Government News

Steve Baker /

State police say the lapse of Patriot Act surveillance provisions has no direct impact on intelligence gathering at the state level. The Patriot Act clarified and expanded rules for federal eavesdropping, not state and local departments. State Police do operate a so-called "fusion center" which receives and coordinates intel from all levels, including federal, but spokesman Dave Bursten says any effect from the Patriot Act would be indirect.

ISTEP, Smoking And More To Be Studied By Legislature

May 29, 2015
MilitaryHealth /

ISTEP testing, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and redistricting are among more than 40 topics assigned to legislative study committees this summer. Legislators will review some topics they started to address in this year‘s session, including needle exchange programs, and some they deliberately put off for more study, like replacing ISTEP with a shorter test. House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the ISTEP review will be of particular interest.

Jim Grey /

Legislative leaders and the governor entered the 2015 Indiana General Assembly, declaring it an “education session” and saying there was work to be done addressing worrisome topics such as infant mortality rates.

Many of the education issues got buried under the political sparring between GOP leaders and Democratic state superintendent Glenda Ritz. And most other legislation missed out on coverage because of debate over the state’s so-called “religious freedom” bill.

Ken Walton /

The common construction wage is a kind of minimum wage for construction workers on public projects.  The wage is set for each project by a local board.  In a statement announcing he signed the bill repealing the common wage, Governor Pence says wages should be set by the marketplace, not government bureaucracy. 

He says repealing the system puts taxpayers first.  But opponents of the repeal say ending the common wage will create more economic disparity, driving more public projects into the hands of out-of-state workers.

Ars Electronica /

An Indiana tech expert is speaking out on the Federal Aviation Administration‘s new Pathfinder drone program.

Ball State University Director of Emerging Technologies Jonathan Blake Huer calls the program a "good step in the right direction." Huer says the explosion in the number of drones and all sorts of concerns surrounding them are causing the FAA to move quickly on new regulations.

“The FAA is trying to be a regulating body that works and clarify rules that still keep the public appropriately safe,” Huer says.