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Government News

After a more than hour-long debate, the Indiana Senate advanced legislation that raises taxes and creates new fees to fund the state’s road and bridge maintenance.

Chris Morisse Vizza/WBAA Radio

Tippecanoe County is enlisting help from man’s best friend to make court appearances less stressful for abused and neglected children.

Court Appointed Special Advocate Executive Director Coleen Connor says local members of Therapy Dogs International contacted her at the same time she and some volunteer advocates were investigating the idea of bringing a trained therapy dog into the courtroom to calm some of the most-traumatized child victims.

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) announced Sunday he’ll vote for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Donnelly becomes the third Democrat to back Judge Neil Gorsuch.

In a statement, Donnelly said after meeting with Gorsuch, he believes the Trump nominee is qualified and well respected.

Although Donnelly says he’s disappointed President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, wasn’t considered by the GOP-controlled Senate last year, the Hoosier Democrat says, “I can only vote on the nominee that comes to the … floor.”

Holcomb Budget Priorities: Some In, Some Out

Mar 31, 2017

The Senate GOP budget leaves out a key priority of Governor Eric Holcomb’s – reinvesting money in a state trust fund. But the Senate budget did include two Holcomb initiatives dismissed by House Republicans.

Holcomb wants to reinvest half of the state’s $500 million Next Generation Trust Fund in Indiana companies and entrepreneurs. He says changing that investment strategy is key to the state’s economic development.

Senate GOP Eliminates Cigarette Tax Hike In Its Budget

Mar 30, 2017

 

Senate Republicans rolled out their version of the budget bill Thursday, one that diverges from the House budget in a few key areas.

 

A debate erupted in two committees over Indiana’s cold beer sales law after a convenience store’s recent use of a legal loophole drew the ire of liquor stores and legislative leaders.

Two Ricker’s convenience stores qualified to sell cold beer after they started selling made-to-order food and added seating. Indiana law only allows liquor stores and restaurants to sell cold beer for carryout.

Senate Changes Road Funding Bill, Adds New Fees

Mar 28, 2017

Senate lawmakers put their own stamp on this session’s comprehensive road funding bill while keeping the measure’s primary tax increase intact.

After amendments in a Senate committee, the road funding bill still increases the gas tax by 10 cents. Now, that increase would happen over two years – 5 cents a year. The diesel fuel tax would only go up six cents, instead of 10, also over two years.

The new $15 annual fee for all vehicles is unchanged; the Senate added a $100 annual fee on all commercial vehicles and a $5 fee on all new tire purchases.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Dignitaries cutting the ribbon Thursday at a new Rolls-Royce research facility at Purdue University say increased defense spending proposed in President Trump’s budget could enable growth of the school’s fledgling aerospace park.

“You know, if the defense budget goes up, I certainly hope and expect that Rolls-Royce technology will be right there with it – going up," says Rolls-Royce North America CEO Marion Blakey. "Because we do expect that we could do work right here, in West Lafayette. We could do it right here at this facility.”

Committee OKs New Public Records Search Fee

Mar 22, 2017

 

A Senate committee approved a bill that would allow state and local government agencies to charge the public a substantial fee for lengthy public record searches.

Those searches are currently free.

A House committee Wednesday added the entire contents of a controversial bill on gun regulations to a different bill dealing with firearms.

House Bill 1071 allows people protected by restraining orders to carry handguns without a license for up to 60 days. The controversial measure passed the House last month and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate.

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