Government

Government
6:00 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Lawmakers Considering Farm Tax Changes, But Local Governments Would Take Another Hit

Farmer Kevin Underwood says he has to rework his budget for the next season to deal with a higher tax bill.
Credit Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA

Second-generation West Lafayette farmer Kevin Underwood has three tractors he uses to farm 1,600 acres of land – one is several decades old, another he bought just a few years ago. But while his 30 year old tractor still works well, Underwood says the system taxing what that tractor produces does not.

“The bind we’re in at this point is we’ve got income level going down and taxes and input costs continuing to go up,” Underwood says.

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Government
2:14 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Bill Would Make Regions Collaborate, Compete For Dollars

Credit Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

A bill that would create an initiative granting funding to collaborating groups in regions around the state is moving through the Indiana Senate.

The Regional City Fund would grant or loan regions money to improve the area based on a proposed growth plan.

Indiana Economic Development Corporation President Eric Doden says it’s similar to the state’s existing Stellar Communities grants, but the new initiative is more collaborative.

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Government
5:00 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Indy's City-County Council Adopts 'Homeless Bill Of Rights'

The Circle City's homeless would be guaranteed a number of privileges if the bill is signed by Mayor Greg Ballard.
Credit Steve Baker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/littlebiglens/9580548360

Indianapolis has become one of a handful of cities to adopt a so-called Homeless Bill of Rights.

By a vote of 16-13, the Indianapolis-Marion County Council narrowly adopted the ordinance Monday night. 

Modeled after similar laws in Illinois and Rhode Island, it spells out certain rights for homeless people, including the right to move freely in public places, the right to emergency medical care, the right to vote and the right to equal treatment by city agencies. 

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Government
3:10 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Pence: I'm Against Gambling Expansion (But What Does 'Expansion' Mean, Anyway?)

The governor has been very vague about his opposition, leaving any gambling legislation in limbo if it's passed.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence says he’s opposed to expansion of gaming in Indiana but won’t tell the public how he defines expansion.

This year's gaming bill allows riverboats to move inland on existing property, gives casinos a tax credit for new construction, and allows racetrack casinos to switch out some of their electronic games with tables that have live dealers. 

Though a House committee included extensive tax changes to the bill, those changes were taken out before the measure left the House this week -- and that’s something Governor Pence takes credit for.

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Government
7:00 am
Thu February 26, 2015

State Could Provide 'Safe Haven' Baby Boxes For Parents

Fire stations are among the Safe Haven locations where the boxes would be located.
Credit Eric Allix Rogers / https://www.flickr.com/photos/reallyboring/2755708614/

Indiana could become the first state to put out boxes designed for parents to put babies in when giving those children up.

The Safe Haven Baby Boxes bill was passed unanimously by the House as an alternative to parents abandoning children in unsafe areas.

Fort Wayne firefighter and paramedic Monica Kelsey says not enough parents know about the Safe Haven Law and there need to be more options for desperate parents.

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