Government

Government News

Court Protectee Gun Bill Passes Legislature

Apr 24, 2017

A controversial piece of gun legislation is heading to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk after it passed through the legislature.

It allows people protected by restraining orders to carry handguns without a license for up to 60 days.

It passed easily in the House, 74 to 26, and in the Senate, 38 to 12. But those opposed argued it would escalate domestic violence situations.

Hoosiers are already allowed to keep firearms at home without a license. Senate sponsor Mark Messmer (D-Princeton) says the bill keeps victims safe outside the home.

The legislative focus of this year’s session wasn’t a mystery. Lawmakers already spent more than a year debating road funding. And so it wasn’t a surprise when Gov. Eric Holcomb told the General Assembly this in the first weeks of session.

“I will work with you to establish a plan that invests in the new projects for the future that ensures Indiana will remain The Crossroads of America,” Holcomb said.

But it was not the only big goal – or debate – this session.

Lawmakers completed a temporary rewrite of the state’s alcohol carryout laws to address a convenience store that found a legal work-around.

Ricker’s acquired restaurant permits for two of its convenience stores. Those permits allow them to sell cold beer and hard liquor for carryout – which grocery and convenience stores have never been allowed to do.

Legislation is headed to the governor that eliminates many of the state’s monopoly-creating, vaping regulations.

While the legislation deletes several rules, it installs new regulations, including certain packaging and labeling requirements and a mandate that manufacturers disclose their ingredient list with state regulators.

It does not prohibit online sales.

Indiana Unemployment Rate Lowest In Nearly 16 Years

Apr 21, 2017

The Indiana unemployment rate dropped 0.02 percent in March, down to 3.9 percent. That’s the lowest rate since May of 2001.

Yet the Hoosier private sector lost 1,500 jobs last month, primarily driven by a significant decline in the Professional and Business Services sector. That’s the third time in the last four months the private sector lost jobs.

Governor Signs Bill Expanding Lead Testing In East Chicago

Apr 20, 2017

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed legislation Thursday designating parts of East Chicago, Indiana, as “areas of special concern.”

The bill indefinitely extends parts of Holcomb’s emergency declaration to expand lead testing in the city’s soil and water.

For the second time this session, a bill stopping local communities from banning short-term rentals such as Airbnb failed to advance on the House floor.

 

House Speaker Brian Bosma says legislative leaders have agreed to a road funding plan in principle. Leadership will now take the plan to their caucuses for approval.

Though stingy on details, Bosma calls the agreed-upon plan the “strongest road investment” in state history.

“I can tell that you we believe – after a lot of discussion with the Senate – that we’ve met our mutual goals of long-term, comprehensive road funding,” Bosma says.

Appointed Superintendent Bill Heads To Governor

Apr 18, 2017

 

The House advanced a bill to the governor Tuesday to make the Superintendent of Public Instruction an appointed, rather than elected position.

The bill as it originally left the House made the state schools superintendent an appointed position beginning in 2021.

Legislation making the state schools superintendent an appointed position is in limbo as the House weighs its options.

Pages