Eric Turner

Brandon Smith / http://www.ipbs.org/

Governor Mike Pence’s fiscal leadership team is getting a shake-up as longtime advisor Chris Atkins leaves the administration for the private sector. 

Chris Atkins has been with the Pence team since the 2012 campaign, serving as a senior advisor for Pence’s gubernatorial run. 

He’s led the Office of Management and Budget since Pence took office and previously served at the agency under Governor Mitch Daniels. 

Courtesy Eric Turner / http://www.in.gov/legislative/house_republicans/homepages/r32/2085.html

Although other issues have overshadowed them this session, the Indiana legislature entered the 2015 session with two major goals: pass a budget and write new ethics reforms.

Recent ethics scandals at the Statehouse prompted lawmakers this session to strengthen Indiana’s ethics code. 

The bipartisan legislation is the most sweeping ethics package in a decade.

But some critics say the changes don’t go far enough.

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

It‘s the Senate‘s turn next week to take up an ethics reform bill. Senate leaders tweaked some wording in the ethics bill before sending it to the floor.

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), who authored the bill, says the changes plug one potentially significant loophole, extending a ban on former executive-branch employees doing business with their old agencies to cover them even if they‘re independent contractors.

Caucus This Evening To Fill Zionsville Rep's House Seat

Dec 9, 2014
Indiana House Republicans

Six candidates compete in a Republican caucus in Zionsville tonight to fill an open Indiana House seat.

Rep. Steve Braun (R-Zionsville) resigned immediately after his reelection to become Governor Pence‘s workforce development commissioner. The district is evenly divided between Zionsville and Carmel, and so are the six candidates.

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

The Indiana General Assembly has three vacancies to fill this month before it returns to work January 6th. Republican precinct leaders in northeast Indiana meet Thursday in Huntington, and are expected to name Columbia City Senator Jim Banks‘ wife Amanda to fill in for him while he‘s on active duty with the Navy.

Republicans must also replace Representatives Steve Braun of Zionsville and Eric Turner of Cicero.

State Chairman Tim Berry says three candidates have already filed for Braun’s seat, and at least four more are considering it.

Courtesy Eric Turner / http://www.in.gov/legislative/house_republicans/homepages/r32/2085.html

A Democratic candidate for the Indiana House of Representatives has asked incumbent Republican Eric Turner (R-Cicero) to withdraw from November’s ballot after Turner announced he would leave the legislature after this session.  

Turner announced Friday he would be leaving the legislature to join a Georgia-based Christian organization. 

Turner is up for re-election in November and says he will resign his seat if he is re-elected.  Democratic candidate Bob Ashley says he's asked Turner to withdraw from ballot, but says Turner has refused.

Dan Goldblatt / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Citizen advocate groups are concerned Speaker Brian Bosma’s decision to sponsor a comprehensive ethics reform bill next session will weaken the reform’s potential strength. 

Darron Cummings, The Associated Press / Courtesy Indiana Debate Commission

The ranks of leadership among Republicans at the Indiana Statehouse changed dramatically Friday. 

Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock  announced his resignation, four months before his term expires. 

Then, House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) announced Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero) will no longer be part of the House GOP leadership team.

Mourdock's Tenure Questioned For Years

More than 600 provisions of the Indiana code dealing with marriage could be impacted by a proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex unions.  That's according to a new report compiled by Indiana University law students and advocacy group Indiana Equality Action.

Governor Mitch Daniels says supporters of a statewide smoking ban accomplished about 90% of their goal. 

Smoking will officially be prohibited in public places when the legislation takes effect July 1.  The ban exempts gaming facilities, cigar and hookah bars, tobacco shops and social clubs that take votes every two years to allow smoking.

Despite opposition from the bill’s authors, it also fully exempts bars and taverns that require patrons be 21 or older to enter.  Some smoking ban advocates say if the ban doesn’t encompass everything then there’s no reason to have it.

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