General News

State, Local Split Of Road Money Unlikely To Change

Mar 3, 2017

 

Nearly 90 percent of Indiana’s roads are maintained by counties, cities and towns, yet those local units get less than half of the state’s primary road funding dollars.

And that’s unlikely to change in this session’s road funding plan.

Purdue University Latino Cultural Center / Facebook

The space now occupied by the Purdue Latino Cultural Center is slated to become a fraternity parking lot.

Purdue Research Foundation officials say Purdue’s Phi Gamma Delta chapter purchased the land the LCC occupies and plans to expand into the lot.

The LCC will be forced to relocate to a smaller house a couple blocks closer to campus academic buildings early next semester.

State Rep. To DeVos: Hire More Educators On Your Staff

Mar 2, 2017

Indiana Rep. Melanie Wright (D-Yorktown) sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Thursday, asking for DeVos to hire more educators on her staff.

Wright’s letter asks DeVos to hire a deputy secretary with extensive experience in public schools. She says this request follows up on concerns expressed during Betsy Devos’ confirmation hearing: Devos has no experience in public education, which she now oversees.

In East Chicago, Indiana, federal officials have approved a plan to allow involuntary relocation of families who remain in lead-contaminated public housing beginning on April 1.

These would be considered “emergency transfers” to units that have been inspected for lead in East Chicago and, in Illinois, Cook County and Chicago. Families would stay in these units while they kept looking for permanent housing, still using the same rent vouchers and other HUD-provided counseling and resources.


 

With some federal lawmakers aiming to repeal the Affordable Care Act, state legislative leaders say the future of Indiana’s health care program, HIP 2.0, is uncertain.

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) visited the Statehouse last week. And State House Speaker Brian Bosma says one of the things Young talked about was federal health care reform.

Wednesday, March 1, is the deadline for residents of a lead-contaminated East Chicago, Indiana, housing complex to renew their federal housing vouchers.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, gave out the Section 8 vouchers late last year to help residents find new homes.

As of this month, HUD says 106 families still live in West Calumet Housing Complex, and 91 of those have not yet found a new place to live – including Keesha Daniels and her sons.

 

Senate lawmakers overwhelmingly approved legislation to legalize the use of baby boxes, but only in hospitals.

The boxes are meant to be a more anonymous way for someone to leave an unwanted newborn. The bill makes it legal to drop off a baby in a designated box in a hospital without facing child abandonment charges.

 

The Senate gutted a bill that deals with protesters who block traffic, sending the entire issue to a summer study committee.

The original bill required police to clear protesters who block traffic from roadways using “any means necessary.”

Net Metering Bill Passes Senate

Feb 27, 2017

Senate Bill 309, a controversial bill that alters Indiana’s net metering policy, passed the Senate 39-9 on Monday evening.

Net metering is a practice that allows people with solar panels, or other alternate energy generation sources, to sell excess energy back to utilities at the retail rate.

Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek), the bill’s author, says, despite some public confusion, the bill is actually good for the solar industry.

“It expands the ability of people to generate power for their own needs and to sell the excess back to the grid,” Hershman says.

 

The Indiana Senate made changes to a parental consent for abortion bill that supporters say they hope the changes fix the bill’s issues.

The bill requires parents or guardians be notified if their underage daughter goes to court to get consent for an abortion.

Current law already requires parental consent for anyone under 18 to get an abortion. If a child doesn’t want to get their parents’ permission, they can go to court to get a waiver.

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