General News

Senate Advances Budget To Conference Committee

Apr 6, 2017

The Senate approved its version of a new two-year state budget 39-9 Thursday.

Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville), the budget’s author, praised the bill for not increasing taxes, funding the fight against Indiana’s drug epidemic, and focusing on education issues.

But many Democrats took issue with that last point, including Sen. Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington), who says the Republican plan doesn’t fund education enough.

Airbnb, Short-term Rentals Bill Passes Senate

Apr 6, 2017

The Senate approved a measure 27-20 Thursday that stops local governments from banning short-term rentals, such as Airbnb.

The legislation establishes guidelines for short-term rentals, including a ban on renting more than 30 days in a row and 180 days total in a year. But it prohibits barring short-term rentals outright.

Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage), who opposes the bill, says it undoes 50 years of zoning ordinances and risks the commercialization of residential neighborhoods.

Telemedicine Bill Poised To Expand Services

Apr 6, 2017

A bill expanding coverage of and access to telemedicine passed the Senate this week. The measure will cover Hoosiers on Medicaid who get healthcare through telemedicine practices like videoconferences and electronic communications.

Republican Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer authored the proposal and says the expansion includes addiction and behavioral health treatment that often requires extensive services.

“You have the management of the other wrap-around services to lift you up as you are going through your treatment program,” says Kirchhofer.

 

March 31 was supposed to be the deadline for families in a lead-contaminated public housing complex in East Chicago, Indiana to move out, or be sent to temporary housing. But some are still appealing those assignments – and they won’t be forced out until their complaints are settled.

Hearings for residents who filed grievances about their temporary housing assignments will be held Monday April 3 and Tuesday April 4.

HOT CON / Purdue LGBTQ Center

The Purdue Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Center hopes its weekend conference will bridge any gaps between the LGBTQ community and the campus at-large.

Center director Lowell Kane says he hopes Purdue’s administration recognizes the prominence of the LGBTQ community on campus.

And Ricardo Quintana Vallejo, the Ph.D. student who organized the conference, says having the sessions in West Lafayette sends a geographic message.

Karen Demerly / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kdemerly/

Tippecanoe County bucked statewide trends last year when it saw more people move in than out. Between 2015 and 2016, the county saw a net population increase of approximately 1,100 people, according to recently-released Census data.

The state as a whole lost more than a thousand people over that same period.

Tippecanoe County, the seventh most populous county in the state, was part of a trend of people migrating from rural to urban areas. 

Indiana Coal Advocates Cheer Trump Climate Order

Mar 28, 2017

Indiana is one of 28 states suing the Environmental Protection Agency over the Clean Power Plan, which President Donald Trump began rolling back Tuesday. And Trump’s move has industry advocates cheering.

The Clean Power Plan would reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent nationwide in an effort to slow man-made climate change.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles would be required to offer Hoosiers the chance to register to vote more often under legislation approved by a Senate committee.

But the bill does dramatically less than its original version.

Great Lakes Programs Slashed Under Trump Budget

Mar 24, 2017

 

The health of the Great Lakes is in danger, according to statewide lawmakers and environmental leaders, due to budget cuts proposed by President Donald Trump.

The Great Lakes are the world’s largest system of freshwater lakes and the federal government currently spends around $300 million protecting them. Under President Trump’s proposed budget, that spending would be reduced to $5 million.

U.S Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) says that money wasn’t being wasted.

The Hoosier unemployment rate ticked up by one-tenth of a percent to 4.1 percent last month. That’s the first increase since January of last year. The rate is still lower than the national average and all neighboring states.

After two consecutive months of declines, the private sector added jobs in February – 4,400 for the month. The surge was led by the manufacturing industry.

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