General News

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.

All Indiana teachers would have to undergo a criminal background check every five years under a legislative proposal gaining momentum at the Statehouse.

On Tuesday, the House Education Committee unanimously approved House Bill 1079 which tightens policies on background checks.

Rep. Jeffrey Thompson (R-Lizton) sponsored the bill.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA News

In a quiet, colorful room of the Latino Cultural Center Monday night, Purdue students tried to represent their feelings of suffering and hope under a new president -- with art.

“Your existence, basically, is a triumph of pain and anxiety and a lot of negative emotions," says Diòn Sanders, a junior in College of Liberal Arts, who identifies as a queer person of color. "And I feel like through painting, I just want to convey the fact that it’s scary out there, but I’m still out here.”

Justice Rucker To Leave Supreme Court

Jan 19, 2017

 

Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker says he looks forward to spending more time with family as he prepares to step down from the court.

Rucker says he almost retired in 2012, when he turned 65 and was up for a retention vote.

The Gary native and 26-year veteran of the bench is the only current justice appointed by a Democratic governor. But he says he doesn’t expect the court to become more conservative because, in Indiana, a partially independent panel chooses the three nominees for the gubernatorial appointment.

Indiana’s new governor, Eric Holcomb, vowed to tackle the state’s drug addiction epidemic in his first State of the State address on Tuesday. But he has also said he supports Congress’s plans to repeal and replace Obamacare.

A federal judge says a farm labor recruiter must pay $56,631 in back wages to a group of visa workers who came from Mexico to Indiana in 2014.

The 26 Mexican workers got H-2A visas through Tejas Workforce Connection of Texas, which recruits temporary agricultural workers for companies including Beck’s Hybrids in Hamilton County.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jstephenconn/3051019997
J. Stephen Conn

The newly-reformed Crawfordsville Commission on Human Rights is looking to tackle what the city says is a growing number of issues concerning diversity in the Montgomery County community.

The 12-person commission is intended to serve as an advising body to the mayor and city council on affairs concerning diversity and human rights in the community. The commission was officially created in 1979 but involvement had lapsed in recent years.

Balanced Budget Amendment Clears Senate Committee

Jan 17, 2017

 

A Senate committee approved language that would amend Indiana’s constitution to require the General Assembly to pass a balanced budget.

Former Gov. Mike Pence first pushed the balanced budget amendment in 2015.

It easily passed the General Assembly that year. If it passes again, this session or next, it will go to voters for their approval in the 2018 general election.

There are too few geriatricians to treat senior Hoosiers, and national projections indicate, by 2030, there will be only one geriatric psychiatrist for every 27,000. With more responsibility falling to providers untrained in senior mental health, an Indiana University scientist has co-authored a guide.

Dr. Sophia Wang is a geriatric psychiatrist and scientist with the Indiana University Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science. She says caregivers need to know the mental health risks for older adults.

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) will introduce a bill in Congress later this month to punish companies for outsourcing American jobs, using federal contracts and tax breaks as leverage.

At a press conference in Indianapolis Friday, Donnelly spoke alongside workers from companies moving production from Indiana to Mexico, including Rexnord and Carrier.

Lita Freeman is one of 700 employees who will be laid off at Carrier’s factory in Huntington.

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