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State Supreme Court Considers DCS Caseload Lawsuit

Jun 1, 2017

The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday over whether a Department of Child Services caseworker’s lawsuit against the agency will move forward.

Only one of Indiana’s 19 DCS regions meets mandatory caseload limits at this time.

State law says DCS must provide enough caseworkers so that the average caseload in each region doesn’t exceed 12 active cases or 17 children supervised.

Advocates pushing legislation to shrink Indiana’s food deserts will have another chance this summer to convince lawmakers of the bill’s merits.

But the pending closure of two Indiana-based grocery store chains and debates among Indiana Republicans mean the problem doesn’t have an easy solution.

A food desert – as defined in recent legislation – is any area of the state where at least a quarter of residents are below the poverty line and at least a third live a significant distance from any grocery store.

Change could be coming for Indiana’s alcohol laws after legislative leaders announced a two-year study of the state’s alcohol statutes. And legislators say the special commission won’t involve the alcohol industry.

Controversy this past session over convenience stores obtaining alcohol carryout permits – otherwise expressly prohibited in state law – prompted the creation of the alcohol law study commission.

On Wednesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released an updated report outlining potential effects of the updated GOP health care bill – the American Health Care Act. The findings indicate that over the next 10 years, 23 million Americans would lose insurance under the AHCA.

That’s one million fewer than the projection for the first version of the AHCA, which failed in the U.S House in March.

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill Thursday providing aid for a lead contaminated neighborhood in East Chicago, Indiana.

House Bill 1344 expands lead testing in the soil and water of the USS Lead Superfund site in East Chicago. At the bill signing in East Chicago, Holcomb says nothing could be more important than getting the city back on track.

“From the street to your Statehouse to the White House, we are going to make sure East Chicago stays on track,” says Holcomb.

Planned Parenthood wants a court to halt portions of a new Indiana abortion law. It’s the fifth lawsuit over abortion legislation in seven years.

Geoff Livingston / flickr.com/photos/geoliv/33262105354

Federal legislation aimed at increasing mental health care access for law enforcement officers is one step closer to passage.

The bipartisan bill – authored by Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Todd Young (R-IN) – cleared the U.S. Senate with a unanimous vote.

www.flickr.com/danebrian/15706134598

Today, on WBAA’s Wake-Up Call, Tippecanoe County Area Plan Executive Director Sallie Fahey talks about developing new local zoning rules to regulate short-term guest rentals in private homes or property. 

Earlier this year, local planners postponed adoption of rules governing so-called transient rentals because state lawmakers were debating legislation that would have limited local governments’ ability to restrict so-called transient housing.

Supporters Vow To Resurrect Airbnb Bill Next Session

May 5, 2017

Supporters of legislation stopping locals from banning short-term rentals like Airbnb say they’ll be back next session after the bill failed in 2017.

And even its opponents are ready to work on the measure again.

Indiana lawmakers want schools to develop more robust suicide prevention policies while teachers get training on the issue.

Rep. Julie Olthoff’s (R-Merrilville) bill requires several new steps to create suicide prevention programs. And Olthoff says the first step is creating a statewide suicide prevention coordinator.

“And then they’ll be able to disseminate information and hopefully prevent them,” Olthoff says.

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