4:11 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Indiana Senate Nixes Common Construction Wage

Small business groups and Governor Mike Pence sent out press releases Wednesday lauding the vote.
Credit Kyle May /

The Senate Wednesday narrowly approved a bill eliminating the state’s common construction wage after senators spent more than three hours over the past two days debating the issue of repealing Indiana’s minimum wage for construction workers on public projects.

Opponents of the bill such as Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) note that the common wage helps support job training programs and ensures public projects are properly built by well-trained, highly paid workers.

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3:25 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Cities Scramble To Negate State's Bad RFRA Press, Save Their Investments

Individual municipalities find themselves battling the state's damaged image.
Credit David Lofink /

29-percent of Hoosiers live in places with local ordinances protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination. And that proportion could grow in the wake of last week‘s religious freedom controversy.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard blasted the now-revised religious objections law as "ridiculous." Carmel already has an executive order prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians in city hiring -- Brainard says he‘ll send the city council an ordinance to add sexual orientation to local civil rights laws.

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2:54 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Senate Committee Passes Construction Wage Repeal

The bill now has some added provisions that attempt to address bipartisan concern about it.
Credit Steve Baker /

A Senate committee Tuesday approved a bill repealing the state’s common construction wage while also adding new requirements for contractors on public projects. 

An amendment added in committee would require contractors to have training programs and liability insurance, and bars them from paying employees in cash. 

It also prohibits local governments from passing their own version of the common wage.  Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek), who authored the amendment, says it ensures workers are well trained and public projects well done.

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6:00 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Construction Wage Battle Heats Up As Senate Committee Hearing Looms

The battle over the bill has been raging on Indiana television airwaves for weeks.
Credit 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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4:17 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

WL Mayor Dennis Battles 'Religious Freedom' Bill Press

Dennis says investors haven't mentioned RFRA to him yet, but he will not be surprised if they do.
Credit Shih-Pei Chang /

Though he says he hasn’t had any conversations with potential investors about the state’s so-called “religious freedom” bill, West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis acknowledges he’s fighting against the bad press it’s created.

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