Government

Government
3:56 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Lawmakers Spar Over What It Means To 'Clarify' RFRA

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

Republican leaders announced Monday they will introduce legislative language to clarify that Indiana’s religious freedom bill will not allow discrimination against anyone.  But Democratic leaders Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) and Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) say full repeal of the law must be the first step…with the second being legislation to specifically protect LGBT Hoosiers through the state’s anti-discrimination law.  But Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says with only four weeks left in the session, now isn’t the time for that debate:

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Government
3:44 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

RFRA Scrutiny Shines Light On Similar Arkansas Bill

Credit Jimmy Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/3904663983

Nationwide scrutiny aimed at Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act may be making Arkansas legislators uncomfortable about passing their own religious freedom bill.

The bill, named the “Conscience Protection Act,” follows the same argument as Indiana’s religious freedom bill – that religious liberties are under stack and need protection. The bill awaits House approval on Senate amendments before going to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

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Government
10:10 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Senate Suggests Live Racino Dealers -- In 2021

Credit Brian Indrelunas / https://www.flickr.com/photos/btindrelunas/

Indiana‘s two racetrack casinos could hire live dealers to operate table games under a Senate proposal -- but not for six years.

A Senate committee is expected to vote Monday on an attempt to finesse Gov. Pence‘s reported opposition to live dealers at the racinos. By freezing the status quo until 2021, the proposal would let Pence stick to a vow to oppose any expansion of gambling as long as he‘s governor.

House Public Policy Chairman Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) is noncommittal, though he predicts there will be more changes to the bill.

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Government
6:00 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Legislators Criticize New Energy Efficiency Plan

Credit Claudio Schwarz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/purzlbaum/131322462/

 Indiana is on the brink of enacting a new energy efficiency plan to replace one repealed last year.

The House has approved a bill requiring electric companies to submit plans every three years for how they‘ll encourage more efficient energy consumption.

Utilities and Energy Chairman Eric Koch (R-Bedford) says the state had some form of efficiency requirement from 2004 until this year, when Governor Mitch Daniels‘ "Energize Indiana" program was formally abolished.

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Government
5:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Conventioneers' Economic Impact Could Shrink If RFRA Passes

Credit yortlabs / https://www.flickr.com/photos/yortlabs/7364227082/

As the Religious Freedom Restoration Act awaits the Governor’s signature, convention holders say passage of the act could cost the state many millions of dollars.

On Tuesday, the CEO of gaming and fantasy convention GenCon said the potential discrimination he sees in the bill will make the convention’s attendees feel unwelcome in Indiana.

Shawn Smith works for a similar convention, Indy PopCon, which he says generates a few million dollars in economic impact each year. He says his organization shares GenCon’s concerns.

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