General News

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.

Hate Crimes Bill Dies On Senate Floor Without Vote

Feb 27, 2017

Indiana is one of five states without a hate crimes law. That will continue for at least another year.

Monday morning, Indianapolis’ Jewish Community Center was evacuated after a bomb threat, making Indiana one of 11 states to experience such threats at Jewish centers in the last 24 hours.

The Indiana Youth Institute released its annual Kids Count data book Monday. The report measures children’s well-being in five categories: family, economics, education, health and safety.

It highlights the well-being of children in preschool through college – and finds a mixed bag. Overall, it finds, Indiana’s children are “surviving, not thriving.”

We took a dive into how Indiana’s students and school systems measure up.

Major takeaways:

Fresh Food Initiative Advances Without Funding

Feb 24, 2017

 

Legislation creating a grant program to generate more healthy food options across the state has received overwhelming approval in the Indiana Senate. But there’s no money in the bill for those grants.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb will visit East Chicago on Friday to discuss his disaster declaration for the city’s ongoing lead contamination crisis.

Meanwhile, lawyers for residents being displaced by the contamination say the order doesn’t properly address the biggest concerns.

House Budget Proposal Eliminates Teacher Bonus Program

Feb 15, 2017

The Indiana House of Representatives revealed its first draft of the state budget for the next two years Wednesday, which eliminates the teacher bonus program and re-invests that money into general K-12 spending.

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