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Government News

Brandon Smith / IPBS

About 1,000 people rallied Saturday at the Indiana Statehouse to protest the state’s new anti-abortion law, which bans abortions based on a fetus's race, gender or potential disability and requires aborted remains to be buried or cremated.

The demonstration comes exactly one month to the day since the law was passed and more than two weeks since Gov. Mike Pence signed it.

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

Eight lesbian couples are going to a federal judge to try changing birth certificates. The couples involved argue that the certificates should list both parents.

Indiana birth certificates list the birth mother and the father.  For a lesbian couple like Nicki and Tonya Bush-Sawyer, that leaves one of them out. 

Nicki is their son’s biological mother.  Speaking outside the courthouse, she says the legal situation is particularly hard for them because she works full-time and Tonya takes care of their son.

ACLU of Indiana / http://www.aclu-in.org/

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana’s legal director says the state’s new anti-abortion law “grossly interferes” with a woman’s constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy.  The ACLU filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of Planned Parenthood seeking to strike down the controversial measure.

Joe Donnelly / https://www.flickr.com/photos/91771515

Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly says the United States should continue financial sanctions against Iran until the Middle Eastern nation scales back its aggressive ballistic missile tests.

The Hoosier Democrat says the U.S. should not consider allowing American currency to be used in business transactions involving Iran while certain Iranian officials publicize missile tests and threaten other nations.

Chris Morisse Vizza

The Tippecanoe County Commissioners say they want input from the mayors of Lafayette and West Lafayette before establishing a new bridge tax.

The commissioners on Monday had planned to schedule a meeting so taxpayers could comment on creation of a major bridge fund. It would pay for large bridges scheduled for replacement in the next 50 years.

But Auditor Bob Plantenga says the property tax increase may trigger state-mandated tax caps that would slightly decrease the amount of revenue for the cities of Lafayette, West Lafayette and Otterbein.

Joe Gratz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/joegratz/117048243

A federal judge will not temporarily halt her ruling, and the state will have to provide funding to refugee resettlement organizations while the legal battle over money for resettlement continues.

Indiana’s refugee resettlement program funnels federal money to organizations that help resettle refugees in the state.  Gov. Mike Pence in December announced he was suspending that program for Syrian refugees, cutting off money from resettlement groups such as Exodus Immigration.  Pence says public safety concerns prompted that action. 

J.D. Gray

A student from China is continuing the fight to free her father from a life sentence in prison that she says is unfair.

Jewher Ilham spoke Monday at Ivy Tech Community College about her ongoing efforts to secure her father’s release.

Ilham says she hasn’t talked to her father, Ilhom Tohti, in more than 2 years.

She says Tohti is serving a life sentence in China on charges of separatism for a minority group in China.

Chris Morisse Vizza

Amid the dust and slow moving construction equipment, downtown Lafayette visitors will see bright orange and blue signs emblazoned with the message “Open For Business.”

It's the heart of a city-led marketing campaign to keep customers and merchants informed -- and concerns to a minimum -- as crews widen sidewalks and install decorative lighting, planters and other amenities on sections of Main Street.

Steve Baker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/littlebiglens/

Hoosiers will once again be able to get a personalized license plate from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, beginning Friday. The program resumes nearly three years after a lawsuit led the BMV to shut it down.

A Greenfield police officer filed a lawsuit in 2013 after the BMV denied his personalized plate reading “O1NK” – or “oink.” The agency shut the entire program down during the ensuing legal battle.  The Indiana Supreme Court in November resolved the case, ruling in favor of the BMV.  Now five months later, Commissioner Kent Abernathy says the program will resume.

Phil Roeder / https://www.flickr.com/photos/tabor-roeder/

An Indiana University law professor says the sweeping abortion legislation Governor Mike Pence signed into law last week is unconstitutional.

The bill includes a long list of provisions, including a ban on abortions solely because of the fetus’ sex, race or disability.

Indiana University Law Professor Dawn Johnsen says that goes against the Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade.

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