 

City of Frankfort

The prospect of turning Interstate 65 into a toll road would have a significant impact on the city of Frankfort – especially if some of the money generated would be directed to road funding.

In this week's conversation with Mayor Chris McBarnes, we ask him if he’s for highway tolling and whether his plans to annex land out to the interstate might be affected by plans at the Statehouse.

Also on today’s show, we circle back to Frankfort’s desire to address derelict properties.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

Republicans in the House Roads and Transportation Committee Wednesday rejected an attempt by Democrats to remove all tax increases from the House GOP road funding plan. 

The Democrats’ amendment – offered by Rep. Dan Forestal (D-Indianapolis) – would have shifted all money from the sales tax on gasoline to road funding; only a small portion of that revenue source currently goes to roads. 

Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

State lawmakers can carry guns in the Statehouse, and they want their staff members to be able to do the same. A Senate committee Wednesday approved a bill that would grant that permission.

It’s a violent world, says Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville), the author of a bill that would allow staff members, not just lawmakers, to carry handguns in the state capitol building.

Tomes says allowing staff members to defend themselves is especially important, considering what he calls the dangerous area surrounding their workplace in downtown Indianapolis.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network / Facebook

Cancer survivors and their families want Indiana to adopt a more coordinated approach to pain relief for cancer patients.

Most hospitals have palliative care specialists, but Aurmaudra Bradley with the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network says not everyone integrates pain relief into the treatment plan.

Bradley says some hospitals are better than others at recognizing the importance of palliative care.

Work Share Bill Dies Without A Vote

Jan 19, 2016
State of Indiana / http://in.gov/

It’s hard to find issues at the Statehouse that both the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the unions agree on.  But instituting a work share program is one of them.  In spite of this, work share legislation was shut down Tuesday without even a committee vote.

Work share programs allow companies to reduce hours instead of laying people off. Employees can then claim partial unemployment benefits to help compensate for the cut in hours.