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Another Hoosier Health Leader Could Be Headed To D.C.

Oct 18, 2017

There are reports a former Eli Lilly leader tops the list of names President Donald Trump is considering to fill the position of Health and Human Services Secretary. Alex Azar would replace Tom Price, who left the job last month after a private plane scandal.

Azar would the take over the country’s highest health position if chosen, following a string of others leaving Indiana for the U.S. government’s health sector.

Indiana tax revenues fell further behind expectations as the state finished the first quarter of its fiscal year.

The first two months of the fiscal year put the state more than $40 million below expectations. September made it more than twice as bad.

Total tax collections last month were more than $66 million less than projected, which puts the state $107 million off the mark for the fiscal year.

Sales, corporate, and individual income taxes all missed their targets in September. Corporate and sales taxes haven’t yet met expectations at any point this fiscal year.

Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Boonville) will leave his southern Indiana seat to become the new head of law enforcement at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the appointment Wednesday. Arnold replaces Danny East, who left DNR last month.

The Republican lawmaker previously served in the U.S. Army, the Indiana National Guard, and as a reserve sheriff’s deputy. He also worked for Toyota in Princeton and for the Orange County Economic Development Partnership.

State lawmakers Wednesday heard a lot of support and a few fears about the local impacts of short-term housing rentals through platforms such as Airbnb.

Commerce and Economic Development Study Committee members say they want any future regulations on the issue to protect property rights – for both hosts and their neighbors.

 

A key Indiana state lawmaker wants to dramatically increase penalties for certain drug and gun crimes.

The General Assembly rewrote its criminal code in recent years. Its aim was to drive more nonviolent, mostly drug offenders out of the prison system and into local treatment programs. And part of that was by giving judges more discretion in sentencing – to be able to decide what’s best for an individual offender.

Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) wants to undo some of that.

A fiscal conservative group will spend more than a million dollars on an advertising campaign to target Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) on tax reform.

Americans for Prosperity will launch ads in three states – Indiana, Missouri, and Wisconsin – to put pressure on Democratic senators to back the GOP tax reform effort in Congress.

The 30-second ad, which starts running Friday, emphasizes the need for tax cuts.

Indiana’s top agricultural official will become the nation’s first undersecretary for foreign agricultural trade.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Ted McKinney to the newly-created Department of Agriculture post Tuesday.

In a statement, USDA secretary Sonny Perdue says McKinney will “wake up every morning seeking to sell more American agricultural products in foreign markets.”

More than 100 protesters gathered outside the Indiana State Fairgrounds Wednesday to give President Donald Trump an unwelcome greeting to the Hoosier State.

Not allowed inside the fairgrounds gates, the protesters stood along the street outside, holding signs that featured messages protesting anything from health care to tax cuts for the wealthy.

Joseph Feasel traveled from Fort Wayne. He was enthusiastic about what he viewed as the protest’s diversity.

A proposed traffic amnesty program would help Hoosiers pay back debts and reinstate suspended licenses. It could allow more than 400,000 Hoosiers to become legal, licensed drivers once again.

Nearly one in 10 Hoosiers have suspended licenses because of financial reasons – not safety violations – according a report from students at Indiana University.

President Donald Trump called the GOP’s tax reform plan a “middle class miracle” as he rolled out details in a speech in Indianapolis Wednesday.

Trump said tax reforms passed in Indiana before and during Vice President Mike Pence’s time as governor should be a model for national change.

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