General News

Hoosier State Rail Line Funding In Question

Feb 6, 2017

The General Assembly provided $6 million in one-time money from the last state budget for the Hoosier State Rail Line between Indianapolis and Chicago. And lawmakers were prepared to provide that funding again in this year’s budget.

A new study is the first to measure access to preventative health care services after the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.

The study looked at low-income adults without children in 30 states, including Indiana, where Medicaid has been expanded. It finds these adults are accessing more preventative care services like immunizations, screenings and mammograms.

Indiana University researcher and professor Kosali Simon co-authored the paper and says prevention is one goal of the ACA.

Committee Carves Out Tesla From Direct Sales Ban

Feb 2, 2017

A House committee changed legislation that bans direct sales by auto manufacturers to essentially grandfather in electric car maker Tesla.

Electric car manufacturer Tesla does not use dealerships, it sells directly to customers. And so the company – and its customers – objected to the bill that would have barred them from doing so within the next few years.

Lawmakers are weighing a bill that would make expansive changes to Indiana’s gaming taxes.

Rep. Todd Huston (R-Fishers) says his legislation aims to help Indiana casinos stay viable as they face increasing competition.

Changes it would make to current law include eliminating the admissions tax – a $3 fee each time a person enters the gaming floor. Huston says this discourages casinos from adding attractions like restaurants and bars.

Tesla Bill Appears Headed For Compromise

Feb 1, 2017

Legislation barring auto manufacturers from selling directly to customers appears headed for compromise after hours of testimony in a House committee.

Electric car manufacturer Tesla sells directly to customers, without using dealerships. Proposed legislation would ban that practice within the next three years, for any company. Proponents say it’s about ensuring consumer protection.

Tesla customers like Mitch Rolsky see it as something else.

President Donald Trump’s immigration order barring refugees, as well as immigrants and visa-holders from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan, impacts businesses with many foreign workers – including Cummins Engine.

The Columbus-based manufacturer has many employees born in other countries, and more than half of its workers are based overseas.

 

Legislation approved by a House committee would no longer require adoption agencies to check a national registry of child abuse and neglect cases because the registry doesn’t exist.

State law requires adoption providers to do a criminal history check of prospective adoptive parents. As part of those background checks, providers must consult a national registry of child abuse and neglect cases.

But Department of Child Services legislative director Parvonay Stover says the registry doesn’t exist.

 

East Chicago, Indiana, officials are worried about the future of lead contamination clean up in the city because of actions taken by the Trump Administration Tuesday.

The uncertainty comes after the administration temporarily suspended grants and contracts overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

City officials from East Chicago, Indiana, requested state aid from the General Assembly on Thursday to combat their lead contamination crisis.

Mayor Anthony Copeland says multiple state and federal agencies have denied additional requests for more money to cleanup the city’s Calumet neighborhood.

“This has been the only ray of hope that we see that we could come in contact with other additional funding to help alleviate a crisis,” Copeland says.

Indiana Black Caucus Lays Out 2017 Agenda

Jan 26, 2017

 

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus’ agenda for the 2017 session is nearly as much about bills they want to halt as measures they hope to pass.

The caucus’ agenda includes bias crimes legislation, a measure to ban private prisons, a healthy food initiative and a bill to improve student discipline and behavior.

And while Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) acknowledges the difficulty in getting many of those bills passed, he says the caucus constantly seeks common ground.

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