business

U.S. Senate / http://www.coats.senate.gov/

Indiana Senator Dan Coats predicts the Senate will approve fast-track trade authority this week for a Pacific Rim trade deal, but says getting there may be a tough slog.  Several Democrats are defying President Obama to try to block fast-track, which would allow the administration to begin final negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and let the eventual deal come to the floor without amendments.

David Lofink / https://www.flickr.com/photos/lofink/4344960203

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.

Fishers Passes Anti-RFRA Resolution

Apr 1, 2015
Kristina Frazier-Henry / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kristinafh/2939619557

Fishers is the latest Indiana city to distance itself from the Indiana’s so-called "religious freedom" law.

Fishers‘ all-Republican city council has unanimously approved a resolution drafted by Mayor Scott Fadness affirming the city‘s commitment to diversity as the lifeblood of the entrepreneurial community it‘s seeking to promote.

Council president Pete Peterson says the war over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act threatens to hit cities in the pocketbook.

Marc Benioff / Twitter / https://twitter.com/Benioff/status/581108959337136129

As Governor Mike Pence signed the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law Thursday, he blamed the media for what he calls a misunderstanding of the law. 

RFRA establishes a judicial test that courts will use to decide when the government can infringe on a person’s religious beliefs and practices.  Many groups say they’re concerned it will be used to sanction discrimination, particularly against LGBT Hoosiers.  But Pence says if he thought the law, which exists at the federal level and in 30 other states, was discriminatory, he would have vetoed it.

Senate, House Sparring Over 'Double Direct' Tax

Mar 18, 2015
Dave Dugdale / https://www.flickr.com/photos/davedugdale/

Legislators are taking another stab at streamlining the so-called "double direct" tax exemption for business.

Farms and manufacturers don‘t owe sales tax on equipment if it‘s directly used in production. The difficulty in interpreting that test prompted Governor Pence to make it a key element of his tax simplification bill.

But the House deleted the simplifications after analysts reported they would cost the state a quarter-billion dollars a year.

Nicholas Eckhart / https://www.flickr.com/photos/fanofretail/14644044735

As the Senate gets ready to discuss reinforcing the Indiana Constitution‘s religious conscience clause, Governor Pence is lending his support to the effort.

Pence made a surprise appearance at a rally for what supporters call the "religious freedom restoration act." 19 states have passed similar laws, requiring the state to show a "compelling interest" for any action that would burden religious belief.

courtesy GE

In a speech that was touted as one which would show Purdue as a leader in the country’s new manufacturing economy, the President of the National Association of Manufacturers Tuesday focused instead on blasting the Obama Administration.

In a speech kicking off a nationwide tour, Jay Timmons spent a single paragraph on technology such as "3-D printing, nanoscale chemistry" and new medicines, but spent several minutes explaining why he feels the White House is working at cross-purposes with business interests.

City of Frankfort

A push by Frankfort’s mayor could help bring down blighted buildings in the city – but it might also force the people currently living in them to find a new home.

Chris McBarnes, speaking on WBAA’s “Ask The Mayor,” says letters will soon go out to as many as 20 landlords whose properties have been deemed unsafe by the city.

If those landlords don’t agree to a plan to refurbish them, the city may raze the property and evict any tenants. McBarnes says the city can’t do much more for those evicted than put them in touch with Frankfort’s landlord association, though.

Raul Lieberwirth / https://www.flickr.com/photos/lanier67/237055775

A smoking ban has been rejected by South Bend‘s Common Council.

The bill would have gone a step further than the state‘s ban by prohibiting smoking in bars and private clubs. The vote was 5 to 4.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Sales of archery equipment have spiked in the last couple years – especially among fans of movie heroes wielding bows and arrows. That archery craze has helped bolster sales for a small Indiana company that builds its business around people shooting each other. It's a game that’s sort of like dodgeball and paintball meeting The Hunger Games.

One of the first things I did when I went to see Archery Tag played was get shot with an arrow. At close range. By someone who shoots arrows for a living.

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